Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, typically comprises two distinct and different strategies…optimization of the website itself , known as “on page” optimization, and boosting the authority of the website in the eyes of the search engines, known as “off page” optimization.
Though both SEO activities should be utilized for greatest impact, you should focus on your on page optimization before starting any off page optimization.
In this article, I’ll go over some areas that can be optimized on your website to increase its ability to attain better rankings. Before I start, however, you need to be aware that most pages of your website need to be SEO’d. This will not be a problem for many websites but if your site has dozens of pages, the work and time required can be considerable.
Here are 4 factors that impact your website’s SEO:
The title tag is the main text describing a web page. As such, it is one of the most important elements of On Page SEO. It mostly shows up in three places:
1) The top of browsers and page tabs.
2) The web page title on search engine results pages.
3) As link anchor text on external websites, such as social media sites.
In most cases, your page title tag should be relatively short (no more than 70 characters), accurately describe the page’s content and include two or three keywords you are optimizing the page for.
Meta Page Description
A meta description provides a short summary of a web page’s content for use in search engine results. As of September 2009, Google does not factor a page’s meta description in it’s ranking algorithms. So why are they important?
Users searching for specific content will be more apt to click on a search result with a compelling description that incorporates relevent keywords.
Therefore, your meta description should read well and at least include your primary keyword. If your description provides a benefit or elicits interest in the user, you will enhance your click-thru rate. Google will truncate or shorten any description over 156 characters (including spaces) so it’s best to use that as your optimum length.
On Page Content
The on page content should include the keyword phrases you are targeting and be unique to your website whenever possible. For search engine optimization,”keyword density” can be a factor (good or bad) in determining if a web page is relevant to a specific keyword or keyword phrase search. I would use no more than 5 keywords per 500 words of content. Too many is worse than not enough. The main thing is to make sure your content flows naturally and is of good quality.
Though you may be surprised that “website design” is included on our list, it can have a profound affect on SEO in numerous ways:
- Keep visitors on your site as long as possible, with a well organized and professional look.
- Coding should be as “clean” and validate with “W3C standards” whenever possible.
- Media, such as images, and coding should be optimized to maximize site speed. A fast site is good for both SEO and human visitors…no one likes to wait for pages to load.
This has been just a small sampling of factors that affect your website’s SEO. If you address the topics contained in this article, you’ll be on your way to well-optimized pages. With a strong On Page SEO framework, you’ll find your off page optimization efforts yielding better and faster results.