Five On-Page SEO Factors That Impact A Web Page’s Rank And Performance In 2018
The essential on-page SEO checklist for digital marketers and SEO’s to make sure you are communicating to Google exactly what to index in its SERPs.
What Is An On-Page SEO Factor?
An on-page SEO factor is the term given to anything related to the technical or physical aspect of a page, which affects the performance of the page within search engines. Some on-page SEO factors can be found in the source code of websites; they are not visible on the actual web page. While other ranking factors such as off-page and social may take months to impact a web page’s rank, on-page SEO factors take only weeks.
1. Title Tag
As an on-page SEO factor, the title tag is used by Google to populate the title of pages listed in SERPs. The title tag is also used to populate the tab title in web browsers. A title tag should be about 70 characters including spaces, should include targeted keywords, and should include a brand name, if applicable. The best title tags are written using head and torso terms. To summarize, head and torso terms are: 1-3 words in length General in nature Individually receive large volumes of traffic Examples: Running Shoes, Office Supplies, Online Degrees
Ex. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) | Search Engine Marketing (SEM) | Media Masters
In the example above Media Masters uses two keywords, followed by the brand name to the right.
2. Meta Description
This is the description of what a web page is about, and is located in the header section of a web page’s HTML code. Although this on-page SEO factor is not a ranking factor, it is important for getting click-throughs on SERPs. Best practices for writing meta descriptions include using targeted keywords and strong calls-to-action. They should be unique for every page and around 320 characters long.
3. Meta Keywords
Meta keywords are a list of keywords selected by a site’s webmaster that describe what a web page is about and, like the meta description, is located in the header section of web page’s HTML code. Meta keywords used to be an on-page SEO ranking factor, but it was abused by SEOs, and Google stopped using it for indexing web pages. Over-use of the meta keywords tag in the Bing search engine can actually hurt your rankings in SERPs.
If you find a site that is utilizing the former on-page SEO factor of meta keywords tag in their source code, it could be that the site was last optimized several years ago.
4. Header Tags
Header tags are located within the body section of the source code and are considered the most important on-page SEO factor as they are used by Google as the primary signal for understanding a what a page is about. There are 6 header tags, ranging from h1 (the most important) to h6 (least important). When coding your site, you should wrap text with these tags to signify their importance to Google.
Best practices for writing header tags include using target keywords, less than 70 characters long, varying from the title tag, and keeping it unique to each page. Up until very recently, it was believed that you should use the h1 tag only once. However, in a recent Google Hangouts session, a Google employee confirmed that you can use the h1 tag more than once on the same page.
The header tags for this page are as follows: h1 = Five On-Page SEO Factors That Impact A Web Page’s Rank And Performance In 2018 h2 = What Is An On-Page SEO Factor?, Title Tag, Meta Description, etc.
5. Image Tags
An image tag will tell the website to display an image. These tags include an alt attribute with text describing the image. Search engines read the tag in the alt attribute in order to help them understand what your image is about, and further helps them understand what the page is about.
Best practices for alt tags is to keep them under 100 characters, keep them unique from one another, and keep them as accurate to the image as possible.
Other on-page SEO factors not discussed in this blog include content mapping, keyword density, schema, and URL. I’ll be sure to discuss these on-page SEO factors in the future.
For more information on On-Page SEO factors, or to find out how I can help your website increase visibility on search results, email me at email@example.com. Be sure to include as much information on your website as possible, including:
What is the main goal of your website? (For example, the main goal of a hotel website would be to book reservations)
What is the current annual revenue of your company?
What is your title at your company?
What tools or software are you currently using for SEO?