On-Page SEO Elements: Ranking Factors

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The process of modifying a website’s page content, tags, and internal links to maximise traffic and search visibility is known as on-page SEO, sometimes known as on-site SEO. In other words, it’s a technique for improving the understanding of your website by search engines.

On-page SEO factors 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 authoritative backlinks, are essential to your rankings.

Defining Purpose

Typically, your goal as a business owner would be to have your potential customers come to your website to convert, or learn more about the products and services that you have to offer. To do this, they need to know what the page is about! To define the purpose of your page start by creating strong and enticing title tags and meta descriptions. These are what your potential customers are likely to see first, influence whether or not they choose to navigate to your page, so meta tags and descriptions should be clear and concise as to clearly convey the purpose of your page and the information that readers can expect to find there.
Within the main body of your content, and any image alt tags if necessary,  provide any relative information and work to answer any questions that your readers may have. Ensure that the user leaves your site knowing what the purpose of your article/landing page was, and hopefully they will 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, which 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, so aim to write content about topics that have only briefly been discussed, and add extra value with new information and rich media. Writing in depth content about a specific topic that is unique is considered good practice, as Google’s 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

Title tags and meta descriptions have two crucial advantages: They aid Google in understanding the purpose of your website, and more importantly, they have a significant impact on your CTRs.
Better meta descriptions help searchers to grasp the content of your website, which encourages more clickthrough. They can act as a useful tool that shouldn’t be easily disregarded.

Defining the contents and purpose of your page can be beneficial to both search engines and users alike, so it is best practice to ensure that your company works to properly optimise your meta descriptions for SEO.

Friendly Navigation/URL Structure

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

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

https://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 page’s link back to their categories and subcategories 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

The language you use on your website is the simplest approach to let Google know that the information there responds to a user’s query.

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 main body of your page, so it reads naturally.

Ensure that it doesn’t sound like you are overusing 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.
Content that is seen to include relevant keywords are more likely to be pertinent to the search, so ensure that you are choosing the right keywords for your content and SEO strategy as a whole.

To put it briefly, you must be aware of the search phrases used by your intended audience when creating content. Always do your homework to ensure you don’t miss any opportunities.

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