What is an On-Page SEO Score & How to Check Yours?

by Outranking
Updated On: October 6, 2023
What is an On-Page SEO Score & How to Check Yours?

According to a report by HubSpot, 88% of marketers who use SEO in their content will increase their marketing strategy ROI. That’s why companies worldwide are competing to get their websites high on search engine result pages (SERPs) with SEO best practices. It goes without saying that your on-page SEO score can be a key determinant of how well your SEO content performs on search engines. 

In this guide, we’ll explore on-page SEO in detail: what it is, how to calculate it, and how to check your page’s score. 

What Is On-Page SEO Score?

The on-page SEO score measures how well a page is optimized for search engines, including the right keyword density calculation. It determines how likely a page is to rank high on SERPs, making it an important factor in SEO.

Screenshot of an SEO page with the on-page SEO score at the top right corner.
This blog’s doing pretty well!

The score is calculated based on various factors such as title tags, meta descriptions, headings, content quality, and depth, URL structure, internal links, structured data, page speed, mobile optimization, and more. 

Analyzing this score helps you identify areas that need improvement so you can optimize content accordingly. This means you can improve your chances of outranking your competitors and driving more traffic to your website. 

How Is the On-page SEO Score Calculated?

As we’ve mentioned earlier, the on-page SEO score depends on different factors. So below, we’ll break down 7 of these on-page SEO factors that can make or break your on-page SEO score. 

1. Title — The Highest Scored Factor

Your title will be the readers’ first impression of your content. A title can either entice a reader to click on your page or make them scroll past it. That’s why title tags are the highest-scored factor in on-page optimization.

To get a good title tag score, ensure your title has the right keyword, the right length, and meets the users’ search intent. With that, your title will have a higher click-through rate (CTR) potential. A good SEO optimization tool should guide you into creating an SEO-optimized title with high CTR potential.

Screenshot of the title tag score based on the title's words to target, search terms, and length.
Make sure your content makes a good first impression!

Do you remember the 85 scores we showed you above? Take a look at what happens when we remove the title. The score drops all the way down to 73!

Screenshot of the SEO score after removing the title, 73.
Just the title can make this score 12 points higher!

2. Description — The Least Scored Factor

The meta-description is a snippet of text that summarizes a webpage’s content. And although it’s one of the least valued factors, it’s still important. Why? Because meta descriptions let the search engine know what your content is about. This means a meta description can help you rank higher if it answers a reader’s search query. 

The meta-description score depends on the terms used in it (based on SERP analysis and common terms in ranking pages). Your SEO analysis tool should give you a clear idea of competitors’ meta descriptions so you can target more keywords and outrank them. The meta description length can also affect its score.

Screenshot of a description analysis based on words to target and description length.
Describe your content properly.

3. Outline — A Significant Factor

Outlines provide a clear structure for your page’s content. A good outline helps readers understand the main topics you cover on your page. They also help search engines ensure your content covers meaningful, relevant topics, which is important for SEO.

Take a look at these 5 factors that can make or break your outline score:

  1. Heading structure: Headings should follow a logical hierarchy to ensure your content is well-organized
  2. Topic coverage: The outline should cover all the important topics related to the page’s subject to give more value to readers
  3. Semantic keyword usage: The outline should include relevant keywords to let search engines understand what the page is about and make it rank higher
  4. Depth: The outline should be detailed enough to provide the reader with satisfactory info on the subject
  5. Number of H2 and H3 tags: H2s should have relevant H3s beneath them to develop ideas properly, but without becoming too long and overwhelming readers

Your SEO scoring tool should help you see how your content outline is doing in comparison with ranking pages. With that, you can optimize your content so its structure becomes better for readers and search engines alike.

Screenshot of the outline score analysis based on words to target, number of H tags, and search terms in the H tags.
Create comprehensive content with comprehensive outlines.

You can also optimize your outlines from the beginning of the content creation process with good content briefs. Some AI-powered brief generation tools will analyze ranking pages to suggest an optimal outline for the topic, along with other tips for title creation, description generation, voice and tone, writing style, etc. 

4. Content Structure — Another Significant Scoring Factor 

The content structure includes all the elements present in your content, and it’s a significant on-page scoring factor. Why? Because it positively impacts the user experience (UX) and helps search engines understand the page’s content. 

