Technical SEO Top 10 on-page elements to fix first
Just as the name suggests, a sitemap provides a map of your website that tells search engines the location of all the individual webpages in your site. These can be created using static or dynamic HTML and XML site maps that direct search engines as well as users to a single text or graphical page where all your links are located. Online services are readily available that can be used to quickly generate a sitemap which you can then submit to your search engine webmaster tools and have it re-indexed on a daily or a weekly basis as needed. You should also make it a best technical seo practice to resubmit your sitemap for indexing anytime you add or remove pages from your site architecture or make significant content changes.
The vast majority of SEO experts agree that the Meta Title tag is one of the single most-important technical elements carrying with it the most significant impact for your on-page SEO. What you use as your Meta title ultimately becomes the clickable description in related search results that will direct the audience you are targeting to your website or landing pages. The Meta title tells both search engines and search users in fewer than 55 characters how relevant your website is for what topic they are searching for. Having a properly optimized Meta title creates a big impact on search engine results rankings as well as the potential for generating clicks, visits, and revenue from targeted users.
Website loading speed is quickly becoming one of the most important on-page SEO elements as it affects not only search ranking results but conversion rates as well. In addition it carries with it a strong correlation to the user experience, bounce rates, return visits, etc. Faster loading sites are naturally favored over slow ones by users and search algorithms. Some factors that can increase website speed:
- Image file compression
- Image hosting and use of CDN’s
- Quantity of external elements
- Browser caching
- Code compression and “minification”
A few years ago Google announced that Meta Descriptions would no longer have a significant impact on search rankings from an algorithmic perspective, so if you have Meta Descriptions that are lacking or poorly written it’s not the end of the world however they are still very important for other aspects of your overall optimization efforts. Good Meta descriptions will encourage targeted visitors to click on your links and are thus a very important factor in driving more user traffic and increasing click through rates for your website. Without an optimized Meta description, search engines will simply pull potentially relevant text from your content that may or may not be what you want your targeted audience to see first. Keep in mind that even though it is not really necessary to customize the Meta descriptions on each webpage as it is no longer a major factor in search algorithms it is still highly recommended that you at least focus on optimizing the Meta descriptions of individual pages that carry the highest potential for acquiring user traffic and generating revenue like landing pages and conversion pages.
Welcome to the new world of semantic search. Search has evolved from traditional search algorithms to more intent driven search query results. This shift is brought about by the broadening need for matching relevant high-quality content with exactly what search users truly intend to look for. In order for search engines to match your content with the context intent of the search and the user, they need to be able to “read” and understand your content to confirm if they match. Since search engines do not yet have the cognitive ability to contextually understand content like humans do, they rely on microdata in the code to effectively interpret your page content. A standardized markup architecture developed through the Schema project gives website designers an effective blueprint of best practices to go by when creating a website. The Schema project involved a major collaborative effort by Bing, Google, Yahoo and Yandex search engines. Whether you’re trying to mark-up video content in your website or the phone number entry in your Contact Us page, there is a proper schema that you can implement. Integrating this into your code will help search engines to more easily locate and index your content and match it to a user search query which is of course the ultimate goal of optimization.
Twitter developed a system similar to Facebook’s Open Graph tags known as Twitter Cards. These “cards” allow users to extend the content focused information-giving capability of a 140-character tweet through a summary view feature found just underneath the tweet. Just like the OG tags, Twitter cards can be included in the page code. Similar to the Facebook OG Debugger, Twitter offers users the Twitter Card Validator tool that allows you to check your links to ensure they are properly formatted before you share on social networks.
Open Graph Tags
The future of search is social media and in the new age of Semantic Search, social relevance will continue to weigh more and more in search results. To facilitate this, your content and your website should have some of the same structure and functionality as do the major social media networks. This will help make your content and links more “shareable” within these networks, increasing engagement with targeted audiences leading to higher click-through rates and ultimately conversion and revenue. To ensure this happens websites need to integrate Open Graph tags into page code. Graph Tags, first introduced by Facebook back in 2010, have seen other social networks like Google+, Twitter and LinkedIn adapt to the system as the standard for displaying the links and content shared in these platforms. Facebook also offers a useful tool called the Open Graph Object Debugger which lets you check the right formatting of OG tags to use within your website content.
An H Tag or a Heading Tag is an additional on page SEO element that helps search engines quickly determine what your website content is all about so that it can properly serve your content for relevant user search queries. If you have a large amount of content or post long articles longer than 1500 words (longer posts are better from a semantic search perspective by the way) it would be best to have your content subdivided into sections, with each section properly identified with a corresponding H Tag.
- Every web page should have only one H1 tag. The H1 tag can also be your Main Title tag
- Embed your focused keywords naturally and strategically into your Header tags making it more compelling for targeted audiences as well as easier to find and index for search engine crawlers
- Keep in mind Header tags are different from style headers as they are more focused on font formats and styles
Image ALT tags
Search engines can’t visually examine images like humans can and must rely on image ALT Tags in order to properly index image content and return topically relevant results when users conduct image search queries. These tags are not only used to assist search engine crawlers in identifying and categorizing images but also provide an opportunity for further keyword optimization giving you an opportunity to include highly descriptive tags embedded with website relevant keywords.
Duplicate Content Check
Another important on-page SEO element you should focus on is checking for duplicate content. Failure to do so can cause confusion for search engine crawlers if they find content that has been used multiple times on varying pages within your website. Duplicate content makes it difficult for search engines to identify which particular content set is the original or the best version, which to index, and which to serve to users when searching. You can make use of CrawlMonster’s duplicate content check feature to quickly identify sections of content you need to correct.
On page SEO is just as important as it’s always been. In addition as other elements have been introduced over the years and the Internet and social media channels continue to develop and evolve, it’s critical that business owners and digital marketers evolve as well. CrawlMonster was designed to provide all of the SEO on page technical data you need and covers all the elements in this post and much much more helping you to boost your search rankings and drive more traffic.