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What is OnPage Optimization?

On-page optimization is the process of configuring elements on or in your website, that the search engines can read, and score, for relevance and ranking priority in the search engines. These are the things that you are 100% responsible for, and must adhere to, in order to achieve top positions in Google, Yahoo, Bing, or any search engine for that matter.

There is also Off-Page Optimization, which are external factors pointing in to your page or website; these factors may be inbound links or press releases, social signals, navigational searches, and any brand or business ‘signal’ that the search engine can attribute to your website.

There are three main pillars of OnPage Optimization.

  • - Technology
  • - Content
  • - User metrics

Technology in OnPage Optimization

Let’s begin with technology. There are static quality elements that have to do with your website as it stands. This can include the site or page layout, such as where content is positioned on the page. Code compliance and standards are other aspects related to the quality of any given site. Have your web developer take a hard look and determine if your site’s code is up to the current standards, or is it the code of a website built years ago? Google looks at these types of things and ranks accordingly.

Site architecture is crucial as well. Ask the following questions of your site: Is the site useable for visitors? Can those visitors conveniently navigate the site? Are pages linked back and forth to each other properly? Does your site have a footer? Does your site have a strong internal linking structure? Is the text on your site of high quality, meaning is it well-written with good grammar? There are many other site factors, including:

  • - Image optimization
  • - Video optimization
  • - Meta-optimization
  • - Structured data (Schema, Rich Snippets)

What About Policy Pages for Business Websites?

Sometimes simple things are overlooked in creating and rolling out a business website, like having an “about us” page on the site, or specific policy pages. For example, if you’re an e-commerce store, and you’re selling products and accepting credit card transactions as payment, does your site have a clear privacy policy to protect users’ financial data? A privacy policy page can help explain to visitors how you’re keeping their data safe. Do you have a terms and conditions page, or a shipping policy page? Having standardized business policy pages are important for some types of businesses, if for nothing else than proof that you ARE a real business! Just like in a brick-and-mortar business, you are required to have a license, and insurance. Creating policy pages for your online business works in much the same way – it lends legitimacy to the endeavor.

What are “Performance Metrics”, and How Do They Relate To My Website?

Performance metrics on your website are another big factor. This primarily relates to how FAST your website loads, and how comveniently visitors are able to access your content, and how your website's server delivers the content, information, images, etc. Among the general technology factors required for best performance, website speed is at the top of the list (because it's a performance factor that governs how well your website responds to users accessing content).

Here’s a listing of some of the technology metrics the search engines analyze, in order of importance

  • - Site Speed
  • - Position of keyword in title by character
  • - Length of URL
  • - Position of keyword in title by word
  • - Description
  • - Video integration
  • - Keyword in description
  • - Image Optimization

As you can see from the list, site speed is the number one factor. This is overwhelmingly the most important factor for your website, and it is so because it dictates how visitors interact with your site. Generally, users tend to be impatient, and if a site takes more than a few seconds to load, there’s a good chance they’re going to go elsewhere for their information. It is crucial to:

Speed up your website – the top 10 ranking URLs had load speeds of 0.99 seconds or less!

This page or site loading speed is looked at by the search engines. It is both a usability factor as well as an important SEO factor, so in a sense it is doubly important. The search engines can measure the site load times, using their own analytic tools or by data-sharing with Chrome or Firefox, among other methods.

What can you do to increase your site speed? There are a variety of tactics, including:

  • - Clean code
  • - Optimized scripts
  • - Proper file and resource management
  • - Server-side or hosting-side configurations

The main point is that a speedy website is crucial, and there are tools available on the web for you to analyze and improve your site’s speed. As it gets tougher and tougher to deal with all these particulars, it has become very important to have a dedicated web team, with developers and SEO experts to help ensure that the website runs as fast and as lean as possible.

What Are The Key Aspects of OnPage Optimization?

  • - Create robust site architecture
  • - Include well-balanced internal links
  • - Keep short page loading times
  • - Keep the site up to date
  • - Optimize ALL pages on the site

The site architecture must be robust. That means that the pages of your site are linked together very efficiently and conveniently. In other words, if your site visitors have trouble finding a specific page on your site, the search engines almost certainly will too. If you’re not linking to pages from your main navigation structure, you’re not assigning much importance to those pages. Burying pages in a site map without other means of linking to them shows the search engines that those pages aren’t as important as they might actually be.

Internal links are also very important – they can be links from the main navigation, links within the pages themselves, from the footer or the sidebar. Have multiple navigation choices available to site visitors, too. Giving your users an easy, logical way to move around the varied pages of your site improves their experience, and boosts SEO at the same time.

Treat the technology of your website with a holistic approach: that these optimizations must be in place for the overall health of your website, and must be in place as a prerequisite to top rankings.

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