Wednesday, 12 October 2011

SEO: On Page Optimization

The term On Page Optimization refers to just that: optimization that is done directly on a specific webpage to achieve better search engine rankings. This could mean on the visible parts of the page (what the viewer or customer can see) or in the code or invisible parts of the page. This is all done directly on the .html ‘file or ‘page’ which is the reason for the name On Page Optimization. Conversely, Off Page Optimization refers to the Optimization of a page by techniques and measures that are not implemented directly on the .html “page” or file. Detailed information about this approach to gaining better search engine rankings can be found on our Off Page Optimization page.

The definition of optimization, according to Merriam-Webster, is “an act, process, or methodology of making something (as a design, system, or decision) as fully perfect, functional, or effective as possible.” At SEO Visions, our definition of optimization is identical to Merriam-Webster’s with the exception of one word: “an act, process, or methodology of making something (as a design, system, or decision) as fully perfect, functional, and effective as possible.” So, the term 'On Page Optimization' simply refers to using On Page Optimization techniques (for better search engine ranking) to make the page itself as perfect (as in copy and content, minimal coding), functional (as in link structure, anchors and navigation) and effective (in ranking and conversion using keywords research analysis and funnel marketing) as possible.


Key Optimization Methodology

While the methodology for On Page Optimization is documented throughout the web, it is important to remember that virtually no one has access to search engine “algorithms” in their entirety – even those who write on them usually only work a ‘section’ of the algorithm for confidentiality purposes - and therefore no one knows ‘the perfect optimization’ to rank a page number 1 in all search engines. There are some ‘standard’ On Page Optimization techniques that most companies will use to get better search engine rankings, but for a company to provide effective and consistent results, they must constantly test live variations of these techniques and new techniques to keep up with the ever changing algorithms of the big search engines. With that being said, here are some examples of the ‘staple’ On Page Optimization techniques.

Keywords

Keywords are very important for page optimization and consequently better search engine ranking and should be chosen carefully. Basically, a keyword is a word or phrase that you associate with your page so that when it is searched for by a potential customer your site comes up in the SERP (search engine results page). For example, if your site sells wedding dresses you want your site to be listed in the SERP when someone types in “wedding dresses” in a search engine. Of course, this is simple explanation of what a keyword is. There are many other factors to consider when choosing a keyword such as the number of people searching for specific keywords, the specificity of keyword phrases, traffic patterns, keyword competition and conversion probability. All of this can be summed up in the ever-growing specialization skill of Keyword Research which is a large part of On Page Optimization and under the ever-growing umbrella of SEO. To learn more about this service, please visit our Keyword Research page.

Once your keyword research is complete and you have chosen your keywords for a specific page (usually 3-4 is best) then you are ready to implement them. Placing keywords in your page’s content helps you achieve better search engine rankings for those keywords when someone searches for them. Some search engines give prominence to earlier text so it is beneficial to place all of your keywords in the first paragraph and then sporadically place them throughout the rest of your content. Search engines know that your content must ‘make sense’ to readers and therefore put more weight on visible content than code – be careful – some search engines will actually penalize your page if you over saturate your content with keywords. As with all SEO optimization techniques, constant live testing is the only way to understand the perfect balance of keyword saturation and achieve better search engine rankings. Copywriting, Article Writing and On Page Optimization are all services offered by SEO Visions.

Images and ALT Tags

Along the vein of ‘visible’ content optimization, images are often forgotten in page optimization. Naming your .gifs and .jpegs to coincide with your article content (including the ALT tag) is of some debate between SEO professionals as to how much it helps your page achieve better search engine rankings. Most agree that images that are also hyperlinks carry more weight. Naming your images and their related ALT tags to coincide with the content theme can be beneficial and should not be overlooked. For more information about ALT tags, visit our HTML Tags page.

Linking

Link structure is another aspect of On Page Optimization. Besides creating a proper site map which helps the spider understand the hierarchy of your page and makes it easier to index, linking your pages together by using the text in your content can carry some weight when your site is indexed. Attempting to link to other pages in your site (internal linking) by changing the key terms in your copy into clickable links is beneficial. Internal linking works better if the anchor text (the clickable link) is related to the content to which it links and if the page it links to is in the same level of hierarchy.

Page Coding

The coding of a webpage is also very important. HTML is easiest for spiders to read and categorize and therefore is recommended. The TITLE tag is the first tag in the HEAD section of the code and should definitely contain your target keyword. Meta tags for ‘description’ and ‘keywords’ used to hold unprecedented weight but now carry little to none as a result of abuse by SEO Companies in the past. The less code there is on a page, the easier it is for spiders to read and index the page. Cleaning up the code and getting rid of superfluous coding left by some web authoring tools (also known as cruft) can be beneficial as an On Page Optimization technique. Page Load time actually affects ranking – if you are striving for better search engine rankings, make sure your page loads quick and clean.

Invitation to Services

The above description of On Page Optimization is provided by us to take some of the mystery out of key terms used in the world of SEO. The actual specifics are left out not only for brevity but also because all SEO Companies employ their own techniques – and respected SEO Companies are constantly testing and changing their techniques to stay current on search engine and traffic pattern trends. We invite you to contact us at SEO Visions about these or any other of our services by clicking here.

4 comments:

  1. Valuable information and excellent design.Its really a true search engine friendly.Please keep us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.
    Ecommerce development

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  2. Great Post. I have to bookmark this article. Not only does it list the best social networking websites, it also explains what they can do. two thumbs up.

    off page optimization

    ReplyDelete