There are over 200 factors that make up the criteria for a site’s rankings on search engine result pages (SERPs). These factors breakdown into categories and subcategories that better help SEO-minded and those unfamiliar with SEO to understand the world of search engine optimization. While algorithm updates implemented by Google can affect rankings sufficiently at any time, on page optimization serves as a constant causal mechanism for improving rankings.
What makes up on page optimization? Well, there’s quite a bit. And each part of on page optimization plays a vital role in it’s own way. In fact, if your website isn’t optimized according to on page SEO best practices, then it’s safe to say that other SEO efforts poured into a website aren’t reaching their full potential. Knowing this, it’s absolutely necessary to be proactive about implementing proper on page optimization efforts to squeeze all the SEO benefits out of the on page SEO fruit. Let’s take a look at six on page optimization “must haves” to do just that!
#1 – The Length and Quality of Content
First off, the more content the better. However, it’s not quantity over quality. Both quality and length are extremely important for on page optimization, and one should never be sacrificed for the other.
Quality content is important for on page optimization because content that provides valuable information communicates a status of authority over the content’s subject matter. The value of a site’s content helps drive traffic to a page, which in turn improves conversion rates. The more traffic a page sees, the more valuable and authoritative the content on that page is in the eyes of search engine crawlers.
Ensuring the correct length of content on site pages poses another great opportunity for on page optimization. But how do you decide what length of content is enough? Well, a Sandbad SEO best practice is 800-1500 words per page. However, checking competitors domains and the content on their site is great to determine how long your content should be to compete well against them.
#2 – Meta Titles & Meta Descriptions
Understanding why meta titles and meta descriptions are important to search engines is key for on page optimization. Meta titles, or page titles, are the titles that Google displays on search engine result pages (SERPs). Meta descriptions are a short description of what the page is about that is displayed underneath the meta title.
For both of these, site’s need to use a tool, such as Portent, to ensure they are maximizing all the characters possible. Maximize the space is important in further explaining what the page is about, as well as keeping the entire description and title readable to users. Utilizing all of the space for page titles and meta descriptions serves as key opportunities to communicate what your business, service, blog post, or e-commerce site can offer them. It doesn’t sound like it’s the most important aspect of on page to optimize, but can be the difference in getting more clicks, organic traffic, and possible new leads.
SEO best practices for page titles consists of adjusting the character amount to the appropriate lengths (as close to 560 pixels without going over and under 30 characters long), ensure all URL’s have titles and that no titles are duplicates. Once again, utilize the Portent tool to keep track of all of this in an easy way.
#3 – H1s
H1s are different than meta titles but just as important. H1s are the main title of a site page, not the title of the content, but the title that a page communicates to Google, Bing, and other search engines. H1s help convey what the beneficial content a page is offering, so search engines can pull site’s up depending on the search query.
Consider the details needed to be accounted for with H1s similarly to meta titles. You’ll want to do a SEO audit of your site pages to make sure there are no missing, duplicate, or multiple (for the same page) H1s and that there are no H1s over the 70 character limit.
#4 – Internal Linking
We’ve talked more in depth about internal linking in our blog, but there are three main things to focus on when internal linking throughout a website.
First of the three is linking in a way that assists those on your site, not in a way that confuses them. Internally link to pages with anchor text that makes sense for what the linked page is about, while also choosing proper anchor text.
Second of the three is anchor text. Choose anchor text using keywords that follow the thematic relevance of the page being linked to or keywords that the linked page is aiming to rank for in SERPs. The proper use of the combination of anchor text and linking in a way that assists the visitor helps to boost search rankings while also helping users find pages or information they’re genuinely interested in.
Last but not least, the amount of internal linking. To be straightforward, internally linking 3-5 times per 800-1000 words is a best practice to ensure you are properly linking without overdoing it and diluting the equity passed from page to page.
#5 – Image Alt Text
Image alt text refers to the description of what an image is “about”. However, the image doesn’t necessarily need to reflect exactly what the page the image is on is about. Optimizing your image alt text isn’t a magic bullet, but it does help to differentiate another aspect of your site against a competitor. This helps to optimize a page by communicating to Google what the content in an image is about in another way. This alone could be the deciding factor between ranking above a competitor on SERPs.
To optimize image alt text, refer to the keyword research done for a site and use the keyword that is targeted in the content that the image is paired with. It’s as simple as that, but can reap notable benefits in an SEO campaign.
SEO is an ongoing battle everyday. We would love to fight it with you. Contact us to get a free quote.