On Page: Anatomy Of An Optimised Web Page
Understanding on page optimisation and all of the elements that make up an effective SEO strategy is paramount to search engine success. Your website is the key part of your brand where people can get to know the real you, looking beyond just the products and services that your business provides. Having an optimised webpage can ensure that you are capturing your target audience at every stage of the buyer journey, helping you to achieve a greater return on investment. But what exactly is an optimised web page? Here, we’re taking a closer look.
The URL of a site can help to describe the site or a specific page to the Google bot or visitor. The file structure should be easy to understand with hyphens used to separate words for readability purposes. Underscores, spaces, capitals and other characters to separate words should not be used as this can confuse both bots and visitors. Too many hyphens or extremely long URLs should also be avoided as this can appear spammy. The URL should also include the main keyword of the page.
An example of a good URL structure is as follows:
A page title is possibly the single, most important SEO factor on the entire page of a site. The title tag will define what the web page is about on Google search results and should be a concise description. The main keyword should sit at the start of the title tag and the closer you can get it to the start the better for search ranking prominence. Further to this, there are restrictions on the length of the title tag and if it does not fit, the title will trail off into an ellipsis. Optimising your page title can be the difference between a page ranking for a relevant search term and not appearing with the top 100 search results – although the combination of all of the other factors in the rest of this blog will also make an impact.
The meta description is a HTML attribute which describes what the particular page is about when viewed on Google web pages. This brief explanation is only a few characters long and can help to draw readers to the page. While meta descriptions currently have no SEO value, they can have an impact on click-through rate and relevancy. It is imperative that the meta description is of high quality, or else they may be dynamically generated by Google – which will then see content pulled directly from the site into the snippet section on search engine results pages.
If you are optimising your web page, you should structure the content as if it was a book. Header tags act as the chapters and can allow you to accurately segment the content to make it more readable for your audience while helping to direct bots and users to where the information they are looking for lies. Header tags are made up of six different levels – H1 to H6. H1 is the most important header tag on the whole page, and this should only ever be included once. The H1 should be used to tell the reader and bots what the content piece as a whole is set to be about. H2s to H6s can be used as many times as required but should be structured sequentially – skipping heading levels can get somewhat confusing for bots.
On Page Content
On a site, the content should be the most important part in order to make sure that your users are obtaining valuable information across the entire site. In the past, keyword stuffed content helped sites to gain rankings but with the introduction of the 2011 Panda algorithm update, this is no longer the case. Ensuring that keyword mentions are entirely natural is imperative, as is ensuring that the content is comprehensive and also useful at all times. The introduction of Google Hummingbird in 2013 also made it more important to keep all key term references as natural as possible. The longer the content is, the better, too!
Visual assets and multimedia are becoming more important than ever before, and as well as making your web page more readable and attractive, multimedia assets can also provide you with an opportunity to be seen on Google Image Search. Image SEO used to be a significant part of rankings as image search had the potential to bring in a lot of traffic. While this appeared to die out slightly, new data is suggesting that it may be becoming relevant again.
Adding alt text to all images is important to provide further information for those who are visually impaired or for when an image cannot be displayed. Further to this, adding a filename to help search engines to determine what the image is about and also surrounding text is all important for image optimisation. The same concepts should be used for videos, too. If you are adding a large amount of multimedia to your site, it is also imperative that these are compressed in order to ensure that page loading speed remains unaffected.
Integrating widgets and share buttons into your blog is particularly important to further enhance the opportunities to have your brand seen across a broad range of platforms. This is more important for news sites and blogs who post a large amount of content, but it can be equally as beneficial for sites which sell products or services but offer a blog or resource section to provide their customers with further information.
There are a number of other different features that you can integrate into your webpage to help with overall user experience. You can provide site visitors with the opportunity to share visual assets with an embed code section. This can also provide a number of opportunities to gain links to valuable sources of content. Social share widgets, Twitter cards and open graph meta tags are other features can that offer a range of user experience benefits to further improve the overall ability to share content and help your brand to reach a much larger target audience.
On page optimisation can be a complex process and every page on your entire site should follow these guidelines to stand the best chance of ranking on Google search results pages.