6 Things That Will Help Boost Your On-Page SEO Potential
On-Page SEO has always been a heavily misconstrued area. In many instances it’s due to lack of full understanding in the nuances of this critical area. Seasoned SEO veterans may even go as far as stating that On-Page SEO represents a huge chunk of the SEO pie. Meaning that a good portion of your SEO success may rely upon On-Page optimization. I wholeheartedly agree with that mentality as well.
Google is a contextual-driven search engine that takes into strong consideration the value of content. Good content equates to higher traffic opportunities. Google dominates the search market with nearly 70% of share, as compared to 27% by Bing and approximately 3% by Yahoo. You catch my drift on this one. Search is the #1 channel that consumers will turn to on any device – especially mobile. Great On-Page SEO boosts inbound traffic potential and business opportunities.
Understanding On-Page SEO Methodology
SEO in essence, is all about user satisfaction. Ultimately, you seek to provide each user with the best information at the right time on specific queries they perform on the search engine of their choice. Hence why you may have heard the saying “Focus on user first and search engine second.”
On-Page SEO pertains to the method(s) of optimizing an individual web page so that it acquires higher rankings in SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) and ultimately help generate more qualified inbound traffic. That is quite the broad statement though. One that is very commonly misunderstood by many SEOs, digital marketing professionals, and even brands.
Some of the key On-Page SEO elements that you should focus on strongly include, but are not limited to the following:
- Meta Data.
- Anchor text & internal link matrix.
- UX & UI. Especially on mobile devices.
- Keyword targeting and keyword density.
- HTML markup.
- URL structure and cleanliness.
Optimizing for On-Page SEO in 2016 can be quite a vast initiative. Especially if your SEO campaign struggles with the lack of adequate resources to help you implement and execute. Although if you would like to get the most out of your On-Page SEO, generate higher traffic potential, amplify your brand’s visibility and generate stronger interest to buy, then consider these top areas of focus.
The following areas outlines are not in any particular order of priority. Focus on implementing each and consider them equally important.
#1 Speed and Performance
There is nothing more frustrating than waiting for a website or page to load. Certainly you have experienced such scenario a few times. You know, that one page that takes forever to load and perhaps eventually times out. Ugh! Consumers literally have no patience for such debacles. The average attention span of a desktop user is about 10 seconds. For a mobile user it’s about 5 seconds. That’s shorter than a blowfish. Dig into your Google Analytics deeper next time and you will see what I mean.
When it comes to On-Page SEO optimization, always focus on the end user first. As a general rule of thumb, every web page of your website should load in 3 seconds or less. Regardless of what device the end user is attempting to view that your web page from. Speed as part of On-Page SEO is in fact nothing new. Google announced speed as ranking factor back in April 2010. Fast forward 6 years later into 2016, and there are still an enormous amount of websites which are not adhering to this guideline. If you have an e-commerce website, then speed is even more important. For every additional second beyond the 3 second rule that it takes to load a web page, your brand might be losing revenue – in the tens or even tens of thousands of dollars.
How can you improve speed and website performance?
- Enough RAM in your hosting account to ensure fast delivery of web pages.
- CDN (Content Delivery Network). Especially if you have a an e-commerce site. It assists with faster loading of page content and images.
- Responsive design. Cross-platform and cross-browser compliance can be key to speed and overall performance.
- Image compression. All images on your website should be compressed for faster loading.
- Reliable website hosting company. Uptime is key to speed.
#2 Phenomenal Content'If content is king, than context is God.' @garyveeClick To Tweet
Truth be told, content plays a huge role in SEO. Especially in On-Page optimization. So much that a huge portion of success in On-page SEO may be reliant upon great content and storytelling. You see, Google primarily focuses on the contextual value of each individual website page. So much so, that back in 2014, they launched the Hummingbird algorithm. In essence it was a revamp of Google’s existing search algorithm. One that focuses heavily upon contextual value of web pages and an emphasis on semantics.
All web users search the web with intent.
- Intent to compare.
- Intent to purchase.
- Intent to browse.
- Intent to research.
Content stands in the epicenter of search and user intent. Regardless of what industry or vertical you operate in, it’s imperative to produce good content. Your website content should focus on your visitors intent. The dynamic and static content on your website should address potential customers needs. As consumers, we browse the web for two particular things that we have constantly on our minds.
These are essential human elements. We have needs and wants. Needs are things that we absolutely require. Wants are typically leisure things that we want to acquire. With great content and storytelling, you can capture the interest of your potential customers. In doing so through On-Page SEO endeavors, your brand can increase its potential for driving higher volumes of inbound traffic.
