On Page SEO in 2016: Techniques to Boost your Rankings
Do you all agree to the fact that On Page SEO cannot be dead?
Abiding the Google Guidelines and working on improving the content quality will always be the core principle for an SEO professional but today we will talk about all the important factors that will help you improve your keyword position in the search results.
What is On Page SEO?
On Page SEO refers to set of techniques that should be applied to optimize a web page in order to achieve better rankings in search results.
When we talk about on page seo, you would find a lot of articles stating that you should keep the basics right i.e. working around with meta titles, description, usage of heading tags, content etc.
At the core, we know that these are the basic factors one should keep in mind while optimizing a web page. But when we talk about on page SEO in 2016, few principles highlighted below should be followed:
1. Fulfill Users Intent
The algorithm’s are evolving and with algo’s like Hummingbird, Panda you cannot simply put a Title, description in place and stuff keywords in your content to rank better.
You need to satisfy the intent behind every search query. For example, if a user is searching for formal suits for a party, we might infer from his query that his intent is to seek suggestions and ultimately buy a suit for the occasion. This means you need to cover both the intents using your page, so how about showing him Best Formal Suits to Wear to a Party where you can have a link to buy the product.
And this is why we say you need to follow the basics,
If you closely look at the Title’s and Descriptions, you would find that most of them have the right keywords in place. Keep in mind that you do not put them as exact keywords, use them in phrases as show in the examples above. Note, Simply placing keywords in meta tags won’t help you rank, page level backlinks and domain backlinks play an important role.
2. Speed is the Real Need
Nobody likes to wait and see a page loading, it has to work around within 2-3 seconds. Google directly or indirectly takes this as a ranking signal and when we say user satisfaction has to be the priority, speed is a considerable factor that shouldn’t be ignored. Page load speed is one of the counting factors in google algorithm, so make sure while working on on page seo you check the page load time.
3. Targeting the Keywords
An ongoing discussion wherein you will find most articles talking about fixing the basics right, i.e. Title, Description, H1, H2 tags etc. all should have your targeted keywords. Yes, that is the way to go but the placement and the context has to be worked upon so that it doesn’t appear to be written for crawlers.
Remember, Content has to be written for users, so don’t try stuffing keywords in your content.
Try to smartly work around with keywords, all you need to do is balance it out with all other elements on the page. You should use the Google Keyword Planner or tools like Word Stream to research for Keywords.
Title and Headings Tag
With Panda and Hummingbird in place, it’s no more a keyword stuffing game for SEO’s. The more you focus on user intent and satisfaction, the better would be the results. Here is how you should be writing your title and headings:
- Target the most important keyword or phrase in your Title tag. The screenshot below clearly highlights the importance of keeping your important keywords in the beginning of the Title tag.
- Keep the heading (H1 Tag) similar to the title tag as this would be the first thing user sees after he clicks on the search results and lands on the page. You can search for “On Page SEO” and check for the first 10 results, all of them have made sure that there Title and H1 Tag are similar.
This is done to ensure that user doesn’t perceive that he landed onto a wrong page and pushes the back button to bounce right off the page.
4. Content and Images
The core elements for ranking any page i.e. content, which has to be relevant and unique. Google algorithm Rank Brain focuses on the quality of content and links, thus make sure that you keep the content relevant, descriptive and use keywords with the flow.
Stop being obsessed on using exact match keywords, they are no more in the picture now!
Tying your keywords within the content is still crucial and will always be an important element of on page SEO. The internal links are also vital when it comes to optimizing a web page and the anchor text should have the right mix of keywords. Make sure they do not appear spammy.
When its images in SEO, it’s more of the alt tag that we talk about and yes that is one of the most important elements for an image. When your campaign is to optimize the images and rank them on Google image results, it should be the alt tag that has to have your primary keywords but ensure that the alt tag goes with the image. The file name of the image also plays an important role when you want your images to rank.
Ensuring that all the above pointers is one part of optimizing and ranking a page, it gets accomplished when you blend in backlinks and work on increasing the authority of the page and domain.
5. General On Page SEO Elements
URL: When optimizing your webpage, URL cannot be ignored. Your URL should have the keywords and should not be too long. Your URL should be in an easy to read format, see below
Out of the both cases above, you should always follow the second URL structure. Optimizing the URL according to your content should always be preferred.
Share your thoughts/studies and will look forward discussing that with you in the comments.