1. Page Title
Page title is one of the most important on-page SEO factors. Page title is the text that appears on the title bar of the browser window when a website is opened.
These page titles are considered in showing the search results by search engines. Therefore the page titles are shown in the search results for the keywords typed-in. This is why keyword optimization is important role while choosing the title for the page.
Page titles can be found and edited in the HTML section of your website or article. It is generally encoded with in the title tag as shown below:
For e.g., the title of this article ‘9 Key Elements of the Website to be Optimized in On-Page Optimization’ can be seen on the title bar of your browser window. It is also coded with in the title tag itself. It looks like:
Optimizing Page Titles
Here are some guidelines for choosing effective page titles:
- Include keywords
- Do not exceed title length more than 70 characters long. Longer titles cannot be seen in the search results and also they can dilute the keyword density.
- Keep the keywords as closer to the beginning of the title as possible.
- Make it visitor friendly. In fact choose titles for visitors not for search engines.
- Include you brand name at the end of the page title if incoming searches come with your brand name.
- Use different page titles for different pages. Using same page title for multiple pages may get penalized by Google.
2. Meta Tags
Meta data does not directly influence search engine rankings, Nevertheless, it is a good practice to include keywords in thee meta description.
Meta data includes information for both search engines as well as visitors. For e.g., ‘Meta keywords’ information is for search engines and meta description is for visitors. Major search engines like Google started neglecting ‘keywords meta tags’ as they are misleading search engine algorithms in providing the best results for the visitor.
A page with proper ‘meta description’ data looks like following:
The meta description is not seen on the webpage instead, it is seen as a short summary in the search results giving the visitor and idea of what the page is about. Though this is not considered by the search engines in SEO, it drives quality organic traffic to your site which can be turned into business leads later.
Optimizing Meta Description
Here are the guidelines for choosing effective meta description for a page.
- Do not exceed meta description more than 150 characters.
- Include keywords in the description.
- Create appealing short summary.
If meta tags are not placed in the source code of the page, search engine will usually consider part of the content as summary under the title in the search results.
Headings are the piece of text on the page in different sizes and decorations. The headings of a webpage are classified into 6 levels starting from h1 to h6.
Search engine’s priority to the headings tops from h1 to h6 hierarchically. Search engines read keywords from the headings than the text. For this reason, it is good to include keywords in the headings. <h1> tags gives more weight to the text than <h2> and <h2> gives more weight to text than <h3> and so on. Including too many keywords in one heading might dilute the importance of the keywords in other headings.
Headings got second priority in the search engines after titles. A keyword typed in the search engine searches for the keyword in the title tag and after that it checks headings for relativity.
Here are the guidelines for choosing effective headings for a page.
- Include keywords. But not too many.
- Maintain headings hierarchy.
- Put <h2> tags before paragraphs for long articles on the page.
- Do not use more than one <h1> tags and 3-4 <h2> tags for a page.
4. Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
HTML is the back-end code of your website that search engines read. Search engines extract relevant information, such as keywords, from your HTML. CSS, on the other hand, holds a template for the layout of your page. In the CSS, you define how headings, links, and other visual elements of the text should look. The takeaway here is simple: use CSS. Putting layout-related information in your HTML can dilute the relevance of the HTML text, which is what you want search engines to read.
- Avoid keeping un-used CSS in the source code.
- Avoid unnecessary specifications and properties for a division.
- Remove un-used CSS by using freely available tools online.
- Avoid graphics as far as possible.They can take more crucial loading times.
Images on a web page can enhance user experience. When inserting images into your website, however, you should keep in mind the following:
- Don’t use more images on one page. It can slow down the page loading time.
- Associate text with pictures. Search engines will ignore images with no textual information. After all, search engines prefer text to read, not images.
- Add ‘alt’ text and ‘title’ for an image. It can help your website get found in image searches also.
- Include keywords in the textual information given to the images. Use (-) as a separator for keywords used in the textual part of the image.
6. Domain Information
Search engine rankings favor sites that are registered for a long period of time. Long domain registrations indicate a commitment to the site, a signal that the site has a lower chance of being spam. Extend your website registration for $10-20 a year for an SEO boost.
Do not change domain of your website frequently. It can show adverse effect on the website and its content.
Do not long for cheap domains and change the domain according to your budget. You may get a cheap domain today but you won’t get full pledged features along with it when bought. Stick with your older domain and do not loose it any cost. Changing to new domain or loosing the older one is like loosing your brand name of your business. So it can also show an adverse effect on your business too.
7. MOZ Rank
MOZ Rank is a general measure of how much online authority your site has. A higher MOZ rank is better. Note that MOZ Rank factors in both on-page and off page SEO. Improving your on-page SEO may help improve your rank, but there is much more you can do to improve it.
MOZ rank is calculated on the logarithmic scale of 0 to 10. It is much easier to improve MOZ rank from 3 to 4 than it is to improve from 8 to 9. The MOZ rank of a normal page on the internet is around 3.
MOZ rank can be improved by getting lot of links from semi-popular pages and a few links from very popular pages.
9. URL Structure
The URL structure of the website tells how different URLs connect with each other. Improving the URL structure is one of the aspects of the on-page optimization. This is the difficult method of optimizing a website compared to what we have been through. The methods of fixing these issues depend entirely on the back-end parts of your website, such as your content management system or programming framework. Nevertheless, if you have a competent developer by your side, having him or her tackle these issues can significantly improve your SEO.
Optimizing URL Structure
- Maintain simple URL structure as far as possible.
- Organize your content so that URLs are constructed logically and in a manner that is most intelligible to humans.
- Consider using punctuation in your URLs. The URL http://www.example.com/green-dress.html is much more useful to Google than http://www.example.com/greendress.html. It is recommended that you use hyphens (-) instead of underscores (_) in your URLs.
- Overly complex URLs, especially those containing multiple parameters, can cause a problems for crawlers by creating unnecessarily high numbers of URLs that point to identical or similar content on your site. As a result, Googlebot may consume much more bandwidth than necessary, or may be unable to completely index all the content on your site.
Wrapping up advise
So, you are now much aware of the 9 key elements of on-page optimization. Of all, you might have noticed me keep on saying to include keywords in the middle of everywhere if possible. Yes! keywords are important and I agree the fact, but don’t do too much of them. Too much of keyword inclusion is considered as if you are stuffing keywords on the page to get ranked high in the search results. Apart from leading to a bad experience for site visitors, search engines are smart enough to detect these behaviors. Trying to trick search engines is not a good SEO strategy and sacrificing readability for SEO is not a good idea either.
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