Ahrefs is probably the most reputable SEO tool out there. Consider it the holy grail of the SEO and blogging world. That being said, when Ahrefs tells us something about on-page SEO, we whip out our note book and we listen.
The comments were full of some negative attitudes toward the list, but mostly agreement.
One connection commented about the importance of on-page SEO saying, “On page optimization should be the foundation of every new website build or redesign. Without it, your off page SEO will not be as effective.”
Great insight! So, if on-page SEO is so important what does Ahrefs want us to know about it?
Here is Ahref's list of the 9 factors that affect on-page SEO
1. Search intent
2. Content quality
4. Page titles
5. Outbound links
6. Schema markup
7. Internal links
8. Page UX
9. Meta description
One of the comments that opposed Ahrefs' list said that meta description should not be included in the list of factors that affect on-page SEO. What do you think?
He faced some opposition and another individual ask him to explain his reasoning. So he did.
He said, “According to Google, they don't use meta descriptions in keyword ranking.” He goes on to quote Google's page for developers which says that even though Google uses the description meta tag for the snippets they show, they still don't use the description meta tag in their ranking.
Interesting! So why did Ahrefs include meta description in their list if Google says they don't use it to rank? Was it to get their list to a nice odd number? Maybe. But, I think Ahrefs has more to say about their list.
In the actual article posted by Ahrefs about on-page SEO they give us some insight into why they included meta description. Ahrefs comes right out and says, “Meta descriptions are not a ranking factor.” So why is it part fo the list?
Whatever helps drive traffic
Even though they are not a ranking factor, they still appear in the SERPs and can impact the CTR. They go on and say that when writing meta descriptions you should have the searcher in mind.
Even though Google doesn't care what your meta description says, your reader might see it and decide to look at your article because your meta description does a great job of catching their eye and describing the article.
Seems like a serious enough concept to add it to your list of factors that affect on-page SEO.
I'm also under the impression that time-on-page affects ranking. What do you think?
The initial LinkedIn post about on-page SEO was just the tip of the Ahrefs iceberg. The rest of the article they were promoting goes into more detail on off-page SEO as well.
Check out their article to read more about the differences between on-page SEO and off-page SEO and how they affect each other!