Connect with us

SEO

12 Essential On-Page SEO Factors You Need To Know

Published

on

12 Essential On-Page SEO Factors You Need To Know

Did you ever play Tetris? If so, you probably remember how there was no real way to “beat” the game. It basically just got faster and faster with every level.

In some ways, search engine optimization (SEO) is the same.

Not in that it has a catchy 8-bit soundtrack or that it rewrites your dreams, but in that, it never ends.

There’s no point at which you can sit back and relax, content that your site is at the top of search engine results pages (SERPs) once and for all.

Sure, you might have reached the pinnacle today, but an SEO pro’s work is never done.

Every change to Google’s algorithm or competitor content could knock you off that top spot, which means you have to keep up with changes.

And that means your on-page SEO needs to be on point. But before we dive into that, it’s important to have a high-level overview of how Google and other search engines work.

Advertisement

Search Engine Basics

Search engines send out crawlers, or spiders, to explore the internet. They follow links from one site to another, building a map of the content called a search index.

In the process of exploring sites, these crawlers are also evaluating their content, determining what kind of information it contains.

This data is then used by the search engine’s algorithm to determine how well the content of that specific site answers queries from users.

The better it answers the query, the more highly it will be ranked on the SERP.

In Google’s never-ending quest to provide better results to users, its algorithm is updated frequently. This inevitably leads to changes in rankings, which then requires someone to optimize the website to improve or ensure rankings.

What Is On-Page SEO & Why Is It Important?

On-page SEO, which is sometimes called on-site SEO, is the process of tweaking a page’s content, tags, and internal links to improve search visibility and increase traffic.

In other words, it’s a means of optimizing your website to help search engines better understand your website.

And this, of course, comes with a whole host of benefits.

Advertisement

The first is in the amount of traffic.

The first five organic results on a search page get 67.60% of all clicks. The next five account for only 3.73%. And it drops from there. So, if you want to get traffic, you need to be near the top.

Secondly, high-ranking sites have much better click-through rates (CTR). The first Google mobile search result has an average organic CTR of 26.9%.

Now consider that 92.4% of internet users who search on their mobile phones for something nearby visit that business the same day and you can start to see the impact organic SEO can have on your bottom line. And on-page optimization is an important factor in your organic ranking.

Hopefully, by this point, you’ve grasped the importance of on-page SEO. Now it’s time to get started. Let’s dive right in…

12 Essential On-Page SEO Factors

On-page SEO can be broadly divided into three categories: content, HTML, and website architecture. We’ll look at each individually.

Content

You’ve heard it before: Content is king.

SEO without it is like a beautiful new sports car without an engine – it might look nice, but it’s going nowhere. But, not all content is not created equal.

Advertisement

Here are the content factors you need to consider to maximize your on-site SEO:

1. E-A-T

One way Google weights your site is based on E-A-T, or expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness.

In 175 pages of Google Search Quality Guidelines, it’s mentioned 135 times, which should be an indication of the role it plays in the search engine’s algorithms.

While Google has only confirmed a few elements of E-A-T (PageRank and links), it’s generally accepted in the SEO field that on-page signals play a big part in its evaluations.

See also  Why Keyword Research Is Useful for SEO & How To Rank

For a deeper dive on E-A-T, read this piece.

2. Keywords

The most basic way to tell them your website’s content answers a user’s question is in the language you use.

Advertisement

Pages that feature the keywords used in a query, whether in the body, headings, or both, are more likely to be relevant to the search.

Sometimes this is easy to determine. If you’re optimizing the website of a furniture store, you’re probably going to want to include keywords like [sofa], [dining room set], and [end table].

If it’s a specialized furniture store, you’ll want to make sure you’re including long-tail keywords like [contemporary art-deco sideboards].

In short, you need to know what your target customers are searching for and create content that includes these terms. It’s always a good idea to do research, so you’re not missing any opportunities.

Get started by downloading our ebook on keyword research.

3. SEO Writing

Creating the type of content that both prioritizes search engines and converts human visitors to your site is something of an art.

Unless you’ve done it before, it can be quite challenging to write copy that reads well and still adheres to SEO best practices.

