Have you wondered how Google and other Search Engines decide the order of the results for a given search term? In the SEO world, a good understanding of their inner workings is crucial to be successful, as it allows you to design your website in a way that Search Engines find your page attractive and relevant. But how do we do that? How much control do we have over how high search engines rank us? Well, there are actually quite a lot of tricks you can apply.
Enter On-Page SEO
On-Page SEO refers to optimizations that you can do directly on your page. They have a direct impact on your organic positioning. They all depend on you as you are the one managing your website. If you are desperate and want to start applying SEO techniques on your website, we advise you not to rush it, and keep reading to know what this is all about.
How is On-Page SEO useful?
On-Page optimization basically means making the crawling and indexing processes easier for search engines. By providing the right signals on your page, you can have your content indexed, correctly categorized, and if you do it right, highly ranked in SERPs. Simply put, this is how you actually explain, in a well-mannered way, what the topic and purpose of your website are to search engines. We’d like to make emphasis the term “well-mannered”, because if you cross the line and cheat, search engines will stop being your friends and will dump your page into oblivion, or worse.We encourage people to avoid deceptive practices and stop generating thin content without added value.
Despite some claims about On Page SEO being useless to rank higher, we recommend not believing anything you read without trying it yourself first. That´s exactly what we did, and found out that, while linking and other factors are important for competitive positioning, their effectiveness will be a lot higher if you get this right. You can even position your content highly in low-competition keywords with just a good On-Page SEO.
How is search engines need your help to understand the topic of your web pages?
Google and other search engines need to classify and index your web pages in the best way possible. This is a must in order to offer appropriate results to user queries. Perhaps this sole aspect won’t get your page to the rank you want. However, ignoring it or doing it wrong, will make search engines position your content in unrelated searches. So if you really want Google and other search engines to understand what you offer, On-Page optimization is a must!
Google’s indexing process and its relation with On-Page SEO
For your page to be indexed and shown in the SERPs, Google’s robots must find it and be able to read it without problems. These robots (or bots) are automatic programs that read, extract and archive your pages’ content. Their main objective is to “crawl” all over the internet tracking every link to find new websites, and revisit old ones, just in case they added new content.
This process of reading and archiving info is called “indexing”. Every piece of content you create or share (text, images, links, code, etc.) goes through it. After that, the info is analyzed to determine the topic of your page and the relevance it has for that specific topic. However, if the crawlers can’t find your website or they are unable to index it, you will be invisible. That’s why you must perform certain actions for these robots to be able to locate your content and analyze it as fast and efficiently as possible.
Tip: Avoid using Flash, Java or AJAX. Google crawlers have problems reading those.
Search engines look at specific elements when deciding how relevant and convenient a page is for its users. These criteria or factors have all different weights. Although they are still a matter of discussion, we will explain the most important and indisputably proven as essential.
The golden rule and the best advice is to press on in creating good, compelling and engaging content. It is much better to have a couple or even a single piece of high-quality content, than a lot of mediocre blocks of text that feel like they were not written but churned out. You can rank pretty well without posting hundreds of articles, as long as your content is useful and well-written.
Keyword Use. If you want to rank for a specific search term, you better use keywords, but please, do it moderately. The focus keywords should appear in your content to help Google understand the topic of your website. Make sure, however, that they appear in the most natural way possible. The practice of using a keyword over and over just to get a better ranking is called stuffing and is ugly. It will make your visitors angry, not to mention Google, and you don’t want that.
Web page title optimization. A very important factor that must be optimized always. Make sure your title is unique in every single one of your pages and make sure of including your keywords. This is obvious, as your title should be a line of text that comprises the topic of your page.
Adding Meta Descriptions. This overly forgotten practice is actually a useful way to include relevant words for your content. They are considered in the indexing process. Make sure to keep your short and insightful about your content.
URL structure optimization. Try to keep your URL short to ease the crawling process and avoid sending confusing signals to Google’s bots. Don’t forget to add your keywords in your URL too!
Get creative! Include images and videos in your content. With this, you diversify your content and send a good signal of quality. Additionally, to optimize images and videos use the “alt” tag to describe them. Don´t forget to make sure they are sized properly to avoid speed issues.