On-Page Optimisation – A Complete Walkthrough to Rank on Top
Attaining nirvana or in other words grabbing a good ranking in a search engine hasn’t been a cakewalk for a lot of people. Search engines have upped their game and are getting smarter & cleverer everyday, so now it takes more than just good content to beat your competitors.
And On page optimization is one of the very first steps every Webmaster should look into. It is rightly regarded as one of the most important aspects of SEO.
What do you understand by On page optimization?
It’s simply a process in which various components of a single web page for a given keyword or a phrase starts getting noticed by the search engines. As mentioned above, On page optimization is one of the basic steps to search engine optimization.
So what do you do with this information? All that you need to do is act upon a simple checklist that will aid in bringing in more search engine traffic from every piece of content that you publish.
Making it easy for you, we are summarizing some of the most important on-page optimization techniques here. You can apply some of these if not all. This is sure to give your site a better standing where search engines are concerned as well as increase your overall CTR (Click-Through-Rate) ratio.
A no-brainer, it’s a known fact that a site’s title tag lends itself to one of the most important website optimization elements. A short but effective and descriptive title tag should be just right for your visitors to know you and your business. The first thing to be showcased and indexed is you’ve guessed it right – the title tag. So obviously, it is to given utmost importance. Out of a gazillion results that a searcher sees, your site’s title has to be interesting enough for her/him to want to find out more information. At the same time, your title also has to be appealing enough to the search engine in order to rank you above thousands of other similar websites like yours.
Important things that need to be considered while thinking of the title:
- Your Name/ Business Name / Site Name: Shakespeare does not hold good here – this is a very important aspect. If you think that your customers may look for you by your brand name, then it will also help to put it somewhere in your title.
- Keywords: These are definitely the key to success. If you want to rank for a certain set of keywords it will only help to place some of them in your title tag. A title tag symbolizes the whole feel & content of your website. So if you are selling clothes online you could consider including keywords like – fabric for the season, dresses etc in your title tag. Don’t add in too many keywords in your title. Write a title which is interesting to the users & also good for the search engine.
- You could also include your toll-free numbers: According to us your phone number in the title tag could help your visitors to get in touch and take a direct action! It also adds a professional touch to your site and makes it look legit when it’s being displayed in the SERP (Search Engine Result Page). If you do not want to include your number in the title tag, you can alternatively include it in your Meta Description, which will give you almost the same benefits.
- Meta Tags Optimization: Not the Holy Grail anymore, a site’s Meta tags may not be as important as it used to be before, however a Meta Description is something you can’t and shouldn’t ignore. A site’s Meta description should comprise of a short description of your website letting the users know of the areas and services that your business specializes in. This small piece of information can prove to be a selling snippet. And if it is interesting enough, the searcher can choose to go for more information. But remember to make the Meta Description exceptionally unique. If it is too generic and written shoddily, then there is a good chance that your site will simply not make the mark and be royally ignored.
- Keyword Optimization & Synonyms: You need to think of the readers first and then the search engine while writing the content. It needs to be optimized keeping both these factors in mind. Cramming up your site with too many keywords can make your site uninteresting and dull. So it is imperative to have a balance between your keywords & your content.
Important elements of Keyword Optimization:
- Research: A thorough research should be done before you decide on your keywords. There are many free tools available that can help you to do keyword research. Some of famous ones out there are: Google Adwords Keyword Tool, SEObook Keyword Suggestion tool & Overture Keyword Tool.
- Keyword Density: Try to keep an adequate keyword density so that it can help the search engine figure out whether your page is indeed related & appropriate for the keyword that you are targeting.
- Synonyms & Related Keywords: You could go for synonyms instead of having a high keyword density. This helps to make the content sound natural but still helps in SEO.
- Long Tail Keywords: It’s often a very good idea to focus on some long tail keywords, as they are fairly easier to rank for.
It makes perfect sense to optimize your internal & external outbound links for search engines as well as to lead your visitors down a better path.
Vital features of Link Optimization:
- Make an earnest attempt to use good Anchor Text when you are trying to link to other people. Include a fitting keyword in the Anchor Text, which lends the outbound link the right meaning and value.
- A proper Internal Link Structure with the correct usage of Anchor Text will definitely help. E.g. “Home delivery of pizzas” is a better anchor text compared to “click here”.