Lists and tables make content easier to read and understand, both for readers and search engines, while word count indicates the depth and comprehensiveness of the content. For example, pages with 1500+ words are more likely to rank higher on SERPs

But content structure includes more than that. SEO writing checkers calculate content structure scores based on factors like:

  1. Natural language processing (NLP) terms: Analyzes the language in the content to ensure it’s relevant to the topic and audience
  2. Semantic search terms: Helps understand the context and meaning of the content to identify related topics
  3. Uniqueness: Ensures the content isn’t plagiarized and is providing unique, valuable info from your brand’s perspective

To score these factors, SEO writing checkers use algorithms that analyze the content and provide a score based on how well it meets each factor. The score is usually displayed as a percentage or a grade.

Screenshot of the content score analysis based on word count, common entities, unique entities, and statistics.
Content is king!

Pro Tips

To ensure your content scores well, it’s important for you to know how to optimize each of the factors that go into scoring your content: 

  • Target NLP terms without keyword stuffing. Overusing keywords won’t do you any favors. Instead, opt for NLP terms with the most coverage and relevancy for other pages
  • Stay away from tools that overvalue keywords. Choose a comprehensive writing checker that analyzes different factors, not one that scores you based on how many times you used your keyword
  • Use semantic terms in H tags. This will help you rank for more terms than you’ve anticipated
  • Write well-researched content and draw insightful conclusions. Avoid rewriting ranking pages and hoping for the best. Strive to include unique statistics and introduce a new perspective to your content 

5. Readability — Important for Readers, not Search Engines

Readability defines how easy your content is to read. It’s a ranking factor because clear, logical content pushes readers to come back to your website. For this factor, you should ensure your content’s readability is primarily good for your readers, not for search engines. What does that mean? 

Good readability helps search engines index your content more easily. But if readers can’t make sense of what they’re reading, they won’t stick around, even if your readability is “technically” good. Prioritizing readability over your target audience is also not a good idea. You can’t speak to Ph.D. holders about complex topics using 5th-grade-level words and reasoning. 

So here are some tips to nail your approach to readability: 

  • Understand your audience and strike a balance between technical terms and simple language 
  • Break up text with short paragraphs, bullet points, lists, and headings to make the content easier to read
  • Use bold and italics to draw attention to important words and phrases

6. URL — Not the Focal Point of Your On-Page SEO Score

Search engines use your URL to determine your page’s relevance and credibility. While the URL structure only has a minimal impact on the on-page SEO score, it still plays a small role in rankings. 

Having a keyword-rich URL is one of many ranking factors, but it shouldn’t be the focus of your SEO strategy. Instead, it’s important to make your URLs readable and concise, includes relevant keywords that are related to your page’s content, and keep them under 1,000 characters for easier data tracking. 

Additionally, search engines prefer shorter URLs because they’re easier to remember and type. But having SEO-friendly URLs is only one piece of the puzzle. Never lose sight of the big picture and neglect factors like meta titles, internal links, and referring domains. 

7. Media — Key Scoring Factor 

Media, including images, alt text, and videos, play a crucial role in on-page SEO scores. Using unique, valuable, and optimized media can greatly improve engagement on your website and reduce bounce rates. 

Images and videos help break up walls of text and add visual interest, making your content more engaging. But remember, images should add to the content, not strip away from it. So don’t use low-quality, irrelevant stock images. This will make the reader feel spammed with unnecessary details, and leave your page faster. 

You should also add descriptive alt text for all images. This will provide context for search engines, enabling them to know what the picture is about. It also helps visually impaired people who use a screen reader understand the context of web page images. (Bonus: alt text makes your page more accessible, meaning Google will favor it over others)

Including images for each main keyword you’re targeting can also help with your SEO efforts. Optimizing media can greatly improve your chances of ranking for both image and text searches, and you shouldn’t overlook this step in your SEO content strategy.

Screenshot of the Media score analysis based on images, alt text, and videos.
Make your content visually pleasing!

How to Check Your On-Page SEO Score? 

1. Use the Outranking SEO Content Checker

The Outranking SEO content checker is a powerful tool that can help you analyze your website’s content and identify areas for improvement. 

