Learn on-page SEO – Short Course

by | Dec 14, 2021

Why is On-page SEO important?

  • Google sees it as an important ranking factor
  • It uses Artificial Intelligence- Rank Brain software- trained by humans using Chrome
  • User behavior is analyzed; dwell time a user has on your website
  • Chrome tracks the page’s use by users in terms of no. of clicks on website, type of content required by user, no. of times the page is viewed, dwell time

Importance of Quality Score

  • Important factor used by Google to rank sites- panda algorithm is used
  • Every website has an entity database; Google assigns a quality score to your site
  • The better the score the higher the rank
  • To score a higher rank- it is important to understand user intent behind a keyword – provide the content required by the user
  • SERP user metric measures the click through rate of your website as compared to the rest- greater the CTR, greater is the chance of getting a higher rank
  • On-page user metrics contributes to the quality score of the site- user’s behavior, dwell time, does the user go back or stays to your webpage?
  • Backlinks too play a huge role in determining a site’s quality score- relevance of backlinks, niche of backlinks, the traffic social profiles drag towards your site

Other important factors in Site audit

Site’s domain age- site’s domain age:

  • Older domain names are given more value by Google since there is a lot of data to prove the site’s relevance
  • The quality of content, and how often the content is produced has an impact on Google ranking- newer domains can have a good ranking due to these factors
  • Backlinks should be relevant than spammy- otherwise site loses Google ranking due to irrelevant backlinks; site can be penalized too in this case and is difficult to recover
  • www is a subdomain

Robot.txt file:

  • Allows you to completely (or some parts of website) block your webpages from Google/Search engines
  • You can see whether your pages are indexed or not- meaning visible in Google search results
  • Helpful since you control site data- crawlers can slow down your site experience for users

htaccess file:

  • Tells about directory structure (site.com) of your site
  • You can edit your site’s configuration and URL easily with this

URL:

  • Should be friendly- shorter in size- easy to remember
  • The keyword should be there

Sitemap:

  • list of pages, media, or files on a website- not important now since Google bot  now analyses things one by one on your site

Internal Links

  • It is linking one page of your website to the other
  • Very important for high ranking
    • Helps search engines to find new pages
    • Improves a page’s score on Page Rank by Google
    • Tells what your page is about by looking at the anchor texts of the links
  • How to improve page’s rank with Internal Linking?
    • List your site’s structure in a hierarchy e.g. main/home page, then main topics/headings of your page, and then subheadings- this will help search engines to understand the connections among the pages
    • Internal linking strategy i.e. Content Hub-  here you create multiple pages on headings/ subtopics followed by subheadings/ subtopics- you then interlink them hence creating relevance among pages
  • Most important pages should have the most internal links to rank higher
  • Using the right keyword in internal linking is important for a better score

How to know if a site is not indexed and is penalized?

  • Type site: domain.com, domain.com, domain com or cut & paste the title tags in case of no Google Search Console account  (if title tag is way down or does not show up in search results) from site to search engine- if site does not appear; site is penalized
  • The webpage is either accidentally blocked by you using the robot txt file or has been penalized by Google
  • Majority of your site’s pages should be indexed by Google to have a better ranking; otherwise less indexed pages direct towards Google’s penalty.
  • Google Search Console helps you to find the reasons behind the penalization of your site- two types of penalties
    • Action against site: a notice by Google in the Search Console- this means your site is deindexed- leads to traffic loss and low ranking
      • Way to recover- email Google and apologize for  going against rules; sound a bit convincing- tell them you hired a SEO agency that now messed up; telling you did it will give a bad impression- plea to get the site indexed back- tell that you have improved your site and removed all the wrong backlinks- Google might lift the penalty.
    • Against Links: automatic penalty due to Google’s algorithm- less severe- a drop in site’s organic traffic
      • Way to recover- remove all the bad backlinks, bad blog comments, directory spam from your site/page

SSL Certificate

  • Provides security to user data/ information, such as passwords- it is not shared with anyone- data is encrypted
  • HTTP vs HTTPS
  • With HTTPS, user information is secured
  • Users tend to visit sites that are secure- good for SEO
  • Chrome tells users about website that are not secure- lesser traffic
  • HTTPS websites load faster than HTTP

ON Site Content Quality

  • Write content that drives organic; natural links from your niche
  • Avoid thin pages- less than 300 words or no pictures- users like engaging content
  • Do not copy paste content
  • Avoid content repetition/ duplicate content among your webpages
  • Content should have a particular theme- should not be all over the place
  • Avoid spammy content
  • Do not use content spinners or content builders
  • Content should be fresh- regular content creation on your site
  • Try writing on niches that have a lot going on, e.g. tech, crypto

