In setting up a business online, it is easy to find yourself lost in the countless SEO tips and tricks and feel overwhelmed. It is important to understand that no single factor is enough to decide whether your webpage is a success or failure with search engines. All the techniques that SEO comes with work best in combination. Besides, there are certain rules of thumb, that you will find below, which make up the elements of a perfectly optimized page.
- Mind Your URL
URL of an SEO optimized page is conveniently length’d and easy to navigate. It is not necessary to stuff your URL with keywords, however they show up in the search result as well as in the anchor text of in-bound links when the webpage is cited on another platform. Always use slashes and dashes in the body of the URL instead of special characters like @, $, %, etc. As for the length, an ideal URL for SEO is 40-60 characters. If your URL is exceeding 100 characters, you should give it a serious re-thinking.
- Title Tags
A Keyword-rich title is one of the most important factors of an SEO friendly page. It lets the search engine read the theme of your page and place it accordingly on the results listing page. Keep the title tag precise yet meaningful. To cut down the length, eliminate words like ‘and’, ‘if’, ‘for’, etc unless absolutely necessary. Moreover, when planning the structure of content that describes your website or business, make sure you place the keyword in the beginning and as close to the title tag as possible. This makes the page rank higher in the results listing page. Treat the title as an advertisement, pick words that attract your target customers the most.
- Content Keyword-ing
In every SEO post you must have come across points insisting the importance of keywords in the body of content on the webpage. An SEO friendly page however presents the keywords in smart way that results in a higher ranking. It is favorable if the keywords are placed in the first 100-150 words after the title tag. This helps the search engine understand what the page is about and places it higher on the scale of relevance. To avoid key-word stuffing, use synonyms and related (but relevant) words in your body of content, since Google can now recognize the meaning of each word in the query and give common answers for related terms.
- Content Length
Longer content generates higher ranks. An SEO friendly page will offer long-form content about the topic or product at hand. The more relevant information you provide, the higher it is likely for the user to benefit from it. Likewise, it offers more chances for the website to be preferred by a search engine. If you are specifically dealing with competitive key-words, offering more content than your rival websites is in your advantage. Despite this rule, it is advisable to keeps tabs on the pages that rank well for your keyword of choice and follow the stats that are working for them. The ideal length of a post on a page is somewhere around 1500-2000 words.
- Search Bar
Allowing the user to operate on an internal search bar on the website is a definite feature of an optimized webpage. If your website is heavily structured and has over 20 pages, it is ideal to put in an internal search bar where a user can look for the content they need. You can further link your website to Google Analytics to see what content users are searching for on your website. The benefits of a search bar are that you get to know better keywords that the visitors are looking for since they would type those words into your search bar instead of Google. This also reduces the user bounce rate since the visitors have a direction of action through the medium of the search bar.
This one’s a no-brainer. An important property of SEO content is the use of multimedia elements. Images, infographics, videos, graphs and charts can go a long way in keeping the user engaged, increasing their time on the website and lower the bounce rate. All the images and infographics on the page should have optimized alt text, this is the text that appears when you hover the cursor over the image. Search Engine crawlers cannot see the image like we do, they read this alt text to know what the image is about. Make this piece of text relevant to the website. When uploading a video, you could transcribe or summarize the contents of the video as part of the website’s content to stuff it (if required).
- Outbound Linkages
Out-bound links within the content of your webpage make up a significant feature of an optimized page. When you put links to other popular information pages relevant to your own content, it shows the search engine that your page is the centre point of quality information. It also helps the search engine better outline your page’s topic. To keep a check on scale, make sure you put outbound linkages 2-3 times within every 1000 words or so. Another important thing to keep in mind is that the websites you link to reflect on your own content and need to be completely relevant to your own topic.
- Social Media Links
It may not look like social media plays a direct role in Search Engine Optimization, but it works amazingly well to gather more traffic for your website. Any typical user is more likely to spend time on a social media page, thus more likely to find the link to your website there than anywhere else. The more traffic you get, the more chances for your webpage to get shared again. One needs to place these sharing buttons strategically on the webpage. A high-ranking website thus places social media share buttons conveniently and in sight of the user, at places where they are most likely to want to share something. It is done so that they don’t have to think twice about sharing the page while they look for a means to post the link.
- Mobile Friendliness
Users today are no longer limited to the old-fashioned PC when surfing the web for looking for content online. In fact, a majority of searches are now done on the go when we have fully functioning internet devices in our hands. All sorts of handheld devices – big and small, like tablets, smartphones, watches, etc., are being used to browse the web. Google has started giving priority to mobile-friendly and mobile optimized websites and boosts their rank on mobile searches. An SEO friendly page is responsive to different screen sizes and is visually appealing on smaller screens as well as regular screens. The Logo, content, fonts etc., should all be mobile optimized. Make navigation easy by using easy-to-follow page structures.
- Page Speed
It is the time that your webpage takes to load completely, once the user clicks on it. Google has officially stated that they consider page speed in their ranking algorithm. Search Engines will crawl fewer pages if the site takes too long to load, similarly users are more likely to leave and increase the bounce rate if it takes a long time to load. This negatively effects the site’s index ranking. Google states that ideally, the average loading time for a website should be 2 seconds or less.
All the above mentioned features and factors are important for on-page SEO. If you analyze or study any authority website, you’ll find most, if not all, of the points being adhered to. Following them as a rough guide can thus be of advantage in giving your website a high indexed ranking by search engines.
Author: Aditi Saxena
Aditi is a blogger/freelance writer from Delhi with a Masters degree in English Literature. Having worked with a variety of companies as a content expert, she loves to dab into various fields of research and write about pretty much everything under the sun.