SEO Strategies

20 Sublime On-Page SEO Ranking Factors Relevant in 2019

Search engine optimization can be categorized into two broad types; on-page SEO and off-page SEO.

On-page search engine optimization is equally as important as off-page search engine optimization. On-page optimization is not only important to website page rank on search engine result pages but it is also important for your overall website user experience.

In this article, we shall be looking at what on-page SEO is, and relevant on page SEO factors to optimize for your website. We shall also be looking at how to create a website optimization strategy for your business in 2019.

So without further ado, let us delve into the topic proper.

What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search engine optimization or SEO is the process or the techniques used to increase the quality and quantity of website traffic (people) by increasing the visibility of a website or a web page to users searching for information, products or services relevant to the website on a web search engine, e.g. Google, Bing, etc. SEO is strictly an organic effort, i.e. a process of increasing the amount of website traffic by pure organic or non-paid efforts. By this we mean that website traffic by any paid effort, either by Google paid advertising, social media marketing, etc is cannot be considered as SEO.

SEO may target different kinds of search, by this we mean that there are a number of niches which include images, videos, voice search, academic search, news and reporting search, etc.

Optimizing a website or web pages simply means creating or editing associated content of those pages. There are numerous types of content but the major ones are videos, podcasts, articles, infographics, animations, etc.

As an Internet marketing strategy, SEO considers how search engines work, what people search for, the actual search terms or keywords typed into search engines, and which search engines are preferred by a set of audience. Search engine optimization is performed because a website will receive more visitors from a search engine the higher the website ranks in the search engine results page (SERP) for relevant keywords. These visitors can then be converted into paying customers.

SEO differs from local search engine optimization in that the latter is focused on optimizing a business’ online presence so that its web pages will be displayed by search engines when a user enters a local search for its products or services. The former instead is more focused on national or international searches.

SEO used to be categorized into two broad types; namely: On-page SEO and Off-page SEO; but recently have a third type which is widely referred to as Local SEO.

Definition of important SEO terms:

  1. What is on-page search engine optimization?
  2. What is off-page search engine optimization?
  3. What are keywords?
  4. What is keyword optimization? 
  5. What is local search engine optimization?
  6. What is SERP?
  7. What are the on-page optimization factors?

What is On-Page Optimization

20 On-Page SEO Ranking Factors Relevant in 2019

On-page optimization is the process of optimizing some key elements on every page of a website in order to rank those web pages for relevant keywords in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPS).

On-Page SEO deals with both technical (i.e. HTML tags) and content of web pages.

The ultimate goal with on-page SEO is to make your website page content easy to read and crawl by search engine bots.

What is Off-Page Search Engine Optimization?

Off-page SEO refers to strategies and techniques used to improve the position of a web site in the search engine results page (SERPs) for some relevant keywords. 

Although off-page optimization and backlinks building are somewhat synonyms, this type of SEO involves some other factors such as social signals (i.e. social media presence), and content marketing.

What are keywords?

Keywords can be defined as search terms a user or users type in search engines such as Google and Bing when looking to buys something or trying to pull up some online resources. For example: “top SEO blogs” “slim tea” “music instruments store near me”, etc. Keywords are often categorized based on two things namely: 

  1. Length of the keyword – examples are long-tail keywords and short-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords are keywords or phrases that have more than two words. These type of keywords are often easy to rank for and less competitive. Short tail keywords, on the other hand, are keywords not longer than two words, e.g. “shoe laze”
  2. User intent – this keyword type can be categorized into three namely: transactional, commercial, informational, and navigational. Read Demystifying Keywords in SEO guide to learn more.

What is keyword optimization? 

Keyword optimization or keyword research is the process of researching and selecting the best converting keywords for a given web page. It is also the act of creating relevant content around these keywords to rank a given web page in SERP.

What is local search engine optimization?

Local SEO is the process of optimizing a business, product, or service for buyers within a very small geographical location, e.g. a street, neighborhood or city. Although websites are important to any business, however, a business doesn’t need one to optimize for local listing. Some key players in local SEO are Bing my business, Google my business, yelp, etc.

What is SERP?

Search Engine Results Pages (SERP) are the pages displayed by search engines whenever a searcher enters a query or keyword. The objective of any SEO specialist is to always rank a website on the top pages of SERPs when searchers are querying for the products or services offered by that business.

What are the on-page optimization factors?

On-page optimization factors are elements and tags that, when optimized, will make web page content easier to understand, crawl, and indexed by search engine bots.

Top 20 On-Page SEO Ranking Factors to Optimize in 2019

Not all on-page optimization factors are actually important to SEO. Below are the top 20 on-page SEO ranking factors you need to optimize today.

1. Page Title

A page title is one of the most important on-page ranking factors. The five things to keep in mind when optimizing your page titles are:

  1. Length – a page title shouldn’t be longer than 60 characters.
  2. Keyword – your page title should contain your focus keyword(s)
  3. Power word – your title should contain at least one power word. Learn more about power words here
  4. Negative or Positive Word – Your title should contain at least a positive or negative word
  5. Number – your title should contain at least one number.

2. Page Description

Although Google has come out to say that page description (otherwise known as meta description is not a ranking factor, yet it is important for user experience. 

The page description is the summary of an entire web page displayed alongside a web link in search engine result pages. It helps searchers have an understanding of what a page is all about. The page description should also contain the focus keyword of a website.

