05 Mar Overview of Onsite SEO Factors
6 Webpage Elements That You Can Modify to Increase SEO Rankings
Google, Bing, and other search engines analyze webpages to 1) determine their content and 2) rank pages that are most relevant to users’ search phrases. About 25-30% of search engine ranking factors are determined by “onsite SEO”, or the elements on a webpage that reveal its content. There are factors that you have 100% control over that you can change to increase your search engines’ rankings.
Onsite SEO is not rocket science. With a basic knowledge of html and about 5-10 minutes of work per page, you can improve your site and increase your search rankings.
Onsite SEO Factors
Each webpage should focus on one unique keyword phrase, such as “Chapter 7 bankruptcy” or “oregon bankruptcy attorney”. Each page should include the following SEO elements:
1. URL (www…com)
A url is the address of a webpage. Like a physical mailing address, it represents a unique place on the web where your webpage is located. Make sure to do the following:
- Include the targeted keywords in your webpage url. Ex: www.yourlawfirm.com/contact-our-portland-bankruptcy-attorney, Not: www.yourlawfirm.com/contact-us
- Use dashes to separate words. Ex: www.yourlawfirm.com/chapter-7-bankruptcy Not: www.yourlawfirm.com/chapter7bankruptcy
- Don’t make the url too long. Ex: www.yourlawfirm.com/chapter-13-bankruptcy Not www.yourlawfirm.com/chapter-13-bankruptcy-can-help-you-keep-your-home
2. Title Tag (<title>)
Just like the title of a book, the title tag appears 1) on the top of the webpage tab in the web browser and 2) on the search engine results page.
- Make sure that it has the targeted keyword phrase in it.
- Because the title tag is more noticeable on search engine results page than on the actual webpage, make sure that the title tag is catchy and written to get a click.
- Keep it less than 70 characters long. Search engines won’t display the whole title if it is over 70 characters long.
3. Meta Description (<meta>
No one will actually see this on your webpage, but this is the description that appears below the title tag on search engine results. This describes what your page is about and can influence searchers to click on your website.
- Use the targeted keyword phrase 1-2 times in the meta description, because search engines will bold these keywords in search results if they match the user’s search query
- Make the description catchy and interesting, because it needs to convince searchers to click on it.
- Keep it between 150-160 characters. If it is too long, search engines won’t display the whole description.
4. Headers (<h1>, <h2>)
Headers are like guideposts that segment the webpage content. Google looks at headers as being a good sign of what your page is about.
- Use the targeted keyword phrase in your headers.
- Make sure the headers are interesting and descriptive.
5. Images (<img>)
Images serve the purpose of complimenting your webpage’s content and creating visual interest. However, search engines can’t “see” pictures, so they use other factors to determine the image’s content.
- Use alt tag descriptions that have the appropriate keywords in them. Alt tags are text that show when the image doesn’t display.
- Save the file image with the keyword name it in. Ex: chapter-7-bankruptcy.jpg, Not: image2-2013.jpg
- Make sure the image are interesting and match the content.
6. Keyword Density
While your content’s primary purpose is to inform or persuade site visitors, you should make sure to have your targeted keywords in your content so that search engines know what it is about.
- Write quality content that isn’t too short or too long. Short content is seen by search engines as being low quality, while overly long content can deter site visitors from reading it.
- Keep the keyword saturation between 3-5% (3-5 uses for every 100 words). Having the keyword too frequently is seen as being “keyword stuffing” and search engines will penalize your site for it. It is also bad for readers to have awkward keyword usage.
Once you have these elements in place on your webpage, search engines 1) understand what your content is about and 2) can reward you by ranking you higher for phrases that you targeted.