With search engines updating their search algorithms, On Page Optimization too has changed from mere keyword placement to ensure continued higher rankings. Your website content not only needs to be merely unique, but also needs to provide value to your visitors.
Once your webpages and website provide unique value along with other features such as social shares and links then you will witness improved rankings as well as enhanced branding. Google has given increasing importance to sites that provide improved user experience and you need to ensure that your website loads faster, is optimized for different devices, and is easy to understand and navigate.
In addition, your site needs to offer easy crawling, indexing, and ranking for major search engine robots. You need to use the rel=canonical option as well as redirects with caution as well as not block robots to ensure smooth indexing. There are also several keyword targeting factors that need to be in place to ensure improved rankings. The important ones are mentioned below.
You must ensure that you insert the primary keyword phrase in the title of your page at least once and that too at the beginning of the title itself. This tactic will signify higher relevance to search engine bots as well as boost chances of visitors clicking on it.
Another tag that must contain keywords is the H1 tag. Visitors will expect to look at a matching headline on a visited page and there are higher chances of visitors bouncing away in case they fail to do so. Rank correlations reports in recent times also relate higher rankings with relevant H1 tags.
Your primary as well as secondary keyword phrases must also find place in your body text as per your specific requirements. However, modern algorithms now require much more than mere presence of keywords on a page. They now scrutinize each page for relevance and may possibly look at quality as well. You must avoid overusing your keywords and must ensure that the content on your page follows a natural flow, and seems easy on the eyes of readers.
Placing relevant keywords in URLs is also very important since in addition to helping search engines, URLs also turn into anchor text as they get copy/pasted around the globe.
Your website’s meta description tag must also include keywords and text that is related to search queries. Even though search engines such as Google and Bing do not consider meta descriptions as ranking factors, a good description with the right type of keywords will definitely encourage visitors to click on that site.
Internal and external links also play an important role in ranking, and you must ensure that each page is linked with other pages on your site with less than four links. In addition, your external links must lead to relevant sites that command good authority with major search engines.
While keyword targeting and on page optimization can directly affect rankings, there are other factors that also play an important role in improving rankings. Other factors that correlate with rankings are brand mentions, social shares, domain authority, and links. SEOs as well as marketers need to achieve a good balance of all features to attract search engines to their sites.
With the ability of social media to boost online presence as well as rankings rising with each share, pin, and tweet, your website must include social sharing buttons and have a presence on such sites. However, you must ensure that your presence on social media sites is relevant to your business model and your target audience. You must also present shorter URLs that can be easily copy/pasted as well as try to include content that has high potential of going viral.
Making your website run seamlessly on different devices is now mandatory since smartphones and tablets have evolved from being mere instruments of browsing to potential replacements for desktops and laptops. Your site needs to be optimized for all upcoming devices and should include sharing features.
You must also take advantage of various rich snippets options offered by Google as well as use options such as the “rel=publisher” and “rel=author” feature offered by Google and “Linked Pages” feature offered by Bing. Use all possible options for additional markup, but take care not to overdo them and be classified as spam in the eyes of search engines.
The above tips on on-page optimization and keyword targeting may change with future search engine algorithm updates and you need to be flexible in your approach and develop new skills to stay on top of the rankings game or even in it. The definition of SEO is changing with each new update, but as long as you can please major search engines and use approved techniques while keeping your target audience in mind, you can achieve improved rankings.