3. Short (but SEO friendly) URL Structures

The URL structure of your website goes a long way in determining how it performs in SERP. A good URL is short and readable. E.g, www.digitalmarketsjournal.com/contact-us. Two things to keep in mind while determining your URLs are:

  1. Length – your URL shouldn’t contain more than 75 characters. Anything longer than 75 characters is not good for SEO even if it’s readable.
  2. Readability – a good URL is always very clear and readable. An example of a bad URL would be www.example.com/yhUiikjoiuy6765?45/09-kimnjQASW 

4. Navigation

Website navigation goes a long way in determining how a website would rank in search engine result page. A poorly build web navigation will lead to increased bounced rate which in turn will negatively impact your page rank in SERPs. 

Therefore, it is key to have website users in mind all through the development phase of any website.

Another easy way around this is to make use of breadcrumbs. Website breadcrumbs help website users easily navigate back and forth a website.

Furthermore, having a search bar on your website will help with user navigation and lower bounce rate.

5. Internal Links

Internal link optimization simply means linking to other resources on your website.

6. Text Formatting

This involves the proper use of header tags. Ideally, you want to start every new section of your website with a header tag. This helps search engine crawlers to easily understand the structure and what your content is about.

A simple technique is to get a sheet of paper and follow this procedure:

  1. Content title (H1)
  2. Section 1 (H2, H3…)
  3. Section 2 (H2, H3…)
  4. Section 3 (H2, H3…)
  5. Section… (H2, H3…)
  6. Conclusion (H2, H3…)

7. Image Optimization

Image optimization involves adding appropriate and descriptive texts to web images. While all images tags are important, however, the two factors to be mindful of when optimizing images are:

  1. Image Size – huge web images tend to result in slow loading time.
  2. ALT tag – ALT (or alternative text) is can be described at the nickname of your image. Alternative texts should be descriptive and contain your keywords.

8. User-Friendly 404 Pages

We all have stumbled on a 404 page at one point or the other. Although 404 pages are generally bad for SEO, it is however very difficult to have a website without one or two 404 pages. 

That being said, a user-friendly 404 page is one that isn’t just blank but apologies for the error and bring users to another page, usually the homepage of a website.

9. Loading Speed

Page loading speed is the measure of how fast your website page loads and is one of the most important ranking factors. The most common factors that determine the speed of your website are:

  1. Videos/Images/Animations – heavy images, videos or animations will reduce your website loading speed. 
  2. JS and CSS – these are heavy javascript and cascading style sheets. An easy way out of this is compression. Heavy JS and CSS files should be compressed to increase website loading speed.
  3. Web Host – poor web host can also result in a very slow website loading speed.

10. Website Responsiveness

Website responsiveness simply means that your website has the same feel on mobile devices as it would on computers.

Mobile responsiveness is now a ranking factor as Google places more weight on websites with good responsiveness. Use Google mobile checker to check how responsive your website is.

Since more people now access the internet on their mobile devices, it is important that your website is mobile responsive.

11. Duplicate Content

Duplicate content generally refers to reasonable blocks of content within a website or across multiple domains that either totally matches other content or are very similar. A website owner should be wary of duplicate content. SEMRUSH has one of the best tools for checking duplicate content.

12. Sitemap

The Sitemaps is a XML file that lists all available URs on a website for search engine indexing. Sitemaps are generally uploaded or linked to the webmaster tool of a search engine. It helps your URLs get crawled by search engines more quickly.

13. Long-Tail Keywords

Long tail keywords are those three and four keyword phrases which are very, very specific to whatever you are selling on a website. To have the best ROI on your website, you want to optimize for high performing long-tail keywords. An easy way to find the best keywords is to use google keyword planner.

14. HTTPS

Asides the fact that HTTPS is a ranking factor, it also adds credibility to your website. Top ranking websites for any keyword all have secure SSL linked to their domain.

15. Social Signals

Social signals are the likes, shares, votes, pins, or views, people, place on social media sites that filter out to the various search engines.

16. Fresh Content

This perhaps is the most important on-page ranking factor. Fresh content not only keep people coming back to your website but also bring search crawlers back to your website to crawl new content. The more content you have on your website, the better your chances of ranking high for keywords

17. External Links

External links are important to your on-page SEO effort. This is an act of placing links to external resources from your own site. Adding at least one external URL from your web pages will go a long way in helping you rank.

18. Content Structure

Content structure is defined as the manner in which your content is arranged. Very recently, search engine that you have very long and comprehensive contents on your website to have it rank.

Long content increases the average time duration on your website which gives your page a huge boost in SERP.

19. Canonical URL

There is nothing that kills SEO efforts faster than duplicate content and pages. Duplicate content arises when you have very similar pages. Canonical tag helps tell search engines of your preferred page and thus protects you from penalties.

20. Schema Markup

Schema markup is one of the latest evolution of SEO. Schema markup is a semantic code that you add to a website to help search engines understand your website better. 

There are a number of schema markups such as local business, rating schema, website schema, breadcrumb schema, new article schema, etc Learn more about schema markup from schema.org

Conclusion

Above are the top twenty on-page ranking factors you should optimize for in 2019.

How about you let me know what you think.

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Omotayo Afolabi Olayinka
Omotayo Afolabi Olayinka is the founder of Digital Markets Journal, a top digital marketing blog. As a lead Digital Marketing/SEO Expert, he leads project development in SEO, SEM, PPC, Content Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Web Audit, Web Analytics, Local SEO, and Web Development. He is married and lives with his wife in Winnipeg, Canada

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