On-Page SEO Factors – An Explanation

If you have recently spent the time and effort to build, develop, and launch a website, then you most likely want it to show up on Google and other search engines. Unfortunately, you can’t just create a website and fill it with content, all while expecting search engines like Google to “just know” that your site is worth funneling users to. Search engines are not all-knowing beings. However, there are several things you can do to make sure that Google has every opportunity to crawl and rank your website. These tactics are known as SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Several on-page factors can really help you boost your rank on search engines.

What are On-Page SEO Factors?

On-page SEO refers to search engine optimization procedures that appear on your finalized page. There are several on-page SEO factors to consider, but, for simplicity, we’ll focus on the ones that Google itself has specifically stated are important on-page SEO factors for ranking a website. These factors include:
  • The words and content of the page itself
  • Title tags and meta description tags
  • The URL
  • Images and al-attribute text
  • Internal links
  • External links

Optimizing the Content of Your Webpage for Search Engines

The most important thing to remember about optimizing your writing for search engines is that whatever you’re writing remains hyper-relevant to the subject you’re exploring. For example, if you run a defense lawyer website and firm, then you probably shouldn’t include content on your site that pertains to how to unclog a sewer drain. Another important thing to remember when crafting unique and relevant content is that the more in-depth and fully fleshed out your content is, the more likely Google (and other search engines) will view it as authoritative. Also, make sure that your content is 100% factual and accurate. Remaining relevant to your subject of choice is so valued by Google that they have even stated that you should clearly state your subject in the following areas of your content:
  • The URL of the page itself
  • In both your meta title and meta description tags
  • The header of your page (the H1)
  • In at least one sub-header of your page (H2)
  • In the alt-attribute text of all your images (more on that later)

The More Unique Your Content, the Better Off You’ll Be

When you’re writing your content/copy for a page on your website, try to remember that the more unique your content is, the more likely Google (and other search engines) will view it as authoritative and worthy of ranking.

Meta Descriptions, Titles, and the URL Itself

Now that you have written some unique and highly-relevant factual content for your site, it’s time to take care of the nitty-gritty details like your meta description, title, and the URL of the page itself. Let’s break those down one at a time.

The Meta Description

The meta description is simply a short description of the content that will be found on the page. It is also what people will see when they search for your subject on search engines. Google uses the meta description you have written to describe your page on a SERP (Search Engine Results Page). When it comes to your meta description, it should have:
  • No more than 680 pixels in length for mobile descriptions
  • No more than 920 pixels in length for desktop descriptions
  • Contain your main (most important) keyword
  • Be hyper-relevant to the subject of your new page.

Here is an example of an SEO optimized meta description:

meta description example on SERP

The Meta Title

The meta title is what search engines use as the display title for your page on the SERP. The meta title for your page should contain the following things:
  • Your main keyword
  • The subject of your page
  • Be hyper-relevant to your subject.
  • Be less than 512 pixels in length.

Here is an example of an SEO optimized meta title:

meta title SERP example

Your URL

The URL of your page is the next thing to optimize after your meta title and description have been completed. The URL of your page should:
  • Less than 2048 characters in length
  • Include the subject of your page
  • That’s it

Here is an example of a well-crafted URL:

URL snippet example from SERP

Alt-Attribute Text and Images

map of link paths graphic After you’ve written your page, optimized the meta-information, and made sure that your URL meets Google standards, it’s time to add some graphical flair to your page. The best and easiest way to do this is with images. Images that you select for your page should be well-compressed, load fast, be hyper-relevant to your subject, and contain alt-attribute text. Alt-attribute text for images is what web browsers use to describe images to your website’s visually impaired viewers. With this in mind, your alt attribute text should describe the image you’re using, and it should be hyper-relevant to your page subject. Alt-attribute text is also something Google uses to help rank your images on Google image searches.

Internal and External Links

Once you’ve filled your page with well-optimized images, it’s time to add some links. Think of links as the currency of the internet. The more websites that link to your website (and vice versa), the more authoritative your content will appear. The two main types of links that you will want to include on your page are external and internal.

Internal Links

Internal links are links that go from one page on your website to another page on your website. When optimizing your internal link structure, you’ll first have to decide the most important pages on your site. Then, link to them. However, please don’t overdo it! Keep in mind that search engines like Google distribute authority evenly between every similar internal link on a site. You will have to strike a meticulous balance between funneling site visitors to your main pages and ensuring that your link authority (sometimes referred to as link juice) does not become too diluted. Usually, the best strategy for internal links on a new page is to:
  • Link back to the homepage of your website
  • Link back to the category and sub-category (if one exists) for the new page
  • Link to your contact page

External Links

External links go from your website to another website or from another website to your website. Now, it’s pretty obvious that you can’t directly control what other websites link back to your website, so let’s focus on what kinds of external links you should put on your pages. Generally, you don’t want to link out to external pages and sources that do not rank well on Google (or other search engines). The more authoritative and trustworthy a website is, the better off you’ll be linking out to it. Some good examples of high-authority websites to link to include:

Too Much? Contact the SEO Experts at Goldstein Brossard for More Help

Well, there you have it: a breakdown of what good on-page SEO optimization is. If this all seems like it is too much for you to handle, or like you don’t have time to make sure each of your webpages follows these guidelines, then you can always hire the SEO professionals here at Goldstein-Brossard. Our team of on-page SEO specialists is always standing by to help.

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