Search engine optimization (SEO) has grown to be one of the most dynamic and effective practices in enhancing web visibility and brand credibility. Because of this, lots of people have been attracted to the discipline some of whom utilize unethical practices to force their sites and those of their clients to rank highly despite having shallow content and substandard link authority.
If you want to succeed in 2016, the best approach to take is to concentrate on white hat on page SEO. This is because on page optimization caters for approximately 30% of your overall SEO practice. This article discusses the key on page optimization tips to help you boost your onsite optimization efforts and give you real results. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced SEO specialist, this content will certainly pick you up from the level in which you are to a higher level of success, visibility and credibility.
Understanding On-Page Optimization
In simple terms, on page optimization refers to the practice of tweaking, introducing and reorganizing the elements visible to you on your website or webpage so as to align your site with the webmaster guidelines for a higher ranking. The bedrock of on page optimization is the source code because that is where all the elements you are targeting are found. To check out your source code, you can use the keyboard shortcut CTRL+U and then CTRL+F to find the exact element. In order to understand each element and term in detail, read along.
This is a HTML tag inserted in the head tag. The title tag is where your keywords must be put. When correctly inserted bearing in mind the density, the keywords play an important role in search engine ranking. A good title should have a maximum of 60 characters and your selected keywords should appear at the beginning of the title tag. The title should relate to the rest of the content on your page and preferably written in small letters.
This describes briefly what the page is all about and forms a critical ranking factor. Just like the title tag, Meta description should also include the keywords in an organized and non-stuffed manner. The Meta description should be compelling because it appears in the search results and it determines whether your site visitor will click on it to visit your site or simply bounce off. You can include the location of your business, the brand name, telephone contacts, a call to action and what you do.
In HTML, the heading tags range from H1 to H6 and can easily be found in the source code. Your heading tags should be as descriptive as possible and incorporate relevant keywords. Heading tags should ideally not exceed 6 words.
Images are part of your content and must be incorporated optimally to give your site a visual appeal as well as complement your text. Since Google and other search engine bots do not understand images but only text, image optimization must be deliberately done so as to improve your site ranking. The key areas in image optimization are image URL, image title, image ALT text and image description. Some extra things to bear in mind include changing of the file name, changing of image format where necessary, and image compression so as to cut on the page loading time.
Site Loading Speed
The speed with which your site loads is important as a ranking signal and at the same time makes it convenient for your site visitors. A page or site that loads slowly irritates your visitors and makes some of them abandon your page before they opt in. This leads to higher bounce rates which is a negative search engine ranking factor. To check on the loading speed of your website, use Google’s PageSpeed Insights.
Although not as effective as inbound links, outbound links is a white hat on page SEO technique that gives your content relevance by linking to related pages and topics. To Google spiders, this paints the picture of quality information and reader convenience making your site rank highly.
XML (EXtensible Markup Language) Sitemap
A sitemap helps the search engine crawler to know beforehand the number of pages in your website and how they are arranged. When you simply type www.yourdomain.com/sitemap.xml, you can tell whether your website has a sitemap. If a 404 error shows up, it means your site doesn’t have a sitemap and hence you need to create it. There are lots of sitemap generators online such as XML-Sitemaps.
To optimize your content, you need to strategically include your keywords without stuffing them. The first keyword should appear in the first paragraph preferably in the first 50 to 100 words. Your page length needs to be 450 words and above because shorter content can send negative signals about its authority and credibility. The content should be compelling as well as unique because all these end up being factored again in user experience as part of ranking.
Social Media Buttons
The relationship between your website and social media is more or less like a spoke and hub network. Your social media networks (the spokes) are responsible for bringing traffic to your website, the hub. Ensure you have accounts with the top social media platforms which include Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter and LinkedIn. Ensure those buttons are on your website and visible. Social media icons help search engine robots to make a direct connection with your social media pages and also help your visitors enjoy an enhanced user experience.
This markup is a code which you place on your website to help search engines display more informative results for your users when they search for your business such as your business name, address, opening and closing hours as well as telephone contacts. The schema markup also ensures the information is correctly displayed on the results pages. The good thing about a schema markup is that it enables your website to rank better for all content types including book reviews, articles, movies, events, restaurants, products as well as TV episodes and their ratings.
Website Structure and Internal Linking
All your web pages must be structured hierarchically starting from the homepage and cascading to the last page. This allows for search engine spiders to move swiftly and for your site visitors to browse in an orderly way. Linking one page to another can create bridges for search engine bots thus making your site navigable and your content within reach. When placed within your article posts, internal links can help redirect your readers to other relevant and related content on your website.
These white hat on-page SEO tips and techniques can be effective in ranking your website. If you carefully follow all or most of them you will be the ultimate beneficiary because your website will come up on search engine results giving you the visibility and credibility to attract more traffic and convert.