When it comes to search engine optimization the overall goal is to have a web site rank highly in search results for different search queries. As a webmaster or SEO specialist, our goal is to ensure all pages of a website are properly optimized in order to be found on the web, attract traffic, and ultimately make a conversion that has value to said business. In order to successfully execute this, you must ask your self, what comprises of a successfully optimized webpage? Below are a few factors help a page on a website become optimized.
Probably one of the most important on-page factors of optimization is the title tag for a page. A title tag provides valuable context to help search engines understand what a page is about, and the title tag is also what searchers will see on a SERP after a search is performed. This is why it is important to write your tags for visitors as well as search engines, so you can incorporate keywords for the bots while also fulfilling a searcher’s query. With these tags being limited to 60 characters its important to include keywords and phrases you want to be ranking for that sound natural as well as engaging.
While Google doesn’t necessarily consider meta descriptions a direct ranking factor, they are still a task you shouldn’t overlook in your quest for SEO dominance. These little excerpts can affect the click-through rate of a page as well as help both search engines bots and searchers understand what they are about to see on a webpage even more so than the title tag. With these descriptions being allowed 160 characters, this is an ample time to include even more keyword phrases you want to be found for as well as giving viewers a deeper dive of what to expect on said page.
While most people figure they don’t need breadcrumbs on their site, they do have significance from an SEO standpoint. Have you ever run into an issue where you had the wrong page rank for a particular topic or notice that your blog posts outrank one of your services pages? While there are a number of reasons for this to happen, it is most often because search engines don’t understand how a particular page relates to other pages on your website. Bread crumbs do just that by informing search engine bots on how to better understand your content from a hierarchical perspective. Once the engines know how pages relate to one another, they can then show the correct pages in search results for the proper topics that are being searched.
Table Of Contents/Jump Links
When it comes to looking up certain information in a book what do you normally do, skim through the entire book until you find what you are looking for? Of course not! You would look at the table of contents to make your search easier, and this is what search engines want to see when it comes to websites. How can users get to the content they are looking for faster on your website? The best thing to do is to create jump links of popular or most visited pages on your website that users can click on to help them get to the content they are looking for.
When it comes to writing content for your website, you not only want to get the point across but want the piece to be formatted in a way that will make people want to read your article. Let’s face it, in this age of technology people are skimming pages to find what they want and that is pretty much it. Why risk losing traffic by having a page filled with unformatted paragraphs of text that is boring and unappealing? The use of subheadings, or h-tags, is the perfect solution to not only breaks up your content but do it in a way that each section tackles a certain topic or sub-topic. These subheadings are also another way to help engines better understand your content by showcasing hierarchy of the information on a page.
To continue on with structuring content on a page, put yourself in the reader’s shoes. Would you want to scour paragraphs of text to find your answer or would you rather a list? By making lists, you help readers find what they are looking for more easily as it is known most people scan articles anyway. Having a list stands out over other forms of written text that will make a visitor want to read that section as it is layout more easily for them to read.
If you haven’t noticed the trend here, we are all about breaking up boring content and making it easier for users and search engines. Another way to do this with your content is by including relevant images into your content piece. What is great about images is that you can incorporate much more relevant and useful images other than your typical stock photo. Try implementing the following:
- Diagrams and/or illustrations.
- Photos of products or components.
- Images showing how to perform a particular action or task.
- Photos showing a product in use.
- Images showing maps or coverage areas.
The thing with images that webmasters need to know is that you will need to add alt text to each image to help search engines understand what the image shows as bots can’t actually see what are on images.
It is widely known video is taking over and according to a study by Cisco, video traffic will be 82% of all IP traffic by 2022. That is staggering and presents a game changer mentality on how we can showcase content. Aside from it being an alternative way to show viewers content, video can also help from an SEO perspective as it keeps visitors on a website longer, which will reduce the overall bounce rate of your website. In addition, you can publish and optimize videos on YouTube to reach a larger audience while also having your videos show up in search results if they fit the search query as YouTube is indexed through Google.
Becoming more of an importance in 2019, adding structure data code to your website can improve how your pages are displayed in search results. If you have ever seen reviews or event dates in search results you have witness successfully implemented schema markup code. Google is all about getting the answer to a search to a user as quickly as possible and with the different types of structured data, your content can be ahead of your competition if you add schema code to them. Research also shows that websites using schema receive an increase in organic search traffic when they have rich snippets. Webmasters can use schema for a number of things including:
- Businesses and Organizations
- Frequently Asked Questions