On-Page Optimization Guide

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Estimated reading time: 5 min

In this article, we will go over exactly what we cover for on-page optimization. We strive to provide a quality SEO service that delivers long-term results. Because of this, on-page optimization is crucial to driving growth within the Google SERPS.

Title Tags

Title tags tell Google and other search engines the title of each web page. Title tags are where you should place the key phrases for your blogs and website’s pages. The key phrases that get used not only affect how well each web page will rank in search results, but they also affect how often people click through to a given web page on your site.

The optimal length of a website title tag is 55 characters long—that is long enough to display a good title without making it cut off. Use keywords that you would like to rank for such as phrases used in local searches. Reduce the use of stop words such as “the” and “is” within your title tags. The preferred format is to put your keywords first followed by a pipe and then the company name, for example “Online Business Marketing Blog | Voice SEOPRO.”

Meta Descriptions

Meta descriptions are the multi-line pieces of text that show up in search engine results below the main title tag and the link to the site. The description is not too critical for how well a page ranks in search, however it does play an important role in determining whether or not someone who sees your search result will actually click through to your page. This is your shining opportunity to provide a great marketing message which will entice the user to click.

The length should be a maximum of 155 characters in order to avoid being cut off. Each meta description is a marketing message that varies by page.

Header Tags

Header tags are code on a website’s page that is used to help give a hierarchical structure to that specific page. If you have something which is effectively the “headline” of a page, like your ‘Services’ page, it should be labeled as a “h1” header tag in the code on your web page. Other titles or headlines that deserve priority, like blog headings, should get the “h2” header tag.

Header tags are html pieces of code that help a search engine (Google) understand how your content is structured as well as being an opportunity to emphasize your keywords. Use h1 and h2 tags with proper keywords that vary by page (h3, h4, and h5 tags are less important but may also be used).

Alt Tags

HTML ALT tags allow you to specify text to describe your website images. Without an alt tag, search engines won’t know what an image or photo on a webpage is about. Get credit for relevant content by using alt tags and have your website’s pictures found in Google image search.

All images that are embedded or used in a blog post or webpage should have alt tags added. The best alt tags to use include local keywords or the page title with the keywords you’re trying to rank for.

Internal Links

Have you had the opportunity to do an appropriate amount of linking between the pages of your own website? In addition to acquiring high quality backlinks to your website, you should also be creating links internally between pages or blog posts when it’s found appropriate.

Minimize Flash

Flash is an old technology that can be used to add various types of fancy animation to websites. It is known for providing visually appealing websites, but unfortunately this technology blocks search engines from browsing most of the content on the webpage. Flash technology is now considered outdated and should be avoided. Optimize your website by removing any Flash or rebuilding your website without it.

Improve your local SEO by minimizing or eliminating Flash so that search engines can crawl and read your site content.

Robots.txt & Sitemaps.xml

robots.txt and sitemap.xml are two files that tell search engines which pages to include in their index, and which pages to exclude from their index. It is important to tell Google where to find all of your content and information. If these files aren’t up to date, search engines will not be able to crawl the content of your website or pages.  You can use Google’s Webmaster Tools to help you setup and manage both of these files.

Main Site Navigation

The main navigation of your site is an important section that search engines use to decide what your website is all about. It is imperative to use some specific and non-generic terms to accurately describe what your business or service is all about. For proper site navigation, use descriptive titles that include keywords and use actual text instead of images.

301 Redirects

As far as search engines and crawlers are concerned, if you enter “www” at the start of the website address/URL or not, you are essentially requesting to navigate to two different websites. Even though they’re identical, the presence or lack of the “www” makes a huge difference to search engines! This can have very negative consequences on your SEO.

A quick fix to this is setting up a 301 redirect with your web hosting provider in order to fix this issue. 301 Redirects tell search engines to redirect all web traffic to either www.yourwebsite.com or yourwebsite.com. You are able to direct traffic to either location, however it should only be one of the two locations so that you can reap the best search engine optimization benefits.

Images & Video

I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words” before. The same is true with the web. While the words on your site have traditionally been the main thing that search engines crawl, increasingly images and videos are playing important direct and indirect roles in allowing people to find your website easier. They also help to convert your site traffic into business leads or paying customers.

Use images and video to help convey your message and use interesting media elements to maximize your visitor engagement.

Readable URLs

Both search engines and people like it when you create URL’s that can actually be read by a human being. It helps visitors to trust and understand the content of the web page they are about to visit. Some content management systems like WordPress do this automatically for you.

Utilizing human readable URL’s such as “mywebsite.com/buy-my-product” improves the search engine click through rate as well as your search engine rankings. This applies to the so called “vanity” URLs on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook as well.

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