The Secret of Effective Onpage Optamisation in SEO
This is the second article to the SEO guide I am producing for you. The overall aim to these guides is to provide you valid information that works and dismiss some of the myths that surround this industry. I will provide you with the secrets that the others don’t want you to hear.
Last time we looked at the customer. In this article we are going to look at on page Search Engine Optimisation.
SEO is generally referred to as two methods, termed On page optimisation and Off page.
Definition: On page Optimisation.
All the elements and tags that can be optimised in some way physically on your website for example the title tag in the header hierarchy and navigation.
Definition: Off page Optimisation
This refers to efforts made in SEO off site, meaning anything that you do that is not a physical change to your website that has an effect to your website traffic. For example link building or social media.
On Page Optimisation.
So on page is the process of producing a website or web page to an optimal level using the various html tags and elements that are available. Different on page factors provide different results, results based on factors that the search engines give weight to. Weight meaning the amount of power or result it will give to the optimisation you have implemented when placing your site in a ranking position.
A quick lesson on terminology as I use terms interchangeably and don’t wont to confuse you.
Tags, Elements and Attributes.
A tag is the starting and closing bit of the html code, so for example <p> is a tag and the closing</p> is a tag. In Xhtml self closing tags were introduced for example a page break <br /> which makes that a tag or an element.
<p>This is a paragraph</p> The complete code from the <p> the text and </p> is a element .
An attribute is something that differs between tags or elements. For example a image can have a src alt or a title attribute .<img src=”” alt=”” title”” />.
This is not a mark up tutorial but that should be enough information to not get confused with the terminology for those that are new to HTML mark up.
What Are The Main On Page Factors That get Optimised?
•Optimal Title Tags
This is the title of each webpage. The bold blue title displayed in each of the 10 results Google and other search engines display in the results when you carry out a search.
•Optimal Header Tags
These are the tags <h1></h1> through to <h6></h6>. These tags or elements are used to create a hierarchy in your online documents. Think of a newspaper how some headings are bigger than others thus creating a visual content hierarchy.
•Optimal Meta Tags
These elements such as keywords, robots ,zip-code, language and bot specific tags like slurp, googlebot etc Are added between the <head></head> tags in your HTML document.
•Optimal Meta Description
Is another element added in the <head> of your document that once provide the blurb seen on the search engine result pages under the title.
•Optimal Alt Tags
The alt is a required attribute of the <img> tag . This is to be used to add a description of the image for usability of partially sighted users or users that use a screen reader.
•Optimal Body Text
This would be the text the is inside <p></p> and other HTML tags.
•Optimal Keyword Density
The process of working out the density of a keyword within the web pages text.
The naming convention of your website structure E.G www.yoursite.com/my -keyword-page.html
Lastly every little bit helps. Something that you will hear again and again. Is it true? Maybe, is it worth spending the time possessing over and over this little bits that only provide a little help, probably not! This leads me to.
Traditional Thinking, No Room In The Modern SEO World!
One thing we are not at Swbdesigns is traditional. A lot of SEO practitioners spend time every month on client or personal sites fiddling and amending a majority of the above on page factors stuck in the mantra of every little bit helps.
Looking back at my last article I commented about half truths and poorly considered theories. I am afraid to tell you that in most cases on page SEO is a waste of time. I regularly speak with possible clients who tell me how they have just changed their keyword density and are waiting to see the results or have made some changes to their meta description and have seen a change in the serps. That is highly unlikely in the later as Google themselves even state that meta keywords and description provide no ranking value. Due to the miss use overtime from spammers all ranking value has been devalued. I will look at each element in detail on separate articles.
In the short on page SEO wastes meaningful time on old school techniques that will not provide any significant changes.
Most on page methods will only see a change below the top 30 pages.
You might be thinking about a test your saw online on how a site ranked by making changes to on page factors. These are generally controlled experiments’ that are trying to rank sites for obscure terms. Think about it, it is not hard to rank a site for the term” fabricated lemon branch dog sticks”. In the real world there is no competition for this term so there is nothing to compare your site with. Of course you gain ranks for these obscure terms. Bring this back to reality with a more realistic term “laptop spares”…. You don’t have a hope in hell.
The above information tells you there are only a few efforts worth your time. We will go through these in detail in the next article. In the second chart you can see that links far out weigh any of the on page factors. Links is a subject that we will look at in great detail later on.
The more factors and variables you add to your site the less importance you give each element. Thus limiting the impact and over time no change will be seen even if you add more and more optamised elements to your site.
So if you become a forward thinker, leave the traditional mantra behind. Spend time on factors that provide measurable impact you can see results in days for Google and Bing.
The following on page elements do not provide any worth wile ranking value, especially relating to the top 10 results don’t take my word for it experiment . If you want to become a good SEO you will be constantly testing your theories.
◦Page Headers (Also called H Tags) <h1></h1> to <h6></h6>
◦Meta Tags (almost all) <meta name=“” content=“” />
◦Meta Description (covered in-depth later) <meta name=“description” content=“” />
◦Alt Tags (unless image is also a link) alt=“”
◦Comment Tags <!– comment –>
◦Title Attribute title=“”
◦Bold or Strong <b> </b> or <strong> </strong>
◦Italic <i></i> or <em></em>
Now we have looked at on page factors, their value and affects it is clear there is only a few worth anytime. We will look at using these to their full potential.
NOTE: The information has been provided after years of testing based mainly on competitive industries. I am not saying that it is not possible to rank a site with a combination of these on page factors , merely pointing out that for the return provided from the time spent on such tasks your efforts will be better spent on other tasks that will provide you a better return. I have ranked sites that are not very competitive in a geo located area using on page factors and a few low quality links so it can be done and of course there are hundreds of factors involved in the search engine algorithms. The point I am trying to make is ,If you built a site with natural content hierarchy with good natural content don’t waste time going back through your website adding bold text keyword density or any other meaningless factor from the above list.
Now you know what Onpage SEO is and the importance of the different factors we will start to look at them individually and how to perfectly optimise your website.