With features like real-time SEO scoring, title and description checks, outlines, word count suggestions, and competitor visualization, Outranking provides a comprehensive analysis of your website’s on-page SEO. 

To use the tool, simply enter your website’s URL and select the pages you want to analyze. The tool will then provide you with a detailed report on your website’s on-page SEO score and recommendations for improvement. 

Regularly checking your on-page SEO score with Outranking can help you optimize your content for better search engine rankings. Follow the tool’s recommendations, use common NLP terms, and target unique entities to improve your content’s organic reach.

Watch this video to learn how you can use this powerful tool: 

2. Use Free Website SEO Checkers 

Free website SEO checkers may be helpful, but they have their limitations. For example, they may not provide a complete picture of your website’s SEO conditions, and they may even give false results. So if you’re serious about improving your writing and SEO strategy, consider investing in a paid tool. 

But if you’re on a budget, free tools can come in handy. Just ensure the tool you use has an easy-to-use interface, and see if you can find one that explains why it flagged certain errors. But if you can’t, always take the tool’s suggestions with a grain of salt, and follow SEO best practices to ensure your content has a chance to rank despite not having the best tools. 

3. Check Your Readability with Hemingway Editor or Grammarly

To check the readability score of your content using Hemingway Editor, simply:

  1. Copy and paste your content into the Hemingway Editor
  2. Check your score in the top right corner: it’s based on the grade level required to understand your content
  3. Follow the highlights to understand which sentences are too complex or long
  4. Improve your score by shortening sentences, removing unnecessary adverbs, using simpler words, and eliminating passives

You can also use Grammarly for this purpose. Here’s how: 

  1. Sign up for a Grammarly account and upload your content
  2. Check how many errors your content has, and see the readability score to the right of the text editor at the bottom of the screen
  3. Follow Grammarly’s suggestions, which may include simplifying your sentences or using more concise language

While checking your readability won’t help you rank higher, it’s a good way to ensure your content is accessible to readers and address them properly.

Take Your SEO to the Next Level

Understanding how on-page SEO works are key to ensuring your content creation initiatives don’t go to waste. You want to optimize your content based on the suggestions in this article: create good titles and descriptions, ensure your content follows a good outline and is comprehensive enough, optimize your readability and URL, and use enough visual elements to make your text pleasant to the eye. 

Working with these on-page SEO best practices — and investing in good software to analyze this score — will help you rank higher on SERPs and generate more leads for your business.

Are you in it to win it? 🏋️ Register with Outranking to bulk up your on-page SEO score!

Create winning keywords and SEO content strategy


Do all tools score on-page SEO similarly?

No, they don’t. Most tools claim to use SERP analysis as the backbone of their data analysis, but the depth and data can be significantly different depending on the approach. Many tools use topic-scoring methods only and hence cannot address the many other requirements for creating a ranking topic. 

What features should an SEO writing checker have?

A good SEO writing checker should have a comprehensive scoring system to assess all the important on-page ranking factors. For example, Outranking helps optimize 11 items from the list of on-page optimization features, while Frase only scores topics. This difference in the scoring system can affect the score’s accuracy and content optimization. So choose a tool with a comprehensive scoring system to assess all the important on-page ranking factors. 

How is Outranking different from on-page SEO scoring?

Outranking is an advanced on-page SEO writing checker that uses AI to help you score your on-page elements and get instant feedback. What sets Outranking apart from other tools is its ability to benchmark 20 competing pages from SERPs to give real-time scoring of the most important on-page SEO factors. 

What are the key features of Outranking.io?

Outranking provides a complete breakdown of outlines and suggests words to target in the content for comprehensive coverage of all the concepts around the primary keyword and its surrounding entities. It also checks your content against common NLP terms or topics used by competing web pages. Outranking also offers a competitor visualization chart to show important data on competing web pages, so you can see how to outrank the competitors. 

How much does Outranking cost?

Outranking’s pricing starts at $49 and can go up to $239 for higher plans, with a $7 free trial available. Outranking’s advanced features and AI research capabilities work together to help you reach predictable content success and generate a more accurate on-page SEO score. Using Outranking can help you maintain and improve your content creation ROI.