Advertisement

We have an entire piece dedicated to helping you master the art, but some of the key takeaways include:

  • Emphasize readability: Your content should be easily scannable, so users can quickly find the information they’re looking for.
  • Don’t overuse keywords: Also known as keyword stuffing, this technique was used in the past by unscrupulous SEO professionals to game the system, Google takes a dim view of sites that overuse keywords. If you’re caught doing this, your page could be demoted in SERPs or even removed altogether.
  • Keep sentences and paragraphs brief: If you’ve ever clicked on a webpage only to be assaulted by an unbroken wall of text, you know how hard it is to read lengthy pieces of copy. Avoid driving users away by keeping your sentences and paragraphs short.
  • Use subheadings: Subheads stand out because of their size, attracting attention from people who are scanning your page. Use an ample amount in your content to guide readers down the page.
  • Use bulleted lists: This may feel very meta, but bulleted lists are a good way to break information down into easily digestible chunks. Use them whenever they make sense.

4. Visual Assets

Using images, videos, and infographics do more than making your page visually interesting to visitors. It also gives you opportunities to boost your SEO.

More than 36% of consumers use visual search when they’re doing online shopping, which means if you’re not using images, you’re missing out on traffic.

Make sure you’re optimizing your accompanying text whenever possible.

Be aware of your image file sizes to prevent slow loading. Make your images shareable to identify opportunities for backlinking, which can help boost your E-A-T.

HTML

HyperText Markup Language or HTML is the code used to structure your webpages and their content.

They tell the user’s browser what to show and where to show it. And it tells search engines what your page is all about and where they should rank you.

Here are the on-page SEO HTML factors you need to consider:

Advertisement

5. Title Tags

This is one of those areas where it’s important to focus on the details.

On its own, this snippet of code that allows you to give a webpage a title probably isn’t going to have you shooting up SERP rankings.

But in context with other on-page elements (like the ones discussed here), it can help you build context and demonstrate your site’s relevancy.

For a more thorough look at how to optimize your title tags, read this.

6. Meta Description

Right now, a veteran SEO professional is throwing up her hands at the screen. “Oh, come on,” she’s saying, “Everyone knows meta descriptions aren’t an SEO ranking factor.”

See also  A Simple (But Complete) Guide

She’s only partly right. While it’s true there is a lot of evidence against meta descriptions as a ranking factor, she’s wrong about everyone knowing that.

Advertisement

And don’t let negative Nancy here dissuade you from adding them to your site.

Despite their relative lack of use in SEO, they do offer two key benefits: They can help Google understand what your web page is all about, and more importantly, they have an outsized influence on your CTRs.

Better meta descriptions give searchers a better understanding of what your page is all about, which in turn leads to more clickthroughs. So, don’t neglect them.

7. Image Optimization

We already briefly touched on the importance of visual assets on your page, but now it’s time to look more closely at their technical aspects.

Here are some tips to help optimize yours:

  • Include SEO-friendly alt tags.
  • Choose the right format and file size for fast loading.
  • Customize file names instead of using something like IMG_08759.
  • Ensure your images are mobile-friendly.

Once again, we have an excellent resource for more in-depth information on HTML image optimization. Read it here.

8. Geotagging (For Local Search)

It may be a global economy, but most business is still done at a local level. Connect with the people in your neighborhood by optimizing your on-page local SEO.

Advertisement

While this is less important for mega-corporations like GMC or Pepsi, for small- and medium-sized businesses, this is their bread and butter.

There are three main SEO tactics to consider when focusing on local traffic:

  • Optimizing local listings and citations including name, address, and phone number (NAP), website URL, and business descriptions, using third-party apps, and getting reviews.
  • Optimizing your local content, including accommodating for “near me” searches, providing location-based content, or buying a local website or blog.
  • Optimizing and building links with other local businesses and organizations.

Be sure to include the name of your target location in your keywords and put them in your content wherever they fit.

For more information on building your own geotagging SEO strategy, read this.

Website Architecture

Having a well-structured website is important for two reasons: First, a website laid out in a logical manner will be crawled more effectively by search engines, and secondly, it will create richer user experiences.

Here are the factors to consider when optimizing your site’s architecture:

9. Site Speed

A clunky, slow-loading site does more than frustrate and drive away visitors – it actually hurts your search ranking too.

Search Engine Journal took a deep dive into the effect a page’s loading time has on SEO and confirmed page speed is a ranking factor in search results.

Advertisement

However, what minimum speed your site needs to meet is constantly changing.

It can currently be met by meeting Google’s Core Web Vitals minimum threshold. If your site isn’t currently meeting these standards, there are several steps you can take, including:

  • Enabling compression.
  • Reducing redirects.
  • Optimizing images.
  • Leveraging browser caches.

10. Responsive Design

In 2016, mobile search volume surpassed desktop for the very first time. And in the years following, that number has only grown.

