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The Importance of On-Page SEO Writing for the User Experience and Search Engines

Diane Hansen

Diane Hansen

10 minute read

Summary

On-page search engine optimization is a key factor in getting your website to appear on the first page of search results. But it’s more than just dropping keywords into your site. It’s about framing the keywords for the user experience and for search engines.

What is On-Page SEO?

On-page search engine optimization (SEO) refers to that ever-elusive content that helps search engines better understand your website. When done right, search engines gauge your content as relevant. This makes your site more likely to rank on the first page of results when people search for products or services like yours. When done wrong, your lost in the sea of search results on page two or beyond.

Keyword Research

On-page optimization starts with keyword research and determining what words or phrases people are using to find businesses like yours. There’s no science behind identifying those keywords. It’s a time-consuming task that starts with reviewing competitor sites, studying search results for potential keywords, looking at the “People also ask” and “Searches related to…” information Google presents when you search a word or phrase, and then making a list of the words you think people are most likely to use. Depending on your industry, this list might be quite long.

content writer writing a blog post at her computer

Determine Keywords to Target

Now that you have your list, it’s time to determine the best keywords for driving traffic to your website. There are a number of free services you can use for this, such as Google Ads Keyword Planner. This program allows you to paste in your keywords or upload a file and will return historical results for how often those keywords are used in a search. The key here is in determining the right volume so your site will pull for the keywords you select. If the volume is too high, you’re lost among some of the biggest competitors. If too low, you’re not as likely to show in results. By choosing a volume somewhere in between, your business is more likely to show up on the first page of search engine results.

Working Keywords into Headlines and Copy

It sounds simple, but there’s times that the chosen keywords don’t seamlessly fit into headlines or on-page copy. The good news is that Google is becoming more and more intent focused, which means the keywords and keyphrases do not have to be exact. For example, the keyphrase may be “online math help” and the headline “online video math help” or “branding” and “unforgettable brands.”

When it comes to on-page SEO, the trick is to create compelling content for the reader that targets the keyword that you’ve chosen. The keyword should be worked into the copy in several places without it being over-used. Proper on-page optimization carries a lot of weight when it comes to your website showing up on the first page of search results.

computer keyboard

Writing for the Reader and Reader Intent

I’ve touched upon the importance of writing copy that is optimized for search results, the reader, and the user experience. The most important thing to take into consideration when determine keywords is reader intent. The goal is to create well-crafted content that appeals to your target audience or provides a solution to a specific problem they may be experiencing. When it comes to website copy, people and the user experience always comes first, before writing for search algorithms. It’s essential to understand your audience before writing SEO content.

Challenges and Rewards

So, as you can see there are a lot of challenges to writing copy optimized for search results—keyword research, determining the write keywords for each page of your website, working those keywords into headlines and copy, and writing for the reader and reader intent. The rewards are well worth the time that it takes to research keywords and creatively and impactfully work them into your copy—ranking on page one of search results, more clicks through to your website, and ultimately, more sales.

Cougar Digital Team

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