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20 Steps for Effective On-Page Optimization

20 Steps for Effective On-Page Optimization

Recently I came to know that Google is going to bring something unique for EMD’s and Google Panda hit website to get them back in rankings, obviously not on top so soon. There will be some twist coming along with it and I am all prepared as I know that if something is coming then it will for sure effect the current website rankings as well.

Most folks will notice that change by drop in their rankings, seeing the competitor which they have beaten after Google Panda and EMD updates coming close to them. However, I am all set with a bunch of on-page strategies which I am going to share here as well in the hope that it might be beneficial for some of you as well. These strategies will focus around your Website, Content, HTML, Google Analytics and Webmaster, and RSS Feed.

Let’s discuss each one of them in detail:

1. Website Analysis

The very first step in On-Page Optimization is Website Analysis, and is also considered as the backbone for effective website optimization process. It is very important to make yourself sure that the website you are optimizing is free from any error; this is for the sake of search engines and users both. There are various steps in website analysis which need to be taken care of, below diagram shows 5 major task in website analysis:

  • Layout of Website: It defines the website architecture; the way owner has decided to present his/her product or services on offer to visitors. It is always advisable to put your product and services on offer in such a way that it is easy to locate and go through for any visitor in your website. There should be proper grading of products and services you are offering parse shape, size, category etc.
  • HTML Source Code: This section defines the HTML code of a webpage like javascript, CSS, other codes required to present the data. You need to make it clean and free from any errors. Always validate your HTML from W3 markup service, they tell you even the smallest error in your HTML Source code. Less the error less the time taken by crawlers to move around your codes and more the time they will have to read actual content of your website.
  • Navigation – Top and Footer: Here you need to observe the most crucial area of a webpage – Header and Footer, also known as Top Navigation and Footer links. You need to present only those links which can be useful to visitors in their search for information, and can help them find what they came for on your webpage.
  • Website Load Time: The time which a webpage takes to completely open on any browser. Developer need to take care of this issue as they are one who are experts in reducing the amount of code present on any webpage. Advisable is to put lengthy codes into CSS and try to make the webpage size as low as possible. Load time also depends on various other factors like – flash file, images, PDF, server, amount of content.
  • Link Test (broken link, anchor text): Opt Xenu broken link checker or the one your trust to check for any broken link within your website. Broken link are not favorites of crawlers and generally they tend to downgrade the rankings of those website with more number of broken links and show them as 404 errors. You need to be double sure about every link you add internally if it is working or not.

2. Keyword Research

Keyword research is one such practice used by SEO professionals to research and find actual search terms people use to enter into the search engines when conducting a search. Keyword research is usually done to target our website using searched and relevant keywords in order to achieve better rankings from the desired ones.You all might be aware of popular keyword research tools, few of them are:

  • Google AdWords Keywords Tool
  • Wordtracker
  • SEM Rush
  • Wordstream
  • Bing keyword research (not sure if many of you have heard of it, you need to sign in for it first)

3. URL Structure Optimization

URL structure optimization is one such process which many thing is just a myth and do not rely much upon it. It is one such process where you can tell search engines and users that what all is about. You need to be careful when going for URL optimization as it will include search terms you have found out in keyword research process. The diagram here shows you every element of a URL and what it can contain.

URL Structure is all about inserting the main targeted key phrase in your URL for a webpage, and you need to make sure that relevant words are coming up in your URL and no dynamically generated string or variable which might not be that helpful in webpage optimization as compared to keyword rich URL.

4. URL Mapping

URL Mapping is the simple process of tagging website URLs against the search terms which you have found in the keyword research process. First you need to list down all possible search terms collected during search terms in one tab of excel sheet, and all website URLs on other tab of the excel sheet. Next you need to manually pick search terms from keywords tab and put them against URL which best matches that particular search term. Though this process is manual and might take long time for big website, but advisable is to go per URL and not website as a whole. You need to allocate search terms to their dedicated webpage for better and effective targeting.

5. Content Optimization

The content on your website is very important for the search engines as they consider website’s relevancy and importance based on both meta tags and content in relation to the important keywords you have targeted on that page Moreover the content present is also important from user point of view as they are the ones who are looking for information when searched. There are several guidelines you must follow:

  • Include keywords in text
  • Consider 3% density of the keywords in text, that means 3 keywords (not exact, you can manipulate them) on every 100 words.
  • Formatting of the text – like bold, italic, color – anything that will catch user attention.
  • Regularly add relevant content to your site

6. Meta Tag Creation

Meta tags are one great way for webmasters to tell search engines what information does their webpage contains. Meta tags can be used to provide information to all sorts of clients, and each system processes only the Meta tags they understand and ignores the rest. Especially for title tags, description and keywords you need to keep them in character limit as defined by Google

Title Tags – 65 Characters, Meta Description – 150 Characters, Meta Keywords – 250 Keywords

7. Image Optimization

Google cannot read your image’s content. Instead it will read the text in Alt attribute which describe what the image is about. Properly optimizing images involves using the “Alt” attribute when adding images to your site. So choose a descriptive text for your Alt. And most important, add your image URLs to your XML sitemap.

