Glossary: On-page SEO Factors – Part II

As I said in my previous post, SEO is not a one day process – be it on-page SEO or off-page. There are certainly many factors behind ranking your website higher in SERP. Also, optimizing any single factor will not let you climb the search engine ladder, although it may affect your ranking for good or worse.

Keeping focus on few advanced on-page SEO factors, I have created this checklist to help you optimize your website for better rankings. Read on…

XML Sitemap

xml-sitemap
XML Sitemap generated by SEO Yoast

It says a bit of Extensible Markup Language. Sitemap serves as a way of directly contacting with search engines. When it comes to increasing your site rank, sitemaps can be a good partner to help. Basically, it is a standard machine-readable format gobble up by search engines and other data-crunching programs. Having a sitemap is just like rolling a carpet for search engines and providing them the roadmap of the preferred routes through the site. It’s the way you tell the search engine that which URL has to be indexed and which has not to be.

If you have a website on WordPress, then you can opt for Google XML Sitemap plugin.

H1 Tags

Certainly, meta tags and title tags are different from H1 tags. H1 is the Heading 1 on your web page. To improve your ranking on the search engine it is important that you put the focus keyword in the H1 tag as well just like you put in title tag and meta tag. You can use your content’s focus keyword in the H1 tags for 1-2 times, but overdoing it isn’t recommended.

Click here to read Part-I of this on-page SEO guide.

Canonical Errors

When your website gets open in both versions, www and without www, it means there is a canonical error in your site. It arises when your website can be accessed by search engines from several different URLs. This means that the search engine can index your site under different URLs which can lead your site to look like a site having duplicate content.

For example, I have a website https://freelancingjack.com then the index page can be accessed from all of the following URLs:

http://www.freelancingjack.com

http://www.freelancingjack.com/index.html

https://freelancingjack.com

https://freelancingjack.com/index.html

However, when you define canonical tag, search engines treat all URL versions to be the one instructed in tag as original version, which should look like the below code:

Canonical Tag
Canonical Tag

Robot.txt

To let Google and other search engines crawl and index your site properly, you need to generate effective Robot.txt files. It is basically a text file that webmasters create to instruct search engines how to crawl pages on their website. It is part of Robot Exclusion Protocol (REP). There are pages like contact us, which are of low value in terms of information to search engine, but is a high value element for your website or business. For such web pages write a robots.txt file for instructing particular search engine(s) to exclude crawling of those pages.

Robots.txt
Basic Robots.txt format

It’s important to update your Robots.txt file when you add pages, files, directories etc to your site that you don’t wish to be indexed by the search engines and will not show to web users. This will ensure the security of your site and the best possible results with your search engine optimization.

Page segmentation

Each web page of your site consists of different parts like header, footer, sidebar and more. Surprisingly, these parts do matter in ranking your site on search engine. Different parts of the web page have different priority factor in ranking. Like, content in the main body contains more importance than in sidebars and footer. Page segmentation is critically more important when it comes to mobile devices, which often hides some portions of the page. Search engines want to show the most relevant and important information to users which generally lie in the main body text of the page.

Page Speed

It is the measure of describing how much time a particular page in your site takes to display the full content or technically, it says how long your browser takes to receive the first byte of information from the web browser. A fast page speed always results in better optimization with search engines and also for user experience. It has been observed that pages with slow load speed have higher bounce rates and lower average time affecting your ranking enormously.

Mobile Optimization

Mobile being the mini laptop these days, has more to do with your readers. You need to ensure that your visitors have an experience of the optimized device while accessing your site from mobile. Every year usage of mobile phone is increasing but website owners often neglect having a responsive website, which is optimized for mobile phones. Non-responsive website will simply annoy readers and result in losing them. Mobile optimization includes site design, site structure, site speed and more. Make sure you do not lose mobile customers due to lack of mobile optimized website. You can use Google Mobile-Friendly Test tool to test if your site is mobile-friendly or not.

Enable Social Sharing

Minor yet another important factor for making your website more user friendly. I remember, Matt Cutts – former head of web spam team at Google – in one of his videos clearly said that social media signal are not considered in Google’s ranking algorithm. However, if you have social media plugin or widget on your website, it is easier for readers to connect with your business on social media platforms.

So, as you are well informed of advanced on-page SEO factors, how long will it take you to implement these changes. I don’t think much. And, if you already have implemented these steps, “Well done. You are very nearer to success.” Share your experience with us.

Raghabendra is going and flowing steadily with his new ventures. He is the mastermind behind Freelancing Jack. He also is heading a team of SEO professionals and content writers. He has put priced value on his name and that helps him pull out great results in his projects.