An Introduction to On-Page Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Factors
Posted on 8th August, 2007
The on-page factors form part the hundreds of criteria used by the search engines to rank a page. In the absence of significant off page factor advantage, a good on-page SEO practice will help your pages to rank better than your competitors.
On-page factors are elements on a web page that the search engines weight differently when deciding where to rank your page in the search engine result pages.
These elements include the page title, headlines, alternate image descriptions, anchor text, keyword density and so on.
It’s estimated that Google alone uses over 200 ranking factors. As to the exact factors used to rank a page, nobody knows except the search engines themselves.
The following are page elements identified by most search engine optimizers to have some influence over your search engine rankings. The term “keyword” below refers to one word or a phrase containing more than one word.
Now, say a keyword you are targeting is “personal loan”, it should be included in the following on page elements
|Keyword in URL||http://www.sabahan.com/category/personal-loan|
|Keyword in Domain Name||http://www.personal-loan.com/application.html|
|Keyword in The Page Name||http://www.domain.com/personal-loan.html|
|Keywords in Header Tags|
|Keyword in the Title Tag||
This is probably the single most important on-page factor. You can see it used by most search engine in their result pages.
There’s more to creating an effective title tag than including your keywords in there. Here some essential title tag strategies that could improve your search engine ranking.
|Keyword in Description Tag||
Example: <meta name="description" content="your site description">
While Google no longer put any importance in the description tag, some search engine may use it to display what your page is all about in their search results. So include some of you important keywords here but avoid over stuffing them
|Keyword in Keywords Tag||
Example: <meta name="keywords" content="keyword 1, keyword 2, etc.">
As far as Google is concern, placing your keywords in the Meta tags won’t improve your ranking. In contrast, MSN does take into account the presence of keywords in the Meta tags.
If you decide to use it, avoid cramming all your keywords. Try using synonyms, plurals and common misspellings. I personally feel it’s important to include a keywords tag to make a page more complete.
|Keywords in the Body|
Keyword density is the ratio of the targeted keywords contained within the total number of words within a page.
Each search engine has its own optimum percentage, but in general it should be between 3% to 7%. Avoid creating a higher density page as it can be viewed as a spamming attempt.
Here’s a tool to help you check your page’s keyword density.
|Keywords in the Headlines||
Headlines are those text enclosed within the H1, H2, and H3 tag and so on. H1 is considered more important than H2, and H2 is more important than H3 and so on.
It’s recommended that you put important keywords in your header.
|Keywords Font Size||In general, large font is considered more important than small font.|
Keyword proximity refers to the closeness between two or more words. If you are targeting a phrase containing several words, make sure they appear close to one another throughout your article.
The first line is likely to rank higher than the second one under the keyword “make money”.
Keyword prominence refers to how early the keywords appear on the page. Those appear first on the page are considered more important than those appear later.
Generally, keywords appear near the start of a page, title tag, header and so on are considered more important.
|Keywords in Alt Text||
Alt text refers to the alternative text that appears when you put your mouse over an image. The HTML for inserting ALT text is:
<img src="image.gif" alt="Alternative text goes here" >
It’s crucial not to stuff the alt text with your keywords repetitively
Keywords in Anchor Text
Anchor text is also known as hyperlink. It’s the clickable text typically with underline that you click on to go to another page or location.
Google puts a significant emphasis on the anchor text on you pages as it’s an important pointer to a page relevancy. In addition, keywords in the anchor text tell the search engine that the subject or theme of the page that it links to.
Try placing your important keywords in the anchor text when linking to other page; and make sure the page that you are linking to is related to the anchor text.
There are many other on-page factors that made up a search engine ranking algorithm besides the above.
Search engine optimisation demands a lot of time and effort in order to produce a meaningful results. It’s important to avoid doing what the search engines consider as spamming.
Instead of worrying too much about it, your time would be better spent on producing good content while employing good SEO practice. Pay attention to your website quality, the general rule of thumb is that if it’s not good for the human readers, it’s not good for the search engines.