Search Engine Optimisation: Onpage Fundamentals

Onpage SEOIf you are using a certain search engine like Google more than others, it is probably because you are provided the better search results compared to the ones you would rarely use. In this case, that particular search engine is benefiting from you. In what way, you may ask? The answer is simply because of your part in helping them gain their much needed revenues. That very small role that you play is when you decide to click on an ad that is on their page. The companies where these ads are coming from would then pay the search engine. This is what is referred to as Pay Per Click or PPC advertising. You can imagine the millions of other users like you who rely mainly on that search engine, and the role that they are unconsciously playing in helping generate money for the search engine.

Search engines have indices of sites that must be filled with content that vary in form. Usual content includes documents, videos, photographs and Web pages. What happens is that the search engine deploys crawlers or robots in scanning the Internet for content to be included in their index and rank these content depending on various values and factors. Of course, the more content they have, the most likely it is for users to consider them as a reliable site.

Ranking of content is done differently for popular search engines like Google and Yahoo! The former mainly considers the relevance of a site’s links among other factors, while the latter considers the quantity of the links of that specific site.

With the implementation of this process by search engines came what is referred to as Search Engine Optimization (SEO). This is a science known to increase a web site’s relevancy for a number of keywords, in a search engine’s perspective. This is done generally by improving a web site’s on-page values known to impact rankings on search engines. In a similar fashion as to how this search engine benefits from users, this is also how a website owner can benefit from them.

Keyword Optimization

Now that there is a general idea of how search engines do business, the next step is to choose a keyword, whether it’s just a word, a number of words or phrase, to be optimized on the web site. The main idea is to decide on a keyword that is relevant, has a large number of search activity and a good conversion rate. When considering relevance, asking the question whether the keyword is relevant to the web site or not would help. This is the time when the site owner thinks like a user or a searcher. As for search activity, what is considered is the number of times the chosen keyword is probably searched.

Another consideration that needs to be made is the level of competition among websites. If an owner has a new site, it’s possible that his or her site has a low Google PR (PageRank) or link portfolio. What should be targeted is a relevant, less competitive keyword to improve on link importance. Once that has been done, then comes the long-term goal of coming up with a more competitive keyword.

Additionally, the probability of conversion should be considered. For example, conversion is a price quote for an online shopping site or a credit card application form for a bank’s web site.

On-Page SEO Guidelines

Website owners are still encouraged to implement constant improvement on their landing pages because search engines still place importance to these on-page elements in their algorithmic rankings.

The first element is the Title Tag that appears within the header part of a page in between the tags that appear exactly like this:. This can be updated through FTP by changing the HTML file. If the site has dynamic pages, then this can be done through manual methods. It is absolutely important that good keywords or keyphrases are used in the Title of each page. Generally, the Title’s length should not be more than 12 words and a maximum of 2 for repeating a word. Also, for repeating a word, it should only be done if the owner is optimizing a page for several phrases that share the repeated word. It is also good to note that for Google, the limit is not with the number of words but the number of characters including symbols and numbers. For Google, the maximum number of characters allowed for a Title is 70.

The second element is the Meta Description Tag. It appears on the header section and looks something like this: <Meta Description=”" />

The third element is the Heading Tag which can be compared to a daily newspaper’s headlines. Although in SEO, this is not given much importance as of this writing, it is suggested that it must contain keywords of high priority as well. Heading Tags appear like this:
<H1><H2> and, so on. As the numerical value on the element increases, the particular heading becomes smaller. It is recommended that a single <H1> tag must be used on each page of a site as a basic rule.
It should match the theme that was set for the previous tags. It is a common practice for some sites to use more than one heading and put text in it for styling the look and the feel of the page. This usually defeats the purpose of optimization. However, if this cannot be avoided, then the use of CSS for styling the tags is recommended. It is also advisable not to cramp a paragraph on a heading since it removes the emphasis on keywords being given focus. Keeping the heading’s length reasonable is the way to go.

The next element is the body content where the quality should be given more focus than the quantity, especially of keywords and keyphrases. There are no ground rules as to how much keywords or keyphrases must be stuffed on the page content, since this is where the owner, in relation to SEO, would rely mainly on how interesting the page content is or how entertaining it is, and how it can be a good source of information. There is no length of page suggestion as well, although obviously, a 1000–word page would have more chances of keyword optimization compared to a 200-word page.

A keyword density of 2 to 7 percent is recommended. Keyword density can be determined by multiplying the number of instances a keyword or keyphrase appears on a page and multiplying this by the number of words in the phrase. You further divide this by the total number of words in the body of the page to get the Keyword Density. There is no guarantee however, that anything more than the recommended keyword density would optimize search engine results for the website, and of course, users wouldn’t want these search engines to flag them for over-optimizing and be filtered later on.

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