Most SEO companies and individuals will relate to importance of on-page SEO. Those who believe or have benefited from it do value it. And for those, who haven’t been on the luckier side, you can never convince them about the effectiveness of on-page SEO. It is a technique which focuses on structuring webpage itself for increasing its ranking and visibility on search engines. If you are running a website, then it is formidable to first get your website optimized. Broadly, SEO can be divided into on-page and off-page techniques, but our focus in this guide belong to on-page elements.
On-Page SEO consists of all the measures that are maneuvered directly on your website and its content in order to improve the ranking in the SERP (Search Engine Page Results). Contrary to Off-Page SEO which is primarily designed around brand reputation management, On-page SEO broadly refers to the content and various elements which are modified or implemented on the website itself.
As time changes, SEO practices changes too. It is important to keep yourself updated with the latest techniques and practices in order to increase your rank in SERP. Here are few on-page SEO factors that affect your ranking. Let’s have a look.
Quality of Content
The quality of content that you delivers to the readers drastically affects your search ranking. Any website with brilliant content can do great with or without the practice of SEO as good content naturally supplies the demand. So what makes your content brilliant? The originality in your content associated with articles, images, videos, infographics, comments etc makes your website plagiarism free. Remember, everything goes live after hitting the publish button which adds unique value to your website. If your content satisfies queries of your customers, you are in the business.
Related Read: Branding with Quality Social Media Content
When search engines read your content, they first read the page title, heading and then content. They understand what the page is about and rank your page based on some factors like off-page SEO, domain authority and competition. Each web page on your website must have a unique title which is should be easy to understand by the search engines and the audience. Say, a page title ‘Mary and Her Secret Affair’ is much better than blanks and dashes and pipes.
Meta Tags & Descriptions
It is the description under your page title on SERP. These descriptions are an important place where you can add your keywords as tags associated with your content. When a user makes a search with a keyword tag that you have mentioned in your description, your page ranks higher, highlighting that particular keyword too. Your description must be expressive but not lengthy. A unique description consisting of up to 156 characters is recommended. If you don’t provide a tailor made meta description, SERP will display content from your web page in its place.
Your URL should reflect the category hierarchy of the given website and must be user-friendly. Also, short URLs perform better in search engine rankings. Add targeted keywords in your URL. You can see the URL structure for this post, “https://freelancingjack.com/glossary-on-page-seo-factors-part-i”. I have included the most relevant keywords which is user-friendly. URL structure is important because it helps search engines to understand relative importance and adds relevancy factor.
It is very important that you add relevant keywords throughout the content. By doing this, you tell search engine clearly what your content is about. However, an excess of everything is bad. Excess use of keyword can ban your site from being displayed on the search engine. Try to keep up your keyword density within 1-3% – only in extreme cases think of doing upto 5%. To avoid overuse of relevant keywords, you can add more semantic and LSI keywords. The search engine will still consider them with respect to your content based on site. Adding synonyms can solve your problems. Besides, don’t make 5% keyword density a thumb rule for your content. Use keywords as naturally and deliberately as possible. Irrelevant and overdoing keyword usage are considered a poor piece of web copywriting and can draw a penalty for your website.
Internal Linking Structure
Adding links internally within your site not only helps your readers in navigation but also ensures that your site gets properly crawled. This allows search engines find all your pages. In fact, it helps to increase the relevancy of the page to relevant keywords and phrases which increase website’s PageRank. Just like I, being a blogger, add internal links in the main body of the posts which helps users to navigate easily and increase the reader’s time on site.
Neglecting images can be a blunder. Images do add value in your search engine ranking. Treat them just the way you treat page titles, meta tags etc. You have two options in terms of using images. Either, use original images or give due credit to the source when you use images of others from the internet. Let the search engines know what your image is about by adding Alt Tag to describe the image. If your web page consists of a lot of images, then use CDN (Content Delivery Network) service that will make your page load faster.
Working on any standout factor(s) will not help you with improving your search engine rankings. All these factors are interrelated and performing these steps together can make a difference. It pays to spend some time to improve your traffic. All the best!
The second part of this article consisting of few more on-page SEO techniques is impending and is a better read in conjunction with this piece. Though, you can share your thoughts on this piece in the comments.