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  • Writer's pictureDana Kahrim, SEO Specialist

The On-site SEO Breakdown for Wellness Websites: 7 Key Ranking Factors

SEO is a vital part of your health and wellness website! This is what helps get your website to show up organically on search engines - but it may not be as easy as you think.

SEO breaks down into three main categories:

  • On-site SEO

  • Off-site SEO

  • Technical SEO

On-page optimizations refers to all the “on-page” or the “internal” components on your webpage by ranking elements that you can optimize to influence your rankings.

Off-site SEO refers to anything outside of your website or the “external” components to help boost your ranking. And lastly, technically SEO is exactly what it says. This refers to anything to do with the technical or backend functions of your website - but we’ll save the details for another day.

The On-site SEO Breakdown Anyone can Follow: 7 Key Ranking Factors

Why is On-site SEO Important for Health and Wellness Websites?

On-site SEO helps search engines crawl your entire website scanning content to see if your website is noteworthy of being high on their search engines. Google is constantly updating their algorithm to help understand user search intent but there are some key ranking factors that will always play a crucial role.

There are a series of basic on-site SEO factors that most website CMS platforms have built in. Google has over 200 ranking factors in their algorithm, but we’ll cover some of the most easy and well known ones. Let’s get into it…

The 7 Key On-site SEO Ranking Factors Are:

  1. Keywords

  2. URL Structure

  3. Alternative Text

  4. Title Tags & Meta Descriptions

  5. Unique Content

  6. Internal Linking

  7. Heading Structure

1) Do Your Keyword Research

Arguably the foundation of SEO are keywords!

Keywords are the strategic string of words that your website ranks for based off of users' search queries. This is what your website pops up for on the SERP (Search Engine Results Page). But, it’s not as simple as you think…

There are millions of websites on the internet and only a select few can show up on the first page of Google. This is why having a keyword strategy in place is foundational for your business.

When conducting keyword research it’s best to go after keywords that are:

  • High search volume

  • Low competition

*There are many SEO tools that can help you conduct this research!

When this list of keywords is compiled, strategically place them throughout your website.

This is vital for Google scanning your site and gaining context about your web pages.

2) Optimize Your URLs

For your website URL structure, Google recommends the simpler the better! There are a few different permalink structures, but it’s always best to go with “post name” for simplicity.

The “slug” of a URL is what needs to be optimized the most. In this case, in the below example the slug is: “/blog”

An an example of an unfriendly URL might look something like this:

3) Name Your Images - Google Doesn’t Understand!

Google can’t recognize images! This is why “alt text” is so important for the images on your website. On the backend of your website, you’ll have the option of naming your images. When adding alt text to your images, describe the image itself. (And don’t be afraid to include a keyword)

An example of good alt text for this image below from our website would be

“virtuwell balance client website design”

The On-site SEO Breakdown Anyone can Follow: 7 Key Ranking Factors

4) Enrich Your Title Tags and Meta’s

Title tags are HTML codes that indicate the title of your webpage. These should be kept to about 60 characters max.

Meta descriptions are HTML tags which are essentially a small snippet of text that tells a user what type of information they can expect on that page.

Title tags & meta description example:

While meta descriptions may not have a direct correlation with your ranking factor, unique and (almost) click-bait worthy meta descriptions help with your CTR (click-through-rate: Impressions/Clicks). As your CTR increases, your webpage will be placed higher on the SERP.

Best practices for title tags are:

  • Keep it brief (max 60 characters)

  • Use a target keyword

  • Create unique titles for each of your webpages

Best practices for meta descriptions are:

  • Use an active voice

  • Make it short, simple and to the point (160 characters max to avoid truncates)

  • Include a target keyword (even if it is a highly competitive keyword)

  • Include a CTA where applicable

5) Be Unique With Your Content

Content, content, content! Google loves unique content! One of the key ranking factors is unique, fresh, content.

A few best practices to creating content on your website:

  • Have a minimum of 500 words per landing page

  • Write your own content - don’t steal others!

  • Incorporate keywords naturally into the body copy of your website

  • Write towards your target persona

Some things to consider:

  • Are you addressing user pain points?

  • Are you showing how you solve their problems?

  • How does your business provide a solution?

6) Links, links, links!

Internal linking helps search engines understand how all the pages on your website are related to each other. Internally linking also helps users navigate through the journey on your website.

Internal linking optimization:

  • Include a 2-3 buttons per landing page

  • Have a simple top navigation with links to all your pages

  • Include links on your footer navigation

  • Link to other parts of your website within your body copy

7) Break Up Your Website Content

Last but certainly not least is your heading structure. This is the way that the content on your website is laid out. This helps break apart content and makes it more digestible for a user - kind of like this blog post!

This helps Google understand your page structure with HTML tags.

<h1>This is a Heading Tag</h1>

<h2>This is a heading 2 tags used for subheadings</h2>

So what’s next?

Of course these are only the basics to SEO and there’s a lot more to uncover. Remember that if you really want to start ranking, you need to cover ALL aspects of SEO including off-site and technical as well.

Take a look at our SEO services here, and if you need help elevating your online presence with SEO you can easily apply to work with us and get the ball rolling!

Dana Kahrim

Virtuwell Balance SEO Specialist



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