The Core Components of On Page SEO
Mar 22, 2016
The Core Components of On Page SEO, when strong and integrated, gives your web site a fighting chance for good ranking on search engines. Companies who do not include these elements in their SEO strategy will inevitably fall behind their competitors in search engine results. However, including these components is something that everyone can do, even if you are not a web site designer or engineer.
To be really technical and bring up HTML, any data tags located between the opening and closing head tags are considered meta tags. This includes the keyword tag, the title tag as well as the meta description. These tags are important as they tip off the search engines with information about the content of your web page. The search engines then use this to rate the page according to relevancy of the particular search term. The more relevant findings will be given more weight than those that don’t quite “fit” the question or issue as they are more likely to be helpful for the searcher.
Title Tags & Meta Descriptions
The most important and influential tags are the Title tags and Meta descriptions. These have an influence on both SEO as well as your “clickability” and the likeliness that people scanning the search ratings will choose your page to read. Probably a good time to learn what they are and how they work!
Let’s start with title tags. They are HTML tags consisting of a description of your pages’ content for the use of search engine crawlers, but in only one sentence. Think of these crawlers as these robots that come over to your website and go through the content to really ensure that you are really the most helpful page for the particular query. Your title tag is the first thing that these crawlers with encounter so make a good impression. That is done by offering up a title tag with the associated keyword and your brand. But as always, first impressions are short and sweet, meaning that you only have 77 characters to convince the crawlers that you are their best candidate. Therefore, it is essential every word is calculated and deliberate.
Now onto meta descriptions. These are those mini paragraphs that appear under the main title of your page when they show up in search engine ranking pages (SERP). Meta descriptions might not be as influential with the crawlers as title tags, but they are incredibly valuable. Why? Because this is what tells your visitors whether it’s worth their time to click on your link. They are your sales pitch. Don’t you find yourself doing that when you are looking for something online? I know I find this description invaluable when deciding whether to click or keep going. Once again, for a strong result, you have to include your call-to-action as well as your keyword or phrase in this description.
TIP: Once again, it is worth being brief with your description. Meta descriptions should stay under 160, so use this real estate wisely. Otherwise you will be cut off and that’s just not cool. You don’t want to be cut off.
Your web address for the page that you are optimising is an important consideration for both SEO and for your potential readers. Having a random mix of symbols, letters, and numbers after your backslash tell neither browsers nor search engines anything about the content of your page. The URL should briefly suggest what it is that the page will tell them, including the keyword or phrase around which the content is written. The more readable it is for humans, the better the search engines will pick up on it.
One thing that you might not have known is that URLs are also used as anchor text (the blue “clickable” text in copy) in the instance in which they are copied and pasted. This is a powerful function when combined with a well constructed URL. To tap into the full potential of your URLs, learn about the relationship between links and Search Engines.
The content itself can make or break your on-page SEO efforts. Your content should reflect the topic that your keyword and key phrases described. They will use it as a wayfinder through your page and all the words present there.
When creating content, make sure that you throw the crawlers a bone. Make it easy for them to judge the value of your page. That means that you need to have enough “meat” there for them to consider, which is usually copy longer than 300 words. The second thing to consider is including your keyword or phrase in your copy a few times. Don’t “stuff” your content with them so that it ends up being a strange and unauthentic experience for your visitors. Keyword stuff is also punished by search engines, so the life rule of “too much of anything isn’t good for your” applies here.
Be natural and genuine with your content, creating a pleasurable and useful experience for your readers and if you chose the right keyword, it will come up naturally anyway. If you just finished writing and found that it isn’t included, throw in some word or phrase variations that match what you have isolated as your keyword or key phrase.
Local businesses or ones that limit their activity to a specific geographic location should consider adding localisation. If you’re a real estate agent or a dentist which a few offices, it’s best for you to have a web page dedicated to each service location. When creating content for your page, you’ll include words associated with the specific location so that the search engines know when you display you when people are looking for local businesses, services, or products.
You can quickly and easily optimise your local business by using these tools:
- Google Places
- Bing Local
- Yahoo Local Listings
Now you are poised to benefit from on-page optimisation by utilising these core components of on-page SEO in your brand’s digital marketing strategy. Your content, when written so that it is beneficial for your readers, and labelled as such for the search engines, will send a digital flare by which you are more likely to be found in this crowded space which the internet is today.
Written by Aga Strandskov, Account Director at Engine Room.