Off page factors like number of back-links etc can be more important for higher search engine rankings, but you should not ignore onsite factors as well. In fact, you should start your SEO efforts with onsite optimization and only then focus on off page.
Here are some important SEO tips for on page optimization:
1. Targeting the Right Keywords: When your website is new, it is always best to go after such keywords which are easier to rank for. Since your new website is unlikely to have a large number of back-links, securing a high rank for competitive keywords can be an uphill task.
So almost always go for easier keywords in order to obtain quick results and traffic. Use keyword research tools to discover highly targeted and relevant long tail keywords and write keyword relevant content which is likely to be loved by the search engines as well as human visitors.
But don’t just write keywords in your title. You should try and make it catchy and attractive. The title should be inviting enough for people to want to click on it and read more. And you have to do all this using just a few words.
At the same time, you should try to avoid writing dull titles which just have the keywords and nothing else, as well as very long titles for your articles. So writing an attractive title is no joke and can take considerable amount of practice.
3. Use of Sub-Headings: It is best if your article has subheadings.
This can make it easier for people to scan through the article if they are in a hurry. Try and include your keywords in the article sub headings as well. Try to use h1 or h2 tags for your sub-headings which is again likely to boost search rankings.
4. Internal Linking: Don’t think that only links from external sites will boost your rankings. Links from one page to another within your own site can also have a great impact on your rankings.
It is a good habit to repeatedly link to your best content pages from other articles on the website. Whenever you add new articles, try to link to your best pages every now and then. The more links you have pointing to these pages the more chances of them ranking well. Do not forget to use the right anchor texts for internal as well as external links.
5. Keyword in URL: Having your main keyword in the web-page url can also have an immense impact on boosting your search engine ranking. Google is said to pay a lot of importance to the domain name and url of any website.
So try to register a domain name which has your most important keyword phrase in it. If such a domain is not available then you can make some minor variations like adding a hyphen in between words etc.
In addition to this, also include the keywords you are targeting for a particular article in the web-page name for that article. By including your keywords in the domain as well as webpage names you can make it easier to achieve high rankings for your pages.
By diligently following the above on page SEO tips, you will have taken the first step towards properly optimizing your website. After that you have to focus on link building techniques to keep improving your rankings till you hit page one of Google!
Check the following resource below for ongoing SEO education.