The Internet, undoubtedly, is a marvellous marketing invention. Businesses of all sorts – from the simplest home enterprise to the biggest multi-national conglomerate – have effectively promoted their products, services, events, and ideas to their respective markets all over the world. The Internet even helps create a balanced playing field so that fledgling enterprises can enter the game and compete with their bigger, more experienced counterparts. It has allowed entrepreneurs to discover, exploit, and reach out to new markets far away from their localities.
THE SIMPLE ONLINE MARKETING DILEMMA
However, the deluge of entities using cyberspace as a marketing tool can cause unique marketing problems. Primarily, there are so many websites in the Net that any particular business often gets “buried” under the plethora of websites of competitors, suppliers, and complementary companies.
To survive, rise up, and have a firm position above the din in the dog-eat-dog world of Internet marketing, a business needs to implement some special measures.
Measures to the Rescue
Measures such as SEO, search engine marketing (Pay-Per-Click), social media marketing, link building, and the like have been widely used to boost up a business’s “popularity” in the Internet. That means, when a viewer enters a certain keyword or key phrase into a search engine in his search for a provider that can satisfy his requirements and wants, the business pops out in the first page of a search engine results page (SERP).
The higher the business’s website’s position is in a SERP, the more visible it is. And the more visible it is, the more chances it has to capture audiences and potential clients.
Why High On-Page Quality is King
While these measures provide immense help in promoting a website and improving its ranking, a major part of obtaining and increasing organic (natural) traffic is to ensure that the pages of the website adheres to Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. While links that point to the business’s website from related blogs, press release and news sites, forums, and other sources bring in viewers, the website’s pages’ quality ensures that they stay there longer and explore its pages.
There are a variety of ways to improve website quality to increase organic traffic and to let viewers stay longer. But if one goes deep into the core, one would discover seven crucial on-page factors that need to be addressed to achieve high ranking.
1. Page Title – What’s in a Name?
The page title is one of the most important elements in a website; a single glance of a title can attract or turn off a viewer. A page title must be brief and concise; it must tell, at a glance, what the page is all about. It should also be catchy, interesting, perhaps even intriguing to attract viewers.
Furthermore, a website title must be search-engine friendly so crawlers can easily find it. Adding strategic keywords and phrases, of course, is a primary strategy. Plugins such as WordPress SEO from Yoast can be used to change elements of a website title so it would be more visible to search engines.
2. Description – What’s Your Business All About?
A website’s description is an important HTML attribute. In a search engine results page, the description is usually seen right below the title. As its name implies, the description describes what the page is all about. It helps viewers determine if the link being displayed contains the data they need. Without it, search engines will use text inside the web page that fits the keyword being used.
Aside from having the keyword (preferably in the first few words of the description), a description must be short, interesting, and informative.
3. Headlines – What’s Underneath?
Headlines are titles and subtitles that describe and divide the content into sections, making it easier for the viewer to read through the page. Search engines also use headline tags to determine what is important in a web page; think of headlines as a hierarchy of sections.
By default, the title of the page is an H1 tag. Subheadings are styled with H2 or H3 subheadings. Inserting strategic keywords and carefully dividing content under the right headlines can immensely help the website to rank highly in an SERP.
4. Content – Your Main Substance
Content is the heart and soul of a site page. Needless to say, content must be of high-quality, captivating, compelling, and error-free; that is why pages with excellent text, vibrant photos, captivating videos, and exciting interactive capability rank high.
However, one should be careful when creating content. A common but grievous error is to create content solely for search engines and SEO purposes. The result is a page that is filled with keywords, making it confusing, strange, and difficult to read. Furthermore, with Google Panda and Penguin updates, a website can get penalised for low-quality content that is simply overstuffed with keywords and links.
Content, therefore, must be written primarily for the viewers. It must be easy to read and should flow naturally. Keywords can be added afterwards, but they should be added conservatively and correctly to prevent being penalised.
5. Page Layout and Internal Linking – Easy on the Eyes
Similar to the concept of high-quality content, a page’s layout should be formulated with the viewer, not the search engine, in mind. It should be easy to navigate, simple to understand, and effortless to use. Links that lead to internal pages must work at all times; there’s nothing more frustrating to the viewer than clicking a link that goes nowhere!
A website should also include a sitemap, which is a series of files that provides links to all pages in the website. A sitemap is more than just a navigation tool for viewers; it is now a gate that enables search engines to access other pages of the website. To make a sitemap even more effective, it may be submitted to Google and Bing Webmaster Tool Portals.
6. Site Speed – The Sooner the Better
Site speed is not a direct factor on website page SEO. However, it is an important consideration that a webmaster should take. The reason is simple: human viewers and search engines do not like websites that load slowly. In fact, Google has been penalising slow-loading websites based on the search engine’s latest updates.
Site speed is determined by factors such as themes, caches, plugins, videos, interactive capabilities, hosting, and others. A thorough technical analysis can address site-speed issues.
7. Readable backend codes – Not so Hard Codes to Crack
Front-end and back-end codes are integral in the proper functioning of a website. Front-end codes point to an application that a user directly interacts with. Back-end codes form the core of a program that supports the front-end.
It is important that backend codes should be search-engine readable. An experienced back-end developer and a comprehensive technical analysis can identify back-end code issues that could impede a website from being ranked in Google.
If these on-page factors are thoroughly addressed, the website has a better chance of having a favourable ranking in an SERP. Publish engaging and awesome content from time to time. Keep it updated, keep it interesting!
Joe Ryan is the Founder & CEO of UK online marketing agency, Digital Search Group, which specialises in smart internet marketing. He is a specialist in online marketing strategy and brand building. When he’s not considering the next best online marketing strategy with his team, he enjoys travel and spending time with his family.