SEO 101 : Basics of on page SEO
SEO (Search engine Optimization) is an important factor in a website/blog’s success. A website which is not being indexed by Google is next to dead. If you aren’t on showing up on Google’s search results, then you are missing a lot of audience.
There are several factors apart from quality which are responsible for the success of your business. For example if you are opening a lemonade shop, your sales will depend on how visible your shop is to people. In a similar way if you are opening a blog/website, your success will depend on how many readers you pull to your blog from search engines.
Before explaining any further, let me show why this article is worth your time. Quite a few days ago, I published an article about “Top 10 Apps for Nokia XL”, the post got indexed within 28 minutes and achieved rank 1 on page first.
The traffic received from search engines is termed as organic traffic. Advertisers are hungry for websites with organic traffic. By SEO you make it easy for search engines to index your website/blog and rank it in search results. In addition to this SEO helps you bring targeted traffic on your blog.
On-Page SEO / Off-Page SEO
There are more than one aspects of Search engine optimization. Two categories of SEO, divided according to customizations made to page are ~ On-page SEO and Off-page SEO.
In On-page SEO, the customizations and adjustments made for improving visibility are related directly to the page being optimized. Handful of factors such as ~ Meta tags, meta description, page title, url and the actual content come under on-page optimization.
In this article I’ll stick to on-page SEO customization only. As I mentioned above there are couple of factors responsible for on-page seo. To have a better understanding of these factors and their importance in your page’s ranking, I’ve explained them better below ~
Factors Affecting On-page SEO
Meta tags ~ When it comes to meta tags, there are quite a lot of them. In general, these tags tell crawlers about various bits of information about the webpage. These information can include author name, copyright information, keywords, content-type, description and much more.
Meta tags begin with <meta name=” and are closed with > with a content place holder in between to specify. For example the meta tag for author name in this blog would be <meta name”author” content=”Rachit”>.
This information isn’t visible to frontend but they matter quite a lot for search engines. They provide a bird’s eye view about what your page is to the crawlers and bots for better crawling and indexing.
You can consider it as table of contents in a Book. A web-page without meta tags is similar to a book written without grammar!
Meta description ~ Meta description comes under meta tags. It is considered as the most important meta tag.
The highlighted part in the screenshot is meta description. It is highly recommended that you put keywords in the meta description. This is short excerpt which acts as a quick summary for both readers and search engines. If your keyword ( for which you want to rank ) is present in meta description, then your likelihood to rank in search results is quite good.
But, never over stuff your posts with keywords. Search engines have grown to be smart. Keyword spamming will sooner or later ruin your search rankings. Once you’ve been marked as potential spam website, there is no chance of you getting back quickly.
It’s very important to carefully place keywords in the meta description. The keywords should be placed in a way that it is understandable for both humans as well as bots.
URL ~ The url plays quite a important role in your search result rank as well. Suppose if your page/post’s URL is http://www.somename.com/about-us.html and in the meta description you have written some text like “Know more about somename.com…. etc”. Then it gives a general idea to the bots and humans that it is the “About Us” page of your website.
But if you want to rank for a keyword and neglect it in Url, your likelihood in rankings get low.
The Page URL is visible in the search results as well. The highlighted area in the screenshot above shows URL.
You can also decorate your page URL by adding breadcrumbs in your pages. If you add breadcrumbs, not only it would make it easier for readers to navigate, but also your page will be shown more beautifully in the search results.
Page title ~ Did you know that 70% of readers will close your tab if your page title isn’t engaging?
Page title is the very first thing that the readers see. And the first thing by which they judge the content too. Your page title should be in between <h1> tag to be rendered as page title by search engines.
Naming a page incorrectly can fade you out from search results. For example lets consider your write a post on house cleaning tips and you name it “How to clean your House Tips”. But after some time you’ll realize that you aren’t pulling any visitors from google. This might be because readers were searching for “House cleaning Tips”. Due to slightly changed title your post might be considered different.
Before naming a page, make sure you do a keyword research. A keyword research will let you know what readers are searching. Taking a look at the search trends, monthly searches and similar factors you can decide what to name your post/page.
Content ( The king ) ~ No matter how expert you are in Search engine optimization, you can never get a blank page on top of google !
Google want that users access only quality stuffed and information rich pages. And for ensuring quality google has an algorithm.
If you really want your blog to prosper then start writing quality stuffed posts. Define the topic in a manner that even someone who isn’t much of a geek can understand it.
There are more than one advantage of publishing quality content. First ~ you’ll grow natural backlinks. Second ~ If a user finds your content worth reading, he/she might share it along on social networks. And google will certainly love you.
Keyword density ~ Keyword density means the no. of times keyword is present on your page divided by total number of words multiplied by 100.
Although there is no assured percentage of ideal keyword density, but experts recommend it shouldn’t be more than 5%.
If your keyword density is extremely high, google might see it as keyword spamming or keyword stuffing. Soon enough your site will be out of search results.
Final words ~ I’ve been experimenting with SEO since the starting of my blogging life. The most certain thing in SEO is, if you try black hat tricks, google will catch you sooner or later and thrash your site.
Don’t purchase backlinks, traffic etc. Most especially if you are using Google adsense. If you are using adsense , using black hat tricks will surely give you an amazing account suspension.
If you have any suggestions related to on-page SEO, you can share it in the comments below.
So, what are your on-page optimization tricks ?