The factors on a webpage that influence the rankings of a search engine are the on-page factors. There are a few on page factors that can affect or influence the rankings of a search engine query.
One of the first factors that can influence page rankings is Page Content. Page content makes a website’s position possible, and it is the content that the user engages. This is why it’s imperative that a website focus on creating good content that is search engine optimized. The hallmark of good SEO content is that it fills a need and be linkable. Good content fills a need and represents what users are searching for in the market. Content that fills a need will be fluid. It doesn’t have a universal characteristic outside the fact that it is of interest to users. Good content is accessible by hyperlinks. Search engines cannot determine good content from bad content if there are no links in the copy. Search engines are unlikely to rank pages that do not have links. Content that does not have attached links and are irrelevant to current content demands are considered bad SEO copy.
The beginnings of on-page optimization were simple and only involved keyword placement. Search engines looked for a smattering of keywords in specific parts of the HTML code to clarify page relevance, but that is no longer adequate. There are a couple reasons on page elements require demand more complexity. SEO professionals estimate that keyword targeting impacts less than 15% of all rankings.
More complex algorithms – Bing and Google use complex algorithms that are relevancy and keyword centric and evaluate pages and rank them accordingly.
Search Engines Require More Information – Keyword placements are not enough to gauge a page’s relevance. Using only keywords to increase rankings can give a false impression of the information on a page, which can ultimately impacts how users experience the page, how long they stay, and external links to the site.
As search engine algorithms have developed in complexity, the factors that impact rankings have evolved requiring a more holistic approach to page optimization.
An optimized page should not only include unique content. The page and its contents should have unique value. Unique content is word product that is individual to that site, but unique value is the essential usefulness of the page and the content it provides that cannot be found in that capacity elsewhere. Basically, a page that provides a value that is functional in a way that surpasses and overshadows anything else in the same category.
A page that has unique value has more than interesting and singular content, and a page that has reached the level of unique value will experience social shares and an increase in external links.
User Experience (UX) is not made up of one specific element. UX is the collection of a wide range of factors. It is quite difficult to make all elements of UX perfect, but attaining the highest possible level will improve ranking and second tier increases like word of mouth, social shares, and external links.
Easy to Understand
Easy Content Consumption
Rapid Page Loads
Multiple Browser Compatibility – Page Rendering
Esthetic and Compelling Page Design
Bots crawl the web indexing and ranking pages for search engines. In order to ensure that a page is properly indexed and ranked reliably, webmasters should confirm that target pages have content that only appears on one URL. If this is not possible, then all other URLs should be canonicalize to the original page. Additionally, URLs should adhere to best practices regarding being static vs. dynamic, of an appropriate length, and inclusion in relevant RSS feeds. Be certain not to unintentionally block bots by using meta robots in error. They may prevent crawls from accessing content of important to your site’s rankings. If a page on a specific site that is important has been moved, use the appropriate redirect code making a clean transition to the new page. Do not use multiple redirects, and opt instead for a 301s code in lieu of the 30x status codes.
Page designers should try to include optimized keyword targeting, but not at the cost of user experience and quality of content. When it is imperative that a page includes keyword optimization, there are 7 important elements to target.
Use a keyword at least once in the title of the page, and try to place the keyword toward the beginning of the title element. Titles impact not only the relevance assigned to the page by the search engine, but it also factors into click through rate. Page title is a method of optimizing both keywords and user visibility.
The H1 tag in and of itself will not impact rankings, but it can result in decreased user experience. Users that have clicked on a page expect a heading that matches the SERP results link. Ranking correlations have shown that H1 tags that are topically relevant rank higher than those without. The tags need not be identical, but they shouldn’t be extremely dissimilar.
Keywords should be inconspicuous, and they should not impede the readability of content. Every effort should be used to include both the primary and secondary keywords when possible and relevant. Search engine algorithms are advanced and will assess relevance before most other factors, so creating comprehensible content is rule number one.
Keyword usage is an important part of the creation of a URL. It assists with search engine relevancy as well.
Having keyword targeted pages with images can help rankings because the images have the opportunity to appear in image search results. SEO pages with linked images have alt attributes that act in the same manner as anchor text.
Pages that have been optimized properly should be accessible from no more than three to four clicks from anywhere on the site. There should also be links to relevant content on topics related to the site. Search engine developers have suggested that there are pieces of their algorithms that reward sites and pages that have quality external links.
The goal of a meta description is to compel searchers to click on SERP listings. They work similar to an advertisement for the page or site. The meta description of a page is not used by search engines when ranking pages. They are still quite useful to the overall popularity of the page.
A well-optimized page encourages social media sharing by making it as easy as possible to share content and information. Much of the social media sharing is directly relational to web content. Engaging and compelling content is a driving factor in page content. Page content is very important to the basic health of a website because it is the purpose of the user’s visit to the site. It is also the primary interactive component of any website. It is crucial to website design that focus is put on creating good content that is fresh and varied. Good content must also be engaging and open to being shared with others through social media channels. This type of media sharing helps boost the popularity of a page.
The power of social shares has grown exponentially because of the reach and prevalence of social media networks. These shares correlate with higher search rankings and there is great value in encouraging and enabling social media sharing on your page. Good content is not random, and it should be of interest to visitors and fill a need. There are a variety of social media sites like Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, and Twitter that can help rankings directly or indirectly by exposing new users to page links that may be of interest. Page designers can make their site more social media friendly by using social media sharing buttons that match the interest of their primary audience. It is also important to know your page’s audience so that you can provide the social sites most relevant to your users’ interest. To promote social sharing, URLs should be short enough to encourage copying and appear relevant (by using primary keywords.)
The variety of devices that can access the internet require that pages be optimized for multiple screen sizes. This is a UX issues in many ways, since it doesn’t directly impact rankings, but if users aren’t engaging your site they are not sharing your content. Missing these users is a critical error and loss of a larger size audience.
Google does not offer the rel=author markup in search results that are not of a personal nature, like for example, Google+ connections. Additionally, Google has many rich snippets that come with schema.org. Be careful not to over do the rich snippet option as it can backfire with the search engine.
Title tags are the next most influential factor on a web page as far as SEO is concerned. As mentioned earlier, good internal linking on a website is essential to search engine optimization, it is also important to make sure that the hierarchy of a page can be seen in the URLs of that page.
The URL structure is important to search engines because it helps add relevancy to a web page. It also impacts anchor text because users are more likely to interact with links that have keywords and relevant phrases in the URL. In well written SEO, the category hierarchy of a website should be seen in the URL of the page along with appropriate internal linking. Search engines determine relevancy of a web page by analyzing the wording from the URL. The information in the URL is of negligible value to the search engines, but they are a helpful metric for page designers building an optimized page with link relevancy features.
Content pages are the majority of any website and the reason most users interact with pages online. A visitor typically has a reason for visiting a web page, and it’s most often to engage content pages. Well-developed content pages are specific about a certain topic, product, or object. The purpose of any web page should be clear from viewing the URL, title tags or content pages.
Contain highly relevant content about a specific topic, product, or object.
Include the following individual items:
- Title tag with a subject.
- URL with a subject.
- Image alt text with a subject.
- Specific subject mentioned many times in web content.
Unique content about a particular subject.
Category pages with links.
Subcategory page with links.
Homepage with links.