On Page Optimization
On-page optimization is all factors, which you can control on your web page, for it to rank well in the search engines.
What are the on page factors that help a web page to rank?
- The Meta title tag should contain the main key word or phrase that the page is targeting. Google will only show around 60 characters, so it is important to use the meta title tag intelligently.
- The Meta description tag is not a ranking factor, but an engaging description of the page will encourage browsers to click through to the page. Google allows around 160 characters in the description tag. Google will apply a description tag from the page’s contents if it is left empty.
- The keyword, which you want to rank for, should be included in the URL.
- H1-H6 heading tags should be used to highlight relevant headings. They should be used in a hierarchical way so that H1 denotes the most important and H6, the least important.
- The content. The content is probably the most important SEO ranking factor. You need to have at least 500 words in an article about a particular subject, to rank for that topic. The article should be informative, structured and useful to users. Good content supplies a demand; it is why the user has come to your page. Good content is also linkable, which means that people can link to it easily.
- Latent semantic index or LSI is the process which Google uses to rate an article by the number of related phrases or synonyms to the keyword, that is in the article. Google expects an article, about an individual subject to reference related topics and links out to informative articles on the subject.
- Use of images and video to enhance the reading material.
- Image titles and alt tags. The title of the picture used in an article should be keyword rich, and the image should have a different keyword rich alt tag. This is important as search engines use the title and alt tag of a picture to determine what the image portrays.
- The structure of the website; each web page should link to inner pages on the site with a related subject material. Many web designers use a silo structure to direct the ‘link juice’ to the site. This layout will help each page to rank for the targeted keywords.
- Each page of content should be easy for a reader to share on social media. I would suggest that share buttons (FaceBook, Twitter and Google+) be placed on the side or at the bottom of each page or post.
- Site speed is a ranking factor so you should use clean code limit some plug-ins and optimise all pictures so that the site loads quickly. You should for around two seconds load time or less.
- Mobile friendly site. Having a mobile friendly site is a ranking factor in Google. The best way to do this is to have a responsive site. Responsiveness that your contents will be resized and stacked to show up well matter what size the user’s screen is.
Things that may get your page penalised on Google
- Keyword Stuffing.
- Duplicate Content.
- Non-unique title tags.
- Over using H1 tags.
- Hidden content.
- Sitewide links.
As the on page factors are entirely under the control of the website owner, they are essential to get the website to rank well on Google and the other search engines. On-page optimisation should be the first step in any SEO project.
Are you worried because your site is not doing well on the Google search results? Perhaps it is something to do with the structure and content of your web pages. Maybe you are being penalised by Google. The only way to figure out why your website is not getting traffic is by having a comprehensive SEO audit done on your site.
The goal of an SEO audit is to detect the weak points of your marketing campaign, which affect the web performance. The SEO review usually comprises of a health check, an on-site diagnosis, links analysis, competitor analysis and social sharing.
The health check looks at the overall health of the website. This process includes looking for red flags such as a sudden decrease in traffic or an increased bounce rate. I would then check for possible Google penalties, such as Penguin, Panda or manual penalties.
Your site may also be the victim of negative SEO. This activity is where a competitor they have used someone to send spammy links to your site, with the purpose of bringing your site down in the search results. Your site may not have a health problem, but possibly, the content and structure of the website may not be conducive to rank well.
The on-site audit looks at the meta titles and descriptions, heading tags, the content, the code, the images, the structure and the overall speed of the site. If the audit the problem here, it is quite easy to fix this. Each page of your website, which you want to rank, should be optimised for one or two keywords and have over 500 words of content about this topic. The more words that a web page has, the easier it is for Google to understand, what the web page is detailing.
Next, we will look at the link profile coming to the website.
The link analysis audit searches for all the backlinks pointing to the site. It looks at the strengths of the domains and pages that these links originate. Authoritative links are from sites which are also relevant to your niche. This process also roots out links from bad neighbourhoods and spammy links. I would then disavow these links, which means asking Google, not to count them anymore. This task will ensure a nice, clean links profile, which is what Google likes to see.
By comparing the links profile to that of your competitors, you can know what they are doing differently to you.
Competitor analysis is that at the websites that rank ahead of you, and more specifically, in the top three positions, of Google. Once we identify your competitors, we can then analyse these sites. We can see who is linking to them, and see if we can get some of these authoritative and relevant sites to also link to your site. This method is used to outrank your competitors and obtain one of the top three spots in the Google search results.
The next step is to examine how the website is doing on social networks.
Social network shares have become a ranking factor on Google and other search engines. If viewers share your content on Facebook, Twitter, Google plus and other social networks, then Google sees this as the positive sign, that you are content is accessible and worth sharing.
Order ranking factors to consider such as site speed, mobile enabled and redirected issues.
An SEO audit will identify the reasons why your website will not outrank other sites which are targeting the same keywords. It will show you some quick fixes, which you will be able to do yourself. It will also inform you of problems with your website, which you will need an SEO professional to help.