The Practice of Optimizing Individual Web Pages
On-page optimization (AKA on-page SEO) refers to all the actions that can be taken within the configuration, design and content of a website as to best allow search engines to understand and interpret the value of that content for the aim of most satisfactorily addressing user search intent.
The primary on-page optimization elements I focus on are:
- URL structure
- Title tag structure
- Meta description tag
- H1 tag
- Page load speed
- Image Optimization
- Link Structure
URLs are the building blocks of an effective site hierarchy, passing equity through your domain and directing users to their desired destinations. The best practice is to keep URL structures short sweet and friendly. Unfriendly URL’s very often are dynamically created and appear similar to this type of format https://domain.com/cat/?cid=7078. Friendly URL’s will contain keywords that help assist searchers and search engines to better identify the content of a page.
URL structures can sound very technical, hence I speak more to this on my Services Technical SEO page.
Title Tag Structure:
Title tags are usually 50-60 characters in length, they are displayed on search engine results pages (SERPs) as the clickable headline for a given result. The title tag of a web page is meant to be an accurate and concise description of a page’s content. Title tags are used in three key places: (1) search engine results pages (SERPs), (2) web browsers, and (3) social networks. Every page should contain a unique title description.
Meta Description Tag:
Although the meta description tag is not considered as a ranking signal, it is still a very important on-page element. Meta descriptions appear as snippets along with the title description on search engine results pages (SERPs). A well written meta description in the range of 160 characters will entice click through traffic to a website.
The header tag, or the H1 tag acts as the main title or primary emphasized text for a block of content. Search engines interpret this tag as an important relevancy indicator and as such consider this as a valuable ranking signal.
Page loading speed:
Google has indicated site speed (and as a result, page speed) is one of the signals used by its algorithm to rank pages. Slow page speed means that search engines can crawl fewer pages using their allocated crawl budget, and this could negatively affect your indexation. Page speed is also important to user experience. Pages with a longer load time tend to have higher bounce rates and lower average time on page. Longer load times have also been shown to negatively affect conversions.
Page speed can sound very technical, hence I speak more to this on my Services Technical SEO page.
Term frequency–inverse document frequency is a numerical statistic that is intended to reflect how important a word is to a document. The more often that word appears on a page, the more likely it is that the page is about that word. Google and other search engines likely use LSI (Latent Symantec Indexing) and other calculations to determine this statistic and in turn compile it within their ranking criteria.
Images make webpages more appealing and help users to understand a page. The following image optimization techniques are applied to assist search engines with understanding an image.
- Descriptive keyword-rich file names
- Alternate text tags
Descriptive keyword-rich file names help alter search engines as to the subject matter of the image.
Alt tags are a text alternative to images when a browser can’t properly render them. Similar to the title, the alt attribute is used to describe the contents of an image file.
Captions are beneficial because not all images are understood right away, and the function adds context for the image to provide more context for the search engines to understand (aside from your alt text).
Following these tips should increase interaction and engagement with images, reduce page load speed, improve findability in image search results, and strengthen keyword performance.
Internal links connect your content and give search engines an idea of the structure of a website. Internal links are most useful for establishing site architecture and spreading link equity.
These type of links are useful for three reasons:
- They allow users to navigate a website.
- They help establish information hierarchy for the given website.
- They help spread link equity (ranking power) around websites.
Links Structures should be constantly reviewed to ensue they:
- Are still active – do not 404, do not rely on a 301 redirect.
- Are still relevant – have current pricing, product features, service list, etc.
- Are still the most useful page on the site – have you since created a better more useful page?
External Link Structures are addressed on my Services Link Building page.
I am happy to schedule a free consultation to help you determine your SEO approach today.