Page SEO: Introduction

A steady stream of organic traffic is desirable to any business, yet achieving it can be a difficult process. With google amending its ranking algorithm periodically, it is essential to stay aware of best practice and obey the known variables that determine your position on a search engine ranking page (SERP), for specific keywords. Meticulous keyword research is an essential stage in the planning process, this article will explore this and other 'on' and 'off page' factors that impact your ranking.

Web Page SEO and Keyword Planning

Intelligent keyword planning is the natural place to start your web page SEO strategy. You want to identify keywords that are:

  • related to your business, so that you are targeting high quality visitors. Think of terms users after your exact services would likely search. If you are not sure ask someone what they may search to find a website like yours.
  • searched for regularly (1000+ times a month ideally). Targeting the top page of google is not fantasy, especially if you target the right keywords (see next point). However, as only a certain proportion of your websites impressions (appearances on SERPs) will be clicked on, you want to pick keywords that are searched for regularly. Several studies, including this article by Philip Petrescu of MOZ in Oct 2014, show that a majority, over 50%, of impressions will end up clicking through to one of the first two results.
  • not too competitive. Google offer some excellent tools to plan your keywords and analyse their competitiveness. Put simply, the more businesses competing for a keyword, the harder it will be to rank. It can be worthwhile to analyse the results in the first page of a search term you are trying to rank for. It is highly unlikely you will be able to outrank a large collection of established multinational companies dominating the first page(s).

 

What Variables Compose The Algorithm Determining Your Page Ranking?

To introduce the key variables when thinking about web page SEO, I am going to introduce the 'periodic table of page SEO':

Web Page SEO

It is worth bearing in mind at this stage that there are several unethical approaches that may temporarily increase your page SEO and thus organic traffic to your website. Google has become much more advanced in mitigating the benefits of such black hat techniques, with suitable punishments and complete ban the norm. After all, google applies these rules to get high quality websites dominating its pages. Following the guidelines will therefore ensure your website is high quality and offers a great experience to its users. These are essential principles for a high conversion rate.

I am going to explore a handful of key variables, which carry the most weight within the table. There are three on-page categories, which are 'content', 'HTML' and 'architecture'. There are four off-page categories; 'links', 'social', 'trust' and 'personal'. On-page is concerned with the back-end code and design of a website, that directly impacts users and search engines interaction with the interface. Off-page SEO is concerned with all variables that impact a websites performance, not concerned with the actual pages. Things such as reputation, inbound links and branding play a large role.

 

On-Page SEO (Key Variables)

Content Research (Cr) + 3 - Researching intelligent keywords. This strategy has been discussed in depth at the beginning of this article.

Content Quality (Cq) +3 - Google rewards high quality content that is well written.

HTML Titles (Ht) +3 - The HTML title tags should contain the keywords you are trying to rank for.

Architecture Crawl (Ac) +3 - Your website should be easy to crawl by search engine spiders.

 

Off-Page SEO (Key Variables)

Personal Country (Pc) +3 - The country the user is searching in plays an important role in the search results they receive.

Personal Locality (Pl) +3 - The city or local area that someone searches in also plays an important role.

Trust Authority (Ta) +3 - Inbound links should be from trustworthy sources. Links and shares play an important role in determining your websites authority. A high quality link from a reputable company is a virtual stamp of the quality of your website.

Conclusion

This article has explained how to plan keywords that get a healthy amount of impressions, but are not too competitive. It has explored the most important variables, both on and off page, that determine how you rank in the SERPS. It is always worth planning long term with SEO, with unethical black hat techniques offering glamorous temporary boosts in ranking and visitors to your site, but a much poorer long term ranking and likely ban. No single variable guarantees top ranking, but obeying as many as possible, will greatly improve your chances. Slow, steady and safe page SEO really does win the SERP scramble.

 

By Sam Nickson of usabilityaudits.co.uk

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