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How On Page Optimization Can Maximize Your Company’s SEO Rankings
When you’re conducting a search in a search engine such as Google, chances are you probably click the first couple results that show up which best matches your query. This means that you will probably not click through the many search engine result pages (SERPs) that are offered. For the most part, there is a lot of competition to get your website on that first page, because after all, if you’re on page one, the better chances are of not only increasing your website’s traffic, but also converting your users into customers.
If you are looking for SEO services in Toronto or would like to optimize your website for greater SEO rankings, here are some things that you should consider when designing and developing the pages on your website.
On-page optimization includes things like the title, content, and images on a website. While these items are common to most websites, by paying attention to and organizing these objects in a certain way, you can optimize your online presence and ultimately drive more traffic to your website.
Make Use of Title Tags
First, be sure to use unique title tags on each of your website pages. This means that you should choose an attractive, yet concise, title for your webpage that makes proper use of the keyword you are trying to target. Since the title is often one of the first things a user sees on the SERPs, it should be appealing and describe briefly what can be found on your webpage. Be sure to select a good keyword that reflects this, and try not to “keyword stuff” (use the keyword too many times) in your title tag. Some tips for choosing a good title tag would be one that describes the information on the page. This allows your visitors to get a better idea about what the website is all about, and also helps search engines to view your site as more relevant to the searched keywords. On a side note, you should only target a maximum of one keyword per page.
Use Meta Description Tags
Similar to having good title tags, be sure to make use of meta description tags on your webpage as well. These tags summarize the page’s content, and therefore you should create a unique meta description for each page within your website. Doing so allows the search engine to understand what each page is about, which means more relevant search results and ultimately more suitable visitors to your webpage. As with title tags, you can make use of your targeted keyword in your meta description tags, but do so sparingly. You don’t want to overstuff your meta tags with solely keywords. Doing so will have the opposite effect on your webpage and will actually rank your page further down in the search results.
The Importance of URL Structuring
Another tip (which is often overlooked) is your webpage’s URL structure. By organizing the URL’s of each of your webpage’s, you can easily increase your website’s SEO rankings. Think about it this way: when you visit a website with multiple pages, does each page’s URL include actual words or short phrases? Or is there just a mixture of seemingly random letters and numbers? Aside from the fact that most users prefer a clearly-worded URL, search engines also prefer this. Why you ask? Because when you include actual words or short phrases in your URL rather than randomized characters, you can optimize your page by inserting your targeted keyword within the URL. And since your URL now contains words that are related to what is being searched for, the search engine will rank your page as more relevant. Therefore, using keywords in your URLs allows you to optimize each of the pages within your website, since you are basically telling the search engine what each page is all about. Once the search engine better understands the content of your webpage, the better it will rank your page overall.
Related to URL structuring is your site’s navigation. Aside from making your website as user-friendly as possible, search engines will better index your webpage based on relevancy if a user stays on the page for a few minutes versus a few seconds. This tells the search engine that the page is relevant to what the user is searching for. It is also suggested that you plan your website’s navigation based on the homepage, and go from general content (i.e. the homepage) to specific content (i.e. individual pages within your website). Many websites use a breadcrumb list, which is a simple row of links on the webpage that the user can click to navigate to the pages they wish to access. Furthermore, it is advisable to include a 404 page on your site in case a user stumbles upon a link to a page within your website that doesn’t exist or types in a URL incorrectly. More importantly, if you change or remove a page within your website, it’s best to set up 301 redirects which tells the search engines where that page has moved to. If a 301 redirect has been forgotten, then a 404 page will help the search engine crawlability and won’t penalize your website for the missing page.
Create Unique, Good Quality Content
It may sound obvious, but having good quality content on your website will quickly boost your SEO ranking. In fact, this is one of the most important things to focus on if you’re trying to increase your website’s traffic. Your text should be well-organized and easy to read with no spelling or grammatical errors. If one of your pages within your site has a lot of content on it or covers many different topics, you should break it down and organize it into smaller pieces. Doing so will make it more manageable and easier to follow for your users. Also, make sure to keep up with your website. This means that you should constantly be updating it with fresh, new content. The frequent activity will not only make people want to come back to your website, but will also help search engines view your website as more relevant, since you’re providing up-to-date information. But you should know that “frequent updates” does not mean that you should copy content which already exists. Keep your content original and do not use duplicate content, otherwise the major search engines will penalize you for it.
Optimizing the Use of Images
Most websites use images on their pages, but what many people don’t realize is that by re-naming your images, or using alt tags, you can optimize the use of them. For example, since search engines cannot actually see images, they make sense of what they are by using the names, or alt text, given to them. So if your website has good content that is up-to-date, uses keywords in the URLs, and also has images which are relevant to the targeted keywords, your website will be ranked higher by the search engine because it is more relevant overall. You will notice alt text on websites when you use the mouse and rollover any images. When defining alt text for your images, be sure to assign unique filenames and alt text to each picture, and avoid generic filenames and the overuse of keywords. Definitely make use of your keywords in your alt tags, but ensure that they are relevant to the page’s content.
The Proper Use of Heading Tags
Last (but certainly not least), to optimize your website’s content, use heading tags appropriately. Heading tags, such as H1 and H2 tags, emphasize important text on your webpage. For instance, use an H1 tag around the main keyword you’re trying to target near the top of the page. This acts as a visual cue to users that this specific content is important, and also boosts your search engine ranking since the H1 tag is basically telling the search engine what this page is about. An H2 tag can be utilized in the same way, and should be used around the second most important keyword on your webpage. Try not to get caught up in over-using heading tags though, because this can make page-viewing more difficult for your users and confuse the search engines.
As you can see, on-page optimization is all about making small changes to your website in order to create a highly targeted online presence. While these changes may not seem like much individually, collectively they will have an enormous impact on not only the way search engines index your website, but also on the way your pages are perceived by visitors.