On-Page Ranking Factors
On-page ranking factors is anything we can physically or manually do change to our webpage or content to affect its search ranking. There are few important things you should pay special attention while doing On Page Optimization to include:
How to Make Use of Keywords:
Keywords are simply the search queries that users type into google (their Google search engine boxes) when looking for information on google search, and it makes perfect sense that Google would use keywords as one of their important ranking factor. Google has many ranking factors around 200+ . Always take an in-depth look at keyword research and the subsequent use of keywords on different areas of your website for better ranking, Always we have to make sure that we use relevant keywords in the title meta tag because the meta tag gives Google an accurate description of your webpage or content.
Where to Palce Your Keyword:
For better, enhanced rankings, place your intended keywords at the start of the title tag this gives very much importance. You also want to have your keyword, or at the very least, a variation of your keyword placed in the Meta description tag. Additional, because search engine spiders (again, not real spiders) crawl your website and your content in its entirety when deciding where to place your website or content on the index, it is best use relevant keywords on the H1, H2, H3, and H4 tags. It is also a good idea to sprinkle a good number of keywords within your content copy. The keyword can be used in various ways within the different sub-headings on a page. (H1, H2, H3, H4 tags) For example, if your H1 tag/keyword is “Google User”, your H2 tag could be “Daily Google User” or “Experienced Google User”. The Text or content following the Paragraph headings (H-tags) should include information supporting that heading and include the same keyword within the content. Using the keyword more than once in sensible combinations increases “keyword density” and increases the usefulness of the page.
Debtes on Ideal Keyword Density:
The debate on the ideal keyword density is a hot topic. In the early days of search, keyword stuffing, i.e. the intentional over use of keywords on relevant areas of your copy and website was a dominant ranking factor. However, Google Panda, a Google algorithm launched in 2012 changed that. According to Neil Patel, whom Forbes places on their list of top 10 online marketers, “The Panda algorithm update changed the SEO world. It changed content strategy, keyword research, and targeting. It even changed how marketers build links, since high-quality relevant links pointing to a webpage ultimately add to its value. By rolling out Panda, Google could now determine more accurately which sites were “spammy” and which sites would likely be consider useful by visitors.”
Here is the truth, in 2016 and beyond, keyword use in web copy is not as relevant as it used to be (emphasis on ‘not as’ meaning it still has some relevance). According to this discussion on Moz community , (Moz is a highly influential SEO website and platform) there is no ideal keyword density value per web copy, and if your content is relevant to a user query, you can rank well by having keywords in your title and description tag, and minimal keywords in your copy.
That said, it is a good idea to sprinkle a good measure of keywords within your copy. The idea here is to use keywords in your copy only if the use of such keywords comes across natural and adds value to users (Google search is very user driven).
Content Length and Duplicate Content:
Google places a lot of emphasis on providing users with relevant and helpful results; something reflected on their mission statement : “Focus on the user and all else will follow.”
According to a research study by serpIQ that analyzed content length by domain age, name, new and old blogs, etc. longer content generally ranks higher than shorter content. The idea behind this ranking factor is simple: longer content= detailed content=equal to better answers for users, which as we saw, Google places a lot of emphasis on.
Google considers longer content more authoritative and informative. Thus, the longer your content is, meaning well-researched and user driven (there is no way you can write say a 5k word article for the hell of it or to rank, you write longer to provide web visitors sufficient answers), the higher your chances of ranking well.
As is everything SEO, the debate on the ideal content length is a hot one. Nevertheless, while online marketing experts agree there are no hard rules, the info graphic below, courtesy of serpIQ details ranking in relevance to content length.
On the other hand, duplicate content is a negative ranking factor. Having similar content on diferent pages on your website will negatively affect your rankings.
Define the nature of each webpage and content you create for your website is usefull and unique for the google user, and then create unique and original content. There are instances where having two URLs will have similar content. To make sure this does not come off as duplicate content, use a canonical tag . A canonical tag simply tells Google bots also known as spiders that one URL is similar or equivalent to another, which effectively lets Google bots and spiders know that these two URLs are different and are not duplicate content and are in fact one.
Optimization and Content Update
When looking at keywords, we briefly touched on optimization. On top of optimizing your tags and content, you also need to optimize your images and videos. Remember that Google and other search engines index text, images, and video.
Optimize your images, videos, and other media by using relevant keywords and tags in the alt text, description, and image caption (we shall look at how to do that later in this book).
In terms of content updates, Google and other search engines are very gung-ho about fresh content. According to Neil Patel, “When you build a site today, you have to consistently write and publish in-depth content. This content must add value, be interesting to the reader, and solve a definite problem. If you fail to do that, you will not engage readers, and the conversion rate will be low.”
Thus, as part of your SEO strategy, it is best to have an effective publishing strategy in place.
Again, while there are no hard rules on how often you should publish, indicates that publishing 16+ blogs per month (an average of 4 or more blogs each week) can get you better rankings and 3.5x more traffic.
Internal Links, Outbound Links, and Keywords in URL
Internal links are links that point back to a page or piece of content on your website. While their ranking power is debatable, interlinking pages can increase your ranking. Outbound links are links pointing to external sites. If you include links pointing to authoritative sites, Google takes this to mean your aim is to provide users with more information about a subject and uses this as a trust signal.
Outbound Link Tip: Avoid too many outbound links because too many of them will make your page appear as a bridge site, which will negatively affect your ranking.
Keyword in URLs is another ranking factor you want to pay special attention to; Keywords in URL here means for instance, if your site is example.com, titling your blog post something reflective of your keyword. For example, the title of your blog post could look some like example.com/5-ways-to-example-to-seo
The above are relevant on-page ranking factors. As indicated earlier, Google has over 200 ranking factors. We shall look at other on-page optimization aspects in a later section.