Feb
28
2014

Important On-Page SEO Ranking Factors

There are various important on-page factors that can considerably affect a websites search engine rankings. There are still many online businesses that still today get this badly wrong and/or ignore certain factors that would otherwise give their website the opportunity to surge up the search engine.

Important SEO factors include:

On-site Content

The importance of the content on a page is often underestimated, but is one of the key components; without content it makes it nigh on impossible for search engines to determine the relevance of that page for the end user.

What’s more is that websites mainly using images will find it very difficult to climb up the rankings; search engines are not able to read images, just that they are visible on the site. Therefore, it is very important to create good, relevant content for not only search engines, but users too.

What is good content? Well, all good on-page content has two key attributes; content must supply a demand from users and must be linkable. In other words, the content must be useful to the end user and links within text must go to the relevant product page for example. Also, it’s always a good idea to link relevant words to outbound websites.

Remember never to keyword stuff; it’s black-hat and will get a site penalized and at the very least stop a website improve upon rankings.

Do not write keywords at the bottom or anywhere on a page in white in order to try and fool the crawlers of the site; a big no, no.

Most importantly, never copy text or content from anywhere on the Internet and put it onto a website. If you do, search engines will soon wipe you off the face of the earth; write it from scratch.

Title Tags

Page title tags are arguably the second most important SEO Factor to take into consideration and again, many page titles are poorly optimised, often missing out the keyword phrase that they are targeting within the title itself. However, just because the keyword phrase is put into the title of a page, this does not automatically mean that the title has been optimised properly.

A couple of basic rules where optimising the page title is concerned, are as follows:

  • Try to stick within 70 characters
  • Title must be relevant in terms of describing the on-page content
  • Keep keywords to the beginning of page title
  • Use Piping | like so between phrases and keep them punchy

Follow the above and the website should have a well optimised page title.

Headers

Headers should be used when optimising a page and have become one of the key SEO factors. Headers are important for the structure of the site and search engines will reward any site that ‘helps the user’ to navigate around the site and to make content clear.

Always use only 1 header and again think of it little like a page title; make sure to get the keyword phrase in the H1, this is important. Also, don’t make a H1 too long – aim for six/seven words maximum.

Make sure to include at least one H2 and one H3, if possible a H4. Do not use more than 4 H2’s on one page, but you can use up to 6 H3’s.

Website URL

The website URL address is relatively important; it certainly helps businesses to have the keywords in their URL address. This is because search engines will see the pages more relevant to the user that is searching specific terms as opposed to a website that doesn’t have the keyword that they are looking to optimise for.

It is very difficult to find a URL with a specific keyword that is very popular among internet users. For example a web design agency would almost do anything for a URL that is just www.web-design.co.uk due to the number of people searching this term and the relevance the URL would bring.

Alt Tags & Titles

Not providing alt tag titles on text links and descriptions of images will not do a website any favours in terms of ranking. Put it this way, search engines such as, Google rank sites higher if they are more user friendly and alt tags on text links and images are an aid to those with disabilities. Meaning it’s definitely a good idea to include alt tags if you haven’t already done so.

Meta Descriptions

Try not to make Meta descriptions too long. Far too often, websites will have a Meta description with just keywords. This does not describe the page; Meta descriptions help search engines to understand what is on the page, so describe what is on the page.

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Lisa P, the author of this article has worked in the search engine marketing industry for several years and has invaluable experience and knowledge of white-hat SEO techniques and how to implement them correctly.

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