Mobile now accounts for more than 56% of all internet usage, with tablets contributing another 2.4%.

Because more users are on mobile devices, Google followed the logical path and began to prioritize sites with responsive designs in mobile search rankings.

This mobile-friendly update only impacts search results performed on mobile devices, and while it’s still possible to rank in these results without responsive design, Google strongly recommends sites have a mobile version.

You can read more about the affect site responsiveness has on search results here.

11. URL Structure

Advertisement

There was a time when URLs played a large role in SEO. Professionals would make sure their keywords were included in web addresses to help them rank higher.

But Google, doing what Google does, changed the algorithm. And what was once so important to rankings, now plays a much smaller role.

See also  How to Estimate Your Chances to Rank

That’s not to say it doesn’t matter. Search engines are still including your URLs in your overall score – they just don’t hold the same prominence they once did.

However, there is evidence they play a role in a site’s initial ranking, and some professionals believe they’re used to group pages. What this means is, that while they shouldn’t be your top SEO priority, you don’t want to ignore them either.

Read more about how URLs factor into Google rankings here.

12. Links

Remember E-A-T from way back at the beginning of this article?

One of the best ways your website can establish expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness is through links from other reputable websites.

Advertisement

Think of it this way: Who would you rather trust your 401(k) to – a financial advisor who manages Warren Buffet’s portfolio or your cousin Jimmy, who lives in your aunt’s basement? Jimmy might do a fine job; he could potentially even outperform Buffet’s guy. But he just doesn’t have the credibility that comes with a strong co-sign.

Links work in the same way.

There are three main types you need to know about for SEO:

  • Internal links – or ones that direct to another page on your website like this one.
  • Outbound links – also known as external links, these are the links that point to a site on a different domain, like this one pointing to Google’s SEO page.
  • Inbound links – sometimes called backlinks, these are links from other websites pointing to your page.

Of the three, inbound links are by far the most important. They provide the biggest SEO benefit, but they’re also the hardest to obtain.

There are a variety of methods SEO professionals use to generate quality incoming links, including using social media, creating sharable infographics, and even just asking for backlinks.

But beware: Not all inbound links are helpful. Some, especially those coming from link farms, forum posts, and guestbooks, can be fake links intended to cheat the rankings system. If you don’t disavow these, it can hurt your ranking.

Here’s information on how and when you should disavow links.

On-Page SEO vs. Off-Page SEO

We’ve talked a lot about on-page SEO, but there’s also something known as off-page SEO. The difference, as you could probably tell by the names, is where it happens.

On-page SEO is everything you can do internally to boost your rankings, including keyword optimization, meta descriptions, title tags, alt text, and website structure.

Advertisement

Off-page SEO is all the things that happen externally that impact your site’s rankings. This includes backlinks, E-A-T, local SEO, social media mentions, and pay-per-click.

Obviously, you have a lot more control over your on-page SEO, but it’s important to keep off-page SEO in mind as well – you need both to get where you want to go.

But, you should first focus on building a good, relevant webpage that’s fully optimized for search engines before you begin sinking a lot of resources into building links and promoting your site.

On-Page SEO Is An Ongoing Process

At the end of the day, search engine optimization boils down to one thing: Finding the best way to provide valuable information to searchers, and ensuring your website is at the top of SERPs.

Your goal is to provide richer experiences to users, while simultaneously demonstrating your value to search engines. Luckily, these two go hand-in-hand. And they start with on-page optimization.

Start with what you can control, carefully evaluating your current site for weaknesses and opportunities for growth.

Get all your on-site ducks in a row and you’ll start to see results – including an organic improvement in off-site factors.

Just remember, SEO, like Tetris, is never done. But keep reading and keep working, and you’ll get the results you deserve.

Advertisement

Featured Image: Paulo Bobita/Search Engine Journal



Source link

SEO

10 Reasons You Need A Long-Term Content Strategy

Published

on

10 Reasons You Need A Long-Term Content Strategy

It’s no secret that content is time-consuming.

However, some marketers are so focused on whittling down that time, on cutting corners just to “get something out,” that they ultimately end up losing out.

What do they lose?

The power inherent in high-quality content helps you:

Rushing content, meanwhile, gets you the opposite.

Marketers who view content marketing as a sprint rather than a marathon think they can write 20 short, low-quality blog posts, slap them online, and call it done.

Unfortunately, this is a recipe for major content failure.

For content to succeed – truly succeed, with the rankings, engaged readers, and conversions to prove it – you need to play the long game with your content marketing.