If you intend to use a lot of images, you need to look at optimizing them too as they can’t be read by the search engines. It might be an easy task for the user to interpret the image into its meaning. However it’s a totally new ball game for a Web crawler because the whole interpreting process is completely different in its case. So you need to add special tags to your images for them to attain some kind of meaning.
Some Important Image Optimization Elements:
- Alt text: ALT text or Alternate Text is the text that describes your image. The text should be short but meaningful. You can use your relevant keywords as ALT text.
- File name: Always remember to use meaningful file name for your images, use names like “homes-for-dogs.jpg” instead of meaningless “DSC24045.jpg”. Try to keep the image file name same or similar to the ALT text.
- Image Title: Using the title tag in images is an important aspect because it will show the title as tool tip when a user moves his mouse over the image.
- Image Linking: Whenever you wish to link to your image, use the image keywords in your link text. Example: use “view the world’s most beautiful destination”, instead of “Click here to view” as the anchor text.
These techniques are just some of the many ways that you can improve your on-page SEO. Any one used independently of the others won’t make much of a difference to your site ranking, however when used together, they can definitely help to improve your site traffic.
They will work in the direction of getting your pages to work better, they will assist in getting your entire site crawled by search engine spiders, they will help augment the value of internal pages and they will build the relevancy of internal pages to specific keyword phrases.
What does 2017 have in store for us?
The world of SEO is transforming at lightning speed. And like everyone else, you’re still thinking how you can magically materialize relevantly and organically on Google’s SERPs. Well, whether you’re doing SEO in 2017 or planning for it for any other year, it’s important to pay tribute to the components of trust.
The user’s expectations, not to mention Google’s algorithm updates, keep us marketers on our toes all the time. We are continuously making adjustments. There are 200+ factors that attribute to your rank in Google’s current algorithm. You can find out about those 200+ algorithm factors in any of the SEO books. However, on a more general note, there are some rules you should be following.
Always work towards winning Google’s trust
If you want to do exceedingly well in SEO, you need Google’s trust. This is not a newly discovered fact, it has been true for years now, but too many people overlook this guiding principle.
Old is gold
Your website’s age has more importance than its beauty. No matter how gorgeous your site looks, what Google is really looking for is link-consistency over time. How much time? We’re talking years here.
Quality over quantity
When it comes to getting noticed on the Web, one of the unwavering rules is that quality beats quantity every single time. For example, don’t worry about pushing out a certain amount of content every day; worry about pushing out good content every single week. That’s what Google cares about – quality.
Content will always rule
If the content fails to impress, so will the SERP rankings. Google aims to deliver the most relevant results in the quickest manner possible. If the content is no good, how can it be relevant?
Size really does matter
Google has been battling against something called thin content. Thin content is a bony structure without much meat. Not only is it short on length, but also it’s short on value because of it.
Keywords are mostly everything but don’t overdo it
Coming up with great SEO content in 2017 has an amazing amount of stuff to do with keywords. Google wants content made for humans. But you also need to customize the content for search engines like Google. So think well and write better!
In the current scenario, if your site doesn’t have a mobile design and it’s enormously difficult to navigate or load the content on mobile devices, you’re basically shooting yourself in the foot. Remember Google is furiously focused on mobile.
Location of your links
When it comes to SEO, just like real estate, it’s all about location, when talking about your links of course. You want people from all over the world linking to you, but you also want to ensure that relevant, high-quality content is linking to you.
Improve user engagement
Marketers have almost always conjectured user engagement as a possible ranking factor. This covers the average time on site; bounce rate, pogo sticking, and others.
This can determine the effectiveness of page elements that add to the chances of visitors committing to your call to action.
A content marketing plan that wins hands down
Since content is one of the top two Google ranking factors, it’s really important to get it right. Getting a content marketing plan that is way better than competition presents a huge opportunity for those willing to invest the time and make that happen.
Use Schema and get ahead
According to a study, only 0.3% of websites were making use of the Google-approved Schema tool. So the opportunity to use Schema as a competitive edge is amazingly huge. Schema is commonly used to create Rich Snippets for Organizations, Music, People, Events, Recipes, Review ratings as well as Videos.
The above rules will definitely aid you in dominating SEO in 2017. And even if Google makes amendments moving forward, these guidelines will still help you make great progress on those all-encompassing, ubiquitous SERPs.