Onsite factors play a role in ranking your site in the SERP’s. The question that most people want to know is what onsite factors they should spend more time on, and which ones are the most important for your site. I have created a list of the top onsite factors for the future, which I feel will have the most effect on your rankings.
Good content is what people are looking for whenever they search on Google. If your page is optimised for a certain keyword, but your content is not up to scratch, then you will still be faced with a high bounce rate which I will touch on further down in the article. Your content needs to be good quality and also unique. Duplicate content, as we all know, is something that Google hates and you do not want to see your site get penalised for this.
2. Title Tags
Title tags are usually the first thing people will see when they are looking at the results pages and it also draws people to click on your site. A title tag for a SEO website that just has your company name in e.g. “seoexample.com” will not get as many clicks as a title tag like “Search engine marketing company – seoexample.com”. Some general rules for your title tag is to keep it under 70 characters to avoid it being cut off with “…..…” in the results page. Basically, your title tag should consist of your brand name and keyword, with the keyword coming in front of your brand name.
3. User Friendliness
The layout and usability of your site is a critical factor to keep in mind. If a user has come to your site and they can’t find their way around it, they will leave and try to find a better site that is more user friendly. If a person leaves your site because of this, then you will have an increased bounce rate and low time on site figure in your analytics. This will give Google the impression that your site is not really all that valuable. Try to make sure your sites layout is easy to follow by adding breadcrumbs and good menus that won’t leave visitors frustrated.
4. URL Structure
Something that looks messy and also gets frowned upon by the search engines is a long and untidy URL structure. A URL structure like this www.url.com/jshyh%%20abcdefg66%%, will lose every time when compared to www.url.com/neat-url. Having a keyword in the URL will increase your CTR which automatically tells Google that the page is important for the keyword the user searched for – and hence helps you in the rankings. This is also effective for when you are link building and somebody offers you a link to, what I call, a naked link. This is a link that is just the URL of the page and no specific anchor text. Your link will still be of some value if the keyword is present in the URL.
5. Internal Linking
The best place to start a link building campaign is at your very own site. Internal links are the easiest links you will ever gain. These links will help you mostly with ranking deeper pages on your website, or just getting them noticed in the first place. In link building, you may find it extremely hard to get somebody to link to a deep page so internal links should be your first option.
6. H1 Tags
A great title tag coupled with a H1 heading that is just is good will give you excellent results. The H1 heading is the next thing people will see once they click through to your website. Even though people only look at this H1 for probably 2 seconds, the search engines look at it for a much longer time. A page about vehicle tracking should basically have the words vehicle tracking in the H1 heading as well. This might seem like common sense, but many sites have overlooked this in the past or failed to create a suitable and effective one for their pages. It is bestthat your H1 and title tags differ slightly, even though they have the same keyword.
There are many other factors which Google could take into account, but I feel that these are the most important to start off with for your website.
Darren Vrede is a SEO Analyst that joined R.O.I. Media’s SEO team in 2010 and further enhanced his SEO skills on a daily basis working on some of the top brands in South Africa. He has written many articles on ppc, search engine optimization and link building.