Checklist for Creating Good Content

  • Google searches for original content first to while ranking
  • Use original images rather than copying them- watch videos online and take screenshots; make grids/collage of pictures; photoshop pictures
    • To check if the picture used is unique; go to images.google.com, put the image URL there, if your site shows up at the top, your image is unique
    • Images’ file names should have the keyword
    • ALT tags (used to describe the image and its context to the webpage in the written content) should also have the primary or secondary keywords
    • There should be image captions- add keywords here too
  • Also use multimedia embedded in your site i.e. ppts, podcasts
  • Minimum 800 words while 1200 (1200-1300 is good content) to 3000 (3000-5000 words for tougher keywords) word articles are good enough
  • 5 pictures and 1 video- recommended by Vishal Lamba
  • 4 or more words in the title
  • Ideally 1 H1 tag- break your content in H2, H3 and H4- insert high ranking keywords here
  • Use proper grammar; no spelling mistakes
  • Supplementary content- content is sidebars- should be relevant to the main content

Title and Meta Tags Optimization

  • Optimize the title tags with the right keyword- place it in the start of the title for better ranking
  • Catchy titles get high click through rates
  • Have a unique title tag across your pages- should not be repetitive
  • Title tags should make sense and should not be spammy
  • Meta descriptions should be fine- you can use yoast on WordPress
  • Rank Brain and Panda recognize spammy and spun content- chance of losing traffic

Keyword Density

  • 1 to 3% keywords is fine- greater percentage can lead to penalty by penguin- e.g. !% is 10 times in a 1000 word article
  • Do not bold or italicize your keywords- penguin will penalize you on charges of over optimization
  • Term Frequency- Inverse Document Frequency: measures how often semantically related keyword are appearing on your page as compared to the website’s topic
  • Look at the results of top 10 articles of your niche- copy their keyword density

Internal Contextual Links and Internal Links

  • A link from one post/page to another post/page of your website- powerful than sidebar links- you tell Google about the relation among content on your site
  • Highlight the text you want to link then add the URL of the post/page you want to link it on WordPress
  • Important- Google finds content on your website by following the links among your pages- helpful when you do not have a site map
  • Helps to generate traffic
  • SILO structuring of your site
  • Users clicking these links will help generate traffic- Google analyses the important pages of your website- hence a higher rank
  • Important pages of your site should have the maximum amount of internal links
  • Side wide links- help to navigate throughout the site- footer, menu, sidebar, widgets- related content links should be there in the side bar- SILO structure your links this way

Content Visibility

  • Avoid hiding content- it should be visible
  • Using images to hide content is not good for SEO- your page may get skipped by Google
  • Ads should be in a particular amount- too many ads is not a good strategy- content should always be above the ads, otherwise difficulty in site ranking
  • Google’s Fred Update- targeted sites that had more ads, and ads that were above content

Outbound Links (OBL)

  • The opposite of backlinks
  • You link external sites to your content on your site- link of an external site on your website
  • Have site links of the same niche
  • Authoritative sites such as Yahoo, Business Recorder, Times add value to your site- your site is seen reliable- your rank is improved

Content Layout

  • Important for user experience
  • Every page on your site should have relevant content, and should perform relevant function
  • Google measures how user performs on your site
  • Code quality should be proper- HTML, CSS- there should be no errors here
  • There should be no broken links, outdated codes, overlapping text

Evaluation of a new Page by Google

  • How does Google see a page worthy to rank high
  • Through Google dance- rankings of the page fluctuate since google is not aware of the reliability of the page- it pushes the page up to see how users interact with the page
  • Once Google sees user trust to your page- your page is ranked higher since the algorithm works on user experience

Usability and Structural Issues Audit

  • To see if any navigational issues exist or not- there should be none- menu, sidebar, internal links, OBLs, categories should all be intact and perfect
  • Blogs are important to develop trust for your site
  • Schema markup tags- important- they structure data in a way that Google can understand what the page is about
  • Click depth to main/home page- the quicker a user reaches the homepage the better- there should be links on your page that connect it to the homepage of your site
  • Your site should be divided in categories- easier for Google to understand your niche and content
  • Must have pages- About us, FAQs, Privacy policy, Disclaimer, Copyright

Other Factors

  • Bounce rate of your site should be less than 55% for better ranking- users who enter your site and leave
  • Site engagement should be between 0-10%
  • Users should visit 2 or more pages of your website for it to rank higher
  • Google Search Console should be constantly checked to see if Google has any notes for you
  • Always keep track of your organic track- there should not be sudden traffic drops- also see if other sites have a drop in their site traffic
  • There should be no broken links- if yes, fix them

What Keywords is your site ranking for?

  • You can find details on Google Search Console- average ranking position because of those keywords and average clicks for those keywords
  • Use those high ranking keywords

Fast Loading Page

  • Do check the desktop and mobile speeds of your site
  • Page speed is very important
  • Can be checked by using tools.pingdom.com, WebPageTest.org
  • CDN or Content Delivery Network can be used to speed up your page/ site- people click back from slower sites

Local SEO and Ranking in Google Maps

  • In local SEO you optimize for locations- it has a geographical content attached that organic SEO does not have
  • Google local, Maps use this SEO to rank pages
  • Your site should have NAP or name address phone
  • Contact Us page should be there on your site- your office location, content, google maps should be embedded, office pictures, office hours

Read More:

  1. Important Keyword Tools for YouTube & How to Use Them?
  2. 4 Effective Strategies to Do Proper Keyword Research for YouTube Videos?
  3. SEO in 2022 – Whitehat SEO Guide for Beginners

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