#3 Great UX & UI Elements
Today’s consumer seeks an eloquent web experience – one that is comprised of succinct combination in User Experience (UX) and User Interaction (UI). You may have already heard about UX & UI importance in On-Page SEO optimization though. In order to maximize potential in this area, you will want to consult with a UX specialist or even a designer. A person of artistic and creative nature who can help infuse some strategic direction. I am referring to the design aspect of things.
Although, from a general SEO perspective, there are definitely quite a few things that you can also do yourself. Naturally, keep in mind logic and clear user perception in the eyes of your website visitors. With that being said, these areas of UX/UI can definitely impact your On-Page SEO.
- Responsive design for desktop, mobile, and possibly tablet usage.
- Refined mobile experience. Having a responsive website is merely the first step to a cohesive mobile experience. Remember, the end user is absorbing information on a much smaller screen. Not all elements from the desktop environment are applicable.
- Good typography. Readability plays a factorial role in On-Page SEO. It helps ensure that your visitors can actually consume your content easily.
- Flat design. This one I won’t go into much detail. You can certainly Google it to research further. Although, I can tell you that simple does not mean bland. Less is more.
- Clear navigation for all devices. If your visitors can not locate key areas of your website than you are missing out on potential opportunities.
The above mentioned are a few areas I would put forth strong attention to detail. In general, anything that can help improve an individual web page experience can fall under the UX/UI bucket. Think logically and in a natural sense of how your website visitors would want to engage with your brand. Emulate that in UX/UI and factor in cross-device performance.
#4 Focus on User Intent
In terms of On-Page SEO, everything should be focused on the user’s intent. If you do not know what your user’s intent is, then you had better figure it out quickly. Especially if you are an established brand or a Fortune company. Every brand should have an understanding of their customer base. What do they like? How do they think? What entices them? In layman’s terms ,cater each element of an individual page on your site to your customer base.
Having your buyer personas identified can be extremely beneficial in this endeavor. As a matter of fact, it should be a top priority for your brand. And that’s just really it for this particular endeavor. Focus on what your visitors/potential customers want. Give them that in On-Page SEO through specific elements and interaction points, so they can easily find the information they are looking for.
#5 Steer Clear of Misconception
The vast majority of websites on the internet today are greatly misconstrued. Even some of the so-called “fancy” or “well-optimized” ones. Establishing clarity in whatever product or service you offer can in fact be quite difficult to accomplish with your On-Page SEO. Ensuring proper interpretation of content on each individual page of your website also assists with new business potential. Here is more precisely what I am referring to that you need to pay strong attention to when optimizing individual pages.
- Title Tag – make sure it’s clear and concise. This is ultimately the hyperlink each visitor will see in a SERP and entice them to click.
- Meta Description – provide a brief explanation about whatever it is that the user can expect to discover on that page. If a product, then describe it briefly. If a service, then outline the added value proposition.
- Images – avoid stock photography if all possible. It is so heavily overused these days and also portrays a lack of creativity. Certain industries are an exception to this rule. For the most part though, focus on inclusion of your own imagery.
- URL – the web page address located in the user’s browser address bar should be easy to remember. Keep in mind that they may bookmark it or want to revisit at a later point in time. Using clean and concise URLs can assist with repetitive traffic opportunities.
- Internal/External Anchors – exercise with caution. The internal links you use to navigate users through your site should be supportive of the context in each individual page. Think of internal links as building a funnel for your potential customers. External anchors should include keywords for which you want to rank. Although the actual external urls should also point users to a relevant website.
#6 Keywords Usage
Using primary and secondary keyword terms in your page copy is absolutely a must. Remember how I mentioned above that Google in particular is a contextually-driven search engine? In other words, the keywords and phrases in your copy are of utmost importance. They will help you rank in search engines and ultimately rope in more qualified traffic for you. Keyword stuffing though, is something that I would absolutely steer away from as well. Meaning that you don’t want to cram as many keywords and phrases as possible to forcefully rank in SERPs. It’s just another method of getting banned quicker.
Search engine crawlers are a lot more intelligent these days as well. The algorithm looks for various signals, including keyword stuffing, to determine keyword usage and density. This Free Keyword Density Analyzer Tool can help you better determine how often you should use specific keywords in your content.
On-Page SEO is a critical area of optimization in your entire SEO campaign. Consider the areas outlined above as factorial the next time you optimize a website. Remember that perception is reality. The impressions of your site visitors are clearly more important rankings. Anything you do in terms of optimization should always be user-centric first and secondary for search engines.
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