In the world of Search Engine Optimization there is more online advice than one person can possibly handle. Which articles and SEO checklists have gotten it right? What information is incorrect? Chances are this isn’t the first SEO article you’ve read to find usable info.
Unfortunately search engines like Google don’t release sets of regulations or rules to govern SEO tactics. Using research from a cross section of industry leaders we’ve compiled a short list of on-page SEO tactics that are so widely recognized that they are practically SEO gospel. Everything from keywords to headers and sitemaps, we implement these ‘must-use’ tactics to get you ranked online. Factors are ranked from most to least important.
1.) Keywords: Keywords are the most common and most important of the SEO factors. They allow search engines to determine the focus/topic of your website and it’s many pages. Choosing a keyword that matches to your content is the best way to push your search engine rating ever higher on SERP pages.
How we use keywords is even more important. Once chosen they will show up in nearly every on-page element including URL’s, Links, Headers, and throughout your body copy in bold and italics for extra emphasis.
2.) Original content: Webpage crawling search engine bots are smart. They consume large volumes of material and they don’t like to eat the same thing twice. Original content is a major contributor to a high search engine result. When you publish new material it is recognized as original.
3.) URL: Uniform Resource Locators, otherwise know as URL’s, is the online ‘address’ where your material can be located. It’s important that your URL contains the keywords chosen for a post or web page. Corresponding keyword data throughout a page proves to search engines bots you are delivering content directly related to the URL.
4.) Links: Links are important for many reasons. Search engines like to see connections. When those outbound connections ‘link’ to related material and websites it gives authority to your pages. Internal links to your other pages help reduce bounce rates and keep visitors for longer, increasing the odds of a conversion.
Inbound links are the best for your SERP ranking. Search engines see other sites linking to you. In their eyes, this makes you an industry leader and you get the rankings that comes with that status. Think of every inbound link as a vote for that page on your site.
5.) Headers: Remember when we said that keywords were the most important? That’s because they are used in almost every other aspect of on-page search engine optimization. Headers are no exception. Having your target keywords present in headers adds value to your total on-page SEO rankings. Search Engines look for the keyword in all header styles, such as H1, H2 and H3.
6.) Photos: Optimizing photos is fairly simple. Both the file name and the alternate description of the image should contain your target keyword/s in order to increase ranking. Search engines see all the correlation between your material and it matters.
7.) Video: There was a time when video didn’t offer much in terms of search engine optimization but that isn’t true any longer. Similar to photos, videos files can be named with keywords in mind. The speech in the video can also be converted to text which can be catalogued by website crawlers for stronger rankings.
8.) Bolding/Italics/Underlines: This is one of the less important on-page SEO factors, but every little bit helps. Search engines like to see emphasis placed on the keywords throughout your body copy or text. A little font styling with bold, italic and underlines lets search engine bots know those words are important.
9.) Site Map: Having a site map helps search engine bots navigate easily through your pages and posts. Getting all of your pages crawled will help them show up in search results. Make it easy for bots find your info. Create an XML site map and place a link to it on your home page.
10.) Flash Content: Let’s end with an easy one. Flash content. We have one thing to say about Flash content. Don’t use it! It has no on-page SEO benefit.
Hopefully with this simple list you’ll have a better understanding of what it takes to get your pages ranked by search engines. In future posts, we’ll go into each on page SEO factors in more detail. We’ll tell you why it’s important and how to maximize your results. Little by little, you’ll crawl closer to the top of results pages.