Advertisement

You need to come to terms with the realization that it may take anywhere from six months to a year (or even longer, according to one study) to get your content ranking well.

You need to understand that your target audience is comprised of humans who need to be nurtured and respected continually over time if you want their trust and, ultimately, their buy-in.

You need to fully own that good content cannot be created in a rush. Great content takes even longer, but great content gets results.

Let’s get deeper into why you should be playing the long game with content.

Why Focusing On A Content Marathon, Not A Sprint, Is A Good Thing For Your Marketing

Think about a footrace for a moment: It’s pretty brutal, right?

To win a footrace, you don’t necessarily need technique or style; you just need speed (at least until you become a professional track athlete, at which point style and form are critically important).

Because of this, the winner of a footrace isn’t necessarily the best runner in the group. Put that same winner into a 10 km and he’d likely burn out at the beginning, right? I bet you see where I’m going with this.

The same thing applies to content.

Advertisement

While anyone can sprint in a general direction towards the finish line with crappy content and poorly thought-out content strategies, not every marketer can devise an effective, long-term strategy for actually consistently ranking well with content.

This is the main reason that the long-term content strategy is so much better than a short-term content strategy.

In addition to being more sustainable, the long-term approach is also wiser and more fully thought out.

In the words of Tim Ferriss, “There will always be a need for high-quality, and there will always be a need for long-form.”

While short-term content strategies seek to produce instant and short-lived results, long-term content strategies allow marketers to bond with their audiences, build their voice, provide real value, and rank in an authentic and sustainable way.

Because of this, marketers who create long-term content strategies often publish more effective content, build bigger audiences, and garner more shares across the board.

See also  What Are They & 7 Actionable Ways to Find Them

10 Reasons Long-Term Content Strategy Is Better

1. It’s A Better Use Of Your Money And Resources

Imagine going on a diet to lose weight. For two weeks, you eat only whole, clean foods and you exercise for two hours a day.

You feel great and – hey! — you lose weight. At the end of that two weeks, however, you stop exercising and go right back to your old diet habits.

Advertisement

What happens?

Of course, you gain all of the weight back, and your guise of physical fitness takes a nosedive.

Not surprisingly, the same thing happens with content. Regardless of what you’re doing, content marketing takes money and resources.

If you’re paying someone to flood your accounts with content for two weeks and then laying off your strategy entirely, you can bet not only will your strategy be ineffective, but it will also be a waste of your money and resources.

Instead, you’re much better off allocating your resources to a long-term content strategy that will build readers over time and help you maintain steady levels of traffic and clicks over months or years.

Instead of wasting your resources, this funnels them right back into your company and ensures that you’re building value while also establishing a solid foundation of lasting, relevant content.

2. Long-Term Content Engages Readers

To keep readers interested and engaged for an extended period, you need to offer them comprehensive, in-depth content that helps them address their concerns and solve problems.

And that means long content, in terms of word count per article.

Advertisement

Don’t think just because we live in an age where attention spans are short that long-form content won’t do well. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. 

An Orbit Media survey found that bloggers who write longer posts (anything over 1,500 words) get better results.

Why does long-form content perform so well as part of a long-term content strategy?

In addition to providing outstanding value for readers, long-form content also allows your company to build authority and establish dominance by showcasing your knowledge on relevant topics in your industry.

3. Content Changes All The Time

As search engines and readers progress, the demand for quality, informed, relevant content increases all the time. Because of this, a long-term content strategy is the best possible weapon.

Designed to insulate marketers against change and help them maintain their traffic and readership despite changing SEO, content, and marketing requirements, long-term content marketing allows space for the strategy to absorb and adapt to changing trends. This ensures more effective content and a more adaptive strategy that doesn’t have to scramble to keep up.

4. Long-Term Content Is Synonymous With Cornerstone Content

Every good house needs a solid foundation, and every good marketing strategy needs cornerstone content to provide long-lasting value and relevance to readers.

Cornerstone content is long-term content that might not draw a huge number of clicks right off the bat but remains valuable for months or years after the publishing date.

Advertisement

Think of it as a down payment toward your own business.

See also  Everything You Need To Know About Cloudflare For SEO

In fact, if you look at the aforementioned Tim Ferriss’s blog, you’ll notice most of his most popular blog posts were written up to two years ago. How’s that for an effective long-term strategy?

In contrast, short-term content strategies are largely aimed at ranking well for a specific keyword or phrase, so they all but neglect cornerstone content entirely.

