When we are in the process to optimize our Website we must take care not only with the actions we can technically cover inside our site, generally speaking doing easy the job for webcrawlers to index the content of the different pages in a particular Website, but also with the things occurring outside our site -off page- because such actions also has a powerful effect in search engine´s rankings when a user is actively searching for the products and services we offer.
The above infographic helps easily visualize what are the techniques “on-page” and what are “off-page”. In this post we will try to explain in some detail the main actions “on page” that we must consider when building our Websites. For that reason is important to know which techniques are and how they can add value to the site when properly setting them. This is crucial for the right positioning of our sites and for the greater visibility of such sites to the potential customers of our property. The following table shows the most important actions classified according to the parameters controlled.
HTML Head Tags
The page title should preferably use the keyword term/phrase as the first words. The title of this post, as you can see, and the URL contains the keywords we want use to positioning it when a user introduce the right terms in a search engine.
Although no longer used today as a parameter to set the “ranking”, the meta-description is important because it appears in the results offered by the search engines as part of the content of the page. It is shown that proper implementation helps increase clickthrough thereby increasing traffic to the site.
Although the Tag <keyword> isn´t no loger a parameter to consider in establishing the rankings by the search engines, even today it is important to configure it properly. It is supposed to provide a concise list of the themes concerning the Website.
Although today not necessary, this particular tag should be sure not to contain any directives that could potentially disallow access by the search engines.
With the rel=”Canonical” we tell search engines which version you want to show preferably of a set of pages with similar content. We can specify a canonical page adding a <link> with the rel=”Canonical” attribute.
Other Meta Tags as those offered by DCMI or FGDC are interesting but do not provide any benefit for SEO with the major search engines and therefore add unnecessary complexity and can increase the page´s download time.
Short URLs appears better in the search engine´s result pages, can be copied or pasted more easily and more readily shared by the users.
The closer the targeted keywords are to the domain name, the better. Thus the URL site.com/keyword is more suitable than site.com/folder/subfolder/keyword and is the recommended method of optimization.
Subdomains Vs. Pages
Despite the slight benefit that using keywords in subdomains could represent versus the use of subfolders or pages the fact is that the latter method which search engines usually prevail.
You must use hyphens to separate the keywords as you can see in this post URL. This does not apply to root domain names where separation of hyphenated words is almost not recommended in any case. For example, grancanariaresort.com is preferably to grancanaria-resort.com.
HTML Body Tags
Avoid overloading the content with excessive keywords as this abuse could be penalized by the major search engines.
Keyword density refers to the number of times keywords appear in a given text in relation to its size. Its calculation is very easy following this formula:
Keyword Density = ([Number of Keywords]*100)/([Total Number of Words])
Generally this rate should not exceed of 5% but it would be advisable to range between 2 and 4%.
It is recommended to use at least one or two variations of a term use distributed along the body of the text.
Although its correlation with rankings doesn´t exist must be taken in consideration due to semantic and purely SEO reasons. It is therefore recommended its proper use in the page´s header and also the use of key phrases or terms to which you want to position the page.
Although until relatively recently little value from the point of view of SEO was supposed to the Alt Attribute investigations have concluded that there is indeed a correlation between the best positions and the correct configuration of such a parameter. Therefore is recommended the use of images and aligning them with the terms / key phrases for which you wish to position the page using the ALT attribute of the HTML tag <img>.
As long as the images are able to generate some traffic to the Web site the names of the files containing the images are important when they are useful for correct positioning in natural search engine results. We suggest the use of keywords that we want to use in the name of the file containing the images.
Strong / Italics Use
In both cases is very advisable not to abuse of this resources. The ideal is, at least, be used once during a text inside the Website contents.
Internal Links & in site Architecture
The recommendation in this regard is that the user has to click as few times as possible to access the URL where is the content he´s looking for. Thus, the use of key terms in the site architecture -menus, content categories…- should facilitate the achievement of this objective.
Internal Links Rate
The pages that receive the greatest number of links tend to be better positioned for the search engines. Linking to content on the website itself must necessarily do increase the number of pages visited and help position our content on a given topic.
Links in Content
Currently Google and other search engines are making greater efforts to recognize the location of the links in the content of a page as an element to consider in the rankings. It should be noted that Google only counts the first link to a page that they see in the HTML code.
Link Location in Sidebar/Footer
Recent research indicates that currently links on the bottom of the page or in the sidebar are becoming less taken into account by search engines.
The important keywords must be used between the first 50-100 words of content. The pages that locate the keywords among the first to use seem to offer better results in SEO terms.
The well structured content and a clean design are factors that directly influence the success of a Website and, therefore, in the time the users spend on the page and on the use that users make of it. Also proper usability and ease of navigation also decisively affect positioning.
Configure properly the “on page” parameters is a heavy task indeed when it comes to Websites with content in different languages. Nevertheless the benefits it will bring to our natural positioning reward the effort.