On-Page Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization has two major parts. The first is On-page SEO, and the other is Off-page SEO. On-page search engine optimization refers to the things you can control on a website.
No search engine can analyze and understand web pages as we humans do. Search engines work gather clues to determine a web page’s relevancy.
When doing On-page SEO, you add the clues and give your content the proper structure. This helps search engines figure out your website’s utility and relevance.
Search engine optimization gives you the opportunity to capture the attention of your target market by improving your rankings on search engines. Especially if you have your SEO done by a service provider that knows their stuff.
SEO can be a very powerful tool – especially if you understand search engines, the algorithm they use and what they are constantly looking for. When internet marketing is done right, your website should receive increased visibility and traffic.
The search engine “spiders” that are used to crawl and index content is quite remarkable. However, search engines aren’t perfect, and they too have limits. These limitations can also influence a website’s rankings.
Here is a look at some of the most common search engine problems that could limit a search engine’s power and efficiency:
- They cannot reach all of a website’s content if the site’s link structure is broken or poor; they automatically assume that the content isn’t valuable.
- If the content is behind various online forms such as login forms, search engines may find it hard to find the information since they cannot complete online forms.
- If a site uses Content Management Systems that create duplicate content versions, then it is likely to be ignored by search engines as they only look for original content.
- If the content is not written using commonly searched terms, it may end up confusing search engines, and this could lead to irrelevant results. However, Google’s search engine is becoming smarter and can recognize synonyms.
- Search engines have a hard time analyzing non-text content like flash files, audio, plug-in content, videos, and images. But then again, they’re getting smarter.
The search limitations listed above provide businesses incentive to do Search Engine Optimization actively. When your site is structured for search engines and humans, it will undoubtedly become quite popular. The importance of talented internet marketers and search engine marketing is not to be ignored.
Creating A Search Engine-Friendly Design
Search engine optimization will only work if a website is structured and designed properly. Even the best search engine optimization practices won’t provide the expected results if search engines find it hard to navigate your site.
Here are some tips on how to create a search engine-friendly site:
Use Content That Can Be Indexed
To get indexed by search engines, consider using HTML text format. If you use Images, Java, Flash Files or other types of non-text content on your website, chances of you going unnoticed by search engine crawl bots are quite high. If you still want these visual display styles included, then consider the following:
- Add text transcripts to video or audio files.
- Add text to pages containing flash or java content
- Assign an “alt attribute” to all images. This makes it easier for search engines to understand the image and provides them with an HTML-text description of the copy
Once you’ve published content on your website, check it to ensure that it is visible to search engines and it’s indexable. Right-click on a site page and “view source”. If the text or content you want search engines to see does not appear, then search engines cannot read it.
If you do not provide site pages with HTML text, it will be very hard to get a good ranking on search engines. It is worth noting that this is not impossible, but it is difficult.
Use Link Structures That Are Navigable
Search engines come across or “discover” new pages through existing links on pages they have already crawled. A navigable link structure should make it easy for crawler bots to find all the pages available on a site.
If your website’s pages are not interlinked or if its navigational structure is created in a way that does not allow spiders to access all pages, then these pages will not get listed on a search engine’s database. It is essential to ensure that search engines can see pages’ links for them to be able to browse your website’s trail.
If you forget to add a crawlable link structure on your site, search engines won’t be able to reach them or even know if any pages are existing. In such cases, there is nothing even great content, keyword targeting, or marketing can do to promote these pages.
Common Reasons Why Pages Are Unreachable:
- If the content on a website is only accessible after filling or submitting a form, search engines will never get the chance to access protected pages.
- If a website’s content is only searchable using the search box, they’ll always remain hidden since spiders never do searches to find relevant content.
- When links point to pages that have been blocked by Meta Robots tags and Robot.txt, it keeps spiders from accessing the pages.
- When a page has a link to a site containing over 100 outbound links above the link, this could make it hard for search engines to crawl and index the page. Meaning that it won’t get any link value.
- If the links to your site are in I-frames, then there’s a chance that spiders won’t be able to crawl it because of the structural issues.
Such simple things can be avoided and you become more crawlable. Clean, properly-structured links make it easier and faster for spiders to access content on your pages.
Use rel= “nofollow”
Apply “nofollow” attributes to link tags. Doing this will tell search engines not to view a specific link as a normal editorial vote. “nofollow” tags help stop automated blog comments and link injection spam.
In other words, a “nofollow” tells search engines to avoid counting a link’s value. As a result, the highlighted links don’t pass as of much value as standard “followed” links.
Usage Keywords are basically the technical terms or phrases used to perform searches and are the essence of the entire search process. Search engines possess millions of keyword centered databases where they store all the pages that have already been crawled and indexed. This makes the entire data retrieving and tracking process much faster and easier.
For example, when someone makes a search for a specific keyword, search engines identify the relevant database containing pages with the key phrase. They then rank the documents based on importance or popularity before returning the results. A search engine has to complete the entire process within a second, and a database that is centered around the keyword term or phrase makes the process much faster.
That is why it is vital to ensure that you use particular keywords in indexable contents of your site. This way, your pages will stand a better chance of getting a better rank in search results.
When a user types a keyword in a search engine’s search box, the engine produces the most relevant results based on the keyword. Through this process, search engines use extra information to retrieve and rank the right pages only. Some of the additional information includes spelling, punctuation, capitalization of keywords, and the keyword’s order of words.
To provide users the most relevant results, search engines will measure how keywords are used on a page to determine the page’s relevance. It is, therefore, advisable that you use very specific keywords in your titles, text, and page links.
An unnatural use of a keyword, where key phrases or terms are sprinkled within the content in an extraneous manner is known as keyword abuse or keyword stuffing. While search engines have not yet reached the levels of sophistication to comprehend content like we humans, they still can recognize keyword stuffing. That is why, if you are still using the old On-page SEO methods of stuffing keywords into your meta tags, links, text, and URL, then you are at risk of being penalized.
Search engines consider stuffing as manipulative and take the matter very seriously. Therefore, consider always using your keyword naturally and strategically and try to avoid overusing it. Using it once or twice is OK, just do not overdo it. However, if you want to use a keyword a couple of times more, then consider using the keywords variations, this should help you rank even for alternate yet related searches while protecting you from getting penalized.
On-Page SEO is often the starting point of any Internet Marketing effort as it is easy and quick to fix the things you are not doing right.
A client of mine was not ranking for any keywords at all. By properly setting up his site structure for search engines, his site was ranking within a few weeks for most of his targeted keywords.
Whatever you do on your page is clearly vital. Tell search engines who you are and what you are all about in the right way, and you will start seeing the online results you are looking for in no time at all.