Unfortunately, this leads to a less valuable and less relevant website for users of all types.

For attracting long-term clicks and ensuring that a website’s readers are engaged, entertained, and consuming value at all times, cornerstone content becomes more of an essential than a luxury.

5. Long-Term Content Doesn’t Turn Off With A Hard Sell

In today’s marketing environment, there is virtually nothing customers hate more than being hard-sold.

Nobody wants to know why they can’t live without your product or why it’s critical for them to “buy now!”

More often than not, these approaches simply alienate customers and make it harder for your company to sell products naturally.

Advertisement

Unfortunately, the hard-sell is often a tone taken by short-term content.

Because short-term content is insistent by nature, it’s tough to engineer it so it doesn’t push on your customers.

As a result, short-term content strategies run a high risk of alienating customers and making it more difficult to sell your products.

Long-term content strategies, on the other hand, do no such thing. Because they’re not designed to elicit an immediate response from readers, they seek to provide value and relevance rather than insistence and immediacy.

In other words, they succeed in explaining a problem, helping the audience handle the problem, and then inviting them to engage in a discussion about the problem.

This, in turn, is a fantastic way to nurture long-term customer relationships and ensure that your company continues to meet the needs of your clients.

6. Long-Term Content Strategy Is An Effective Way To Approach Current Events

Do you think writing about trending news and industry events makes you a short-term content strategist? Think again.

Trending content-focused blogs are extremely important, and it’s a mistake to think of this as only a short-term strategy.

Advertisement

In fact, trending news can be critical to your long-term strategy, and can help you establish your website as the source for up-to-date and relevant industry news.

When you focus on using trending, to-the-minute news pieces as a way to enhance and strengthen your long-term content strategy, it’s easy to see how you can improve your brand presence and boost your business overall.

7. Long-Term Content Promotes Itself

Failing to promote your content is one of the most dangerous mistakes in the entire content marketing industry and, unfortunately, it’s one many marketers make.

While short-term content needs aggressive promotion to succeed, long-term content essentially promotes itself.

See also  The 9 Most Important SEO KPIs You Should Be Tracking

When you create high-quality, in-depth, well-researched, long-term content and push it out to your followers, it’s easy to rank well for your chosen keyword.

Because long-term content is meant to garner clicks and shares over time, it’s a great way to build steady, long-term rankings that can boost your SERP placement and improve your standing over time.

8. Long-Term Content Is Good Content

One of the differences between long-term content and short-term content comes down to priority and intention.

As a general rule, people who commit to the pursuit and development of content for the long term are much more in love with content.

Advertisement

While all types of content are important, creating good long-term content requires a different mindset and series of priorities than creating short-term content.

Because of this, long-term content strategies often boast better content that caters more effectively to readers.

9. Long-Term Content Effectively Builds An Audience

When it comes to building an audience, you don’t want to aim for the largest audience possible. This will result in a massive but unengaged group of followers.

Instead, you want to build an audience of people who are genuinely interested in your concept and your content and will engage with it actively when it comes out.

This is one of the areas in which long-term content strategy is so powerful.

Fewer people have the attention span for long-term (or long-form) content today, and by making it a large part of your content strategy, you can build a better audience and earn more qualified leads.

10. Long-Term Content Is Best For SEO

SEO is a complex mix of strategies that companies need to succeed online.

In addition to optimizing content correctly, companies that want to use good SEO also need to ensure their content is high-quality, relevant, and useful to their readers.

Advertisement

While this can be difficult with a short-term content strategy, a long-term content strategy suits the goal quite nicely.

In addition to the fact that long-term content is written with the reader in mind, it’s easier to target a group of keywords with a long-term content strategy than it is a short-term content strategy.

Finally, every piece of content written in a long-term content strategy goes to boost and improve SEO, contributing to more online visibility and more clicks to your website.

The Case For Long-Form Content Strategy

Treating content as a sprint rather than a marathon may seem easier at the outset, but it’s really just a quick way to stall out with content that doesn’t move the needle.

Good, results-driving content takes thought, time, and effort. It takes commitment to a long-term strategy because, by nature, content doesn’t work in the short term.

Ultimately, the time and commitment you invest in your long-term goals and strategy will pay off with higher dividends and a higher ROI. And that adds up to time well spent.

More Resources:


Featured Image: alphaspirit.it/Shutterstock

Advertisement



Source link

Continue Reading

DON'T MISS ANY IMPORTANT NEWS!
Subscribe To our Newsletter
We promise not to spam you. Unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address

Trending

en_USEnglish