Optimizing all of your pages for Google rankings has become more and more prevalent in today’s digital world. Oftentimes, it can be easy to overlook the fundamental on-page optimizations that rank your site higher on Google. Here is a quick checklist to help ensure the pages on your site are optimized for Google’s ranking factors.
1. Clean Title Tags
This may seem like a pretty basic optimization tip but if you don’t pay attention to having clean title tags, it can be detrimental to your rankings. Be sure to double check that you only have your H1, H2 and H3 tags make sense for the content structure.
There is a contested debate about having multiple H1 tags for a page. Senior webmaster trends analyst at Google, John Mueller says:
“...use H1's for what they're meant - to show primary headings on pages. If you end up with multiple, that's fine too (and it's pretty standard with HTML5 anyway).”
All-in-all the bottom line is to be sure the page structure makes sense to the users.
2. Valuable Content (Avoid Duplicate Content!)
In the early days of the internet, you could just throw up a thin page with hardly any helpful or valuable content and you could rank. Now, thin content or not valuable content will not get you ranked. Period.
Make sure your content on your pages has at least 500 words. If you have multiple skimpy pages with a similar search intent, think about combining the pages and 301 redirecting the URLs.
Google incorporates bounce rate, how fast the user clicks and leaves the page, as a ranking factor. If your content is not helpful, users will leave.
Be sure to also scan your content to make sure you do not have any duplicate content issues. Search marketing company, Sames Digital Marketing, recommends running your site through Siteliner to check for duplicate content. Siteliner is a free software that analyzes your entire website for duplicate content, broken links, internal page rank, redirection issues.
3. Incorporate Keywords (+ LSI)
Keywords play an integral part of SEO. Always include your target keyword in your H1 tag, in the 1st paragraph of your content, and multiple times throughout your page (how many times depends on how much content you have).
Doing your diligence on what keywords you select could pay dividends months down the line. There is no worse feeling than spending months to rank for a keyword and then realize the keyword does not generate any traffic.
Latent semantic indexing can boost your page’s rankings. According to Wikipedia, Latent semantic indexing is a technique in natural language processing and analyzing relationships between a set of documents and the terms they contain by producing a set of concepts related to the documents and terms.
In other words, Google understands relationships to words, synonyms, and topics. Be sure your page has all the synonyms and relevant topics to rank for a search term.
4. Internal/External Links
Internal links and external links on a page can give Google better signals on what your pages are about. Site siloing is an internal linking strategy that interconnects common topics/ pages to let Google know that the topics are similar.
Here is a guide on implementing site silos to your site by Bruce Clay, an SEO expert.
Also, be sure to naturally incorporate keywords into your internal links. For example, if you are linking to a page about personal injury lawyers, you incorporate personal injury lawyers into your link. Be careful about overoptimizing and making the internal link look unnatural.
For external links, you want to be sure to link out to authoritative sites for your niche or topic. This is important because this will let Google know that your page is an authority for this topic.
Google cannot see images. It has gotten better at analyzing where certain images are commonly seen however, it cannot directly see images. You have to let Google know what the images are about by including “alt tags” or alt attributes in the images. Alt tags allow Google to read what the image is showing.
One of the most cited uses of alt attributes is to provide text for visitors who can't see images in their browsers
It is recommended to have your keyword in the first image/alt tag on the page and then have more natural alt tags throughout the page. This is a simple tip that will increase your page’s relevance.
Let’s Start Optimizing!
There you have it. 5 simple but very important tips to optimize your pages for Google’s rankings. Be sure to carefully review each tip and incorporate them to make sure your pages have the best chance of ranking!