8. Service/Category/Sub-pages Optimization

This process is used for optimizing the product or service or category pages of a website. It is quite similar to optimizing the home page; the only difference is that you need to focus on specific key phrases rather than generic as the page will be quite specific to product or service on offer. When we look at home page they are generic and demand generic phrases to be targeted against them for optimization. Quite opposite are the inner pages where you need to be specific for the term used in the page for optimization process.

9. Management Team Page Optimization

Almost very similar process to inner page optimization, the only thing which need to be done here is to link Google+, Blogger and other Social Media Community profile of those management team members so as to make them searchable in social community as well. This step is more of a personal profile promotion that page optimization.

10. Contact Us Page Optimization

Once again, not a big task to do. You just need to focus on the information you are providing to your visitors in contact us page. You need to make sure that Google Map Listing is integrated on this page for better usability by visitors of business correspondence address.

11. Social Media Profile Buttons

Usual process of adding social media sharing buttons on top navigation.

It is one common step which I guess most of you are already using it. You just need to add or integrate Social Media Sharing buttons on Top Right Side for user who wish to connect with you on those platforms as well.

12. Blog Section Integration and Optimization

The recommended approach is to create a blog section and make it live on Top Navigation of your website. The best you can do is to show summarized blog post in your home page for better crawling of your blog posts by search engines. For optimizing it you can add auto functionality to fetch blog post title as <Title> tags and first 2 or 3 lines of the post as <meta description> for that particular blog posts.

13. RSS Feed Integration

RSS aka Rich Site Summary aka Really Simple Syndication is a web feed formats that is used to publish or promote frequently updated entries – such as blog post, news release. A RSS document (which is also called a “feed”, “web feed”,) includes full or summarized text, plus metadata such as publishing dates and authorship.

RSS feeds benefit publishers by letting them syndicate content automatically. A standardized XML file format allows the information to be published once and viewed by many different programs. They benefit readers who want to subscribe to timely updates from favorite websites or to aggregate feeds from many sites into one place.

14. Robots.txt File

The Robots file, also known as the Robots Exclusion Protocol or robots.txt protocol, is a preventive measure to tell web crawlers and other web robots which part is available for crawling and to prevent from accessing part of a website which is otherwise publicly view-able. Robots are often used by search engines to categorize and archive web sites, or by webmasters to proofread source code. For more info you can visit http://www.robotstxt.org/robotstxt.html

15. XML Sitemap

The XML Sitemaps is a protocol that allows a webmaster to tell search engines about URLs present on a website that are available for crawling. XML Sitemap is a file that lists all the URLs for a website. It allows webmasters to include additional and relevant information pertaining each URL, for instance – last updated on, how often it changes, and how important it is in relation to other URLs in the site. This allows search engines to crawl the site more intelligently.

16. HTML Sitemap

HTML sitemaps are designed from user’s point of view to help them find content on the page they are, and don’t need to include each and every subpage. This helps visitors and search engine bots find major pages on our website for crawling and reading purpose. You Can even hyperlink webpage with your targeted keywords for better internal linking on the website.

17. Google Webmaster Tools

Google Webmaster Tools provides you with detailed reports about your pages’ visibility on Google. First you need to add and verify your website in GWT to see information right away. Following are benefits of getting your website added to webmaster tools by Google:

  • Get Google’s view of your site and diagnose problems – See how Google crawls and indexes your site and learn about specific problems we’re having accessing it.
  • Discover your link and query traffic – View, classify, and download comprehensive data about internal and external links to your site with new link reporting tools. Find out which Google search queries drive traffic to your site, and see exactly how users arrive there.
  • Share information about your site – Tell us about your pages with Sitemaps: which ones are the most important to you and how often they change. You can also let us know how you would like the URLs we index to appear.

18. Google Analytics

Google Analytic lets you measure sales and conversions ROI, and also gives you fresh insights of how visitors are using your website, how they arrived on your website, and how you can keep them coming back by working on weak areas. Google Analytics is built on a powerful, easy to use, reporting platform, so you can decide what data you want to view and customize your reports, with just a few clicks. Features or areas covered by Google Analytics are:

  • Real Time Visitors View
  • Mobile Analytics
  • Content Analytics
  • Social Analytics
  • Conversion Analytics
  • Advertising Analytics

19. Google Local Listing

If you are a business owner and you want that people can find you over Google map, you have a desire to make your business stand out from every competitor, you need to do business listing over Google Local Places. This helps your website listing to appear on Google Local results appearing in SERP’s.

20. Google Plus Page Integration with Local Listing

Just need to create Google plus business page and add local address over there. It will ask you to verify that business correspondence address by sending you verification PIN at the mentioned address. PIN will be sent in a week or so, once received just enter it in space provided over Google+ business page and get your Local Listing and Business Page integrated and verified.