On Page SEO Elements: Ranking Factors

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On page SEO elements are changes you can make to your website that may positively or negatively affect your search engine rankings. In the past, webmasters focused solely on gaining backlinks to their site to improve their rankings and manipulate search engines. As Google’s ranking signals have improved over the last few years, proving that few quality backlinks are more effective than a large quantity of low quality backlinks, it is now apparent that on page changes plus high quality authoritive backlinks are essential to your rankings.

Defining Purpose

You want users to come to your website and convert, to do this they need to know what the page is about! Define what the page will contain in your title tag, meta description, image alt text and within the body of your text. Ensure that the user leaves your site knowing what the purpose of your article/landing page was and hopefully that they have converted.

Site Content

High quality content is essential to your search engine rankings because that’s what the user is looking for! A user searches for a product, service or a question and your page content should provide the answer. If you have a vast amount of knowledge on your industry that could be useful to potential customers, this could give you an edge over your competitors, as you will be viewed as a trusted source. Similarly to news broadcasts, that bring you the latest news as it happens, your site content is only high quality if people are searching for it and engaging with it. There is so much information on the Internet as it is, write content about topics that have only briefly been discussed and add extra value to it with new information and rich media. Writing in depth content about a specific topic that is unique is considered good by Google as their aim is for the user to find the answer to their question in the least amount of clicks as possible.

No matter how good your content is, if it can’t be shared then it won’t be successful. Adding social sharing icons to every landing page and blog post of your site enables users to share content to their social channels, potentially driving traffic to your site from their followers. Avoid creating content such as slide shows and member-only content as these cannot be shared, seen and will not affect your rankings.

Meta Data

Defining what your page is about can help search engines and users alike, find out more about optimising your title tags and meta descriptions.

Friendly Navigation/URL Structure

Although external linking is an important part of SEO, internal linking is just as important. Defining a clear architecture is ideal to help categorise your pages and content, clean URLs also help people understand what your page is about in the SERPS as well as when they are browsing your website. This also helps Google understand the context of the page, for example:

http://www.weareinfront.com/services/seo – This URL structure tells Google that the page is about SEO services that we offer as it is categorised under our ‘Services’ category, rather than just ‘/SEO’ which could be an article or other media content.

http://www.weareinfront.com/category/a464ggs – This URL provides no additional information to Google or users as you are unable to identify what the page is about before clicking on it which adds no additional value.

Each page of your website should be easily accessible and linked to other relevant content pieces and categories. When defining your website navigation structure, ensure that all pages link back to their categories and sub categories accordingly. Linking back to your homepage on every page can be easily done by adding a link on the logo on every page in the header.

Optimise with Keywords

Each page of your site should be unique and discuss a topic in depth so the keywords you are targeting should be similar or variants of the same keywords. It is natural that you should use these keywords within the body text of your page so it reads naturally. Ensure that it doesn’t sound like you are over using key terms to manipulate rankings as this could lead to penalties and other negative effects from Google. Your keyword targets for that page should also be within the title tag and your page URL and in the text of the page as discussed above.

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