How do websites get ranked on search engines?
This is usually the first question that lingers over the minds of new as well as old website owners. The broad answer to this question is SEO and the deep answer is On-page SEO. While on-page SEO is all about elements you can control on your website to rank higher, off-page SEO refers to the factors that occur off your website and offer credibility, for example, backlinks from another site. Together these two SEO techniques help your website get ranked higher, gain visibility and credibility over search engines.
However, for SEO to work- be it on-page or off-page it is necessary for your website to be SEO-friendly. Several elements determine whether your website is SEO-compatible or not.
Let’s take a look:
Is Your Site SEO Compatible?
You can easily check whether your site is SEO-compatible or not. To do that, you have to first keep in mind three important things-
- Know which keywords you wish to target
- What are your current position at Google and the pages of the site that are already indexed?
- Keep a close watch on your competitors
Once these three things are in place, you can check your website’s SEO Compatibility through two main things at first:
Structures and Code of the site– The search engines can see texts and codes and not images. That is why it is crucial to have a clean and structured code, which search engines can easily understand.
Authority of the site– There are several free tools available to tell you the authority of a website. However, you should know what the authority marks mean and where your website stands. Here is a detailed list of the marks and their meaning in general.
– 1-10. It is the building phase and tells you to work on your SEO
– 11-20. Your site needs improvements.
– 21-30. It shows the presence of some SEO standards but still a long way to go.
– 31-40. The site is competitive.
– 41-50. The site is in a good state.
– 51-60. You are above average.
– 61-70. The site is SEO-friendly and has a lot of links from other sites,
– 71-80. You understand how customers are looking for your site.
– 81-90. Your site is on the top of domain authority.
– 91-100. Perfect score.
Apart from the mentioned, several other parameters are technique-specific. This article further discusses the on-page optimization parameters that are essential to achieve a higher SEO rank.
There are many parameters for On-page Optimization
The term on-page refers to both the content and HTML source code. When On-page Optimization is on-spot, off-page optimization becomes a lot easier. This optimization technique helps search-engines understand a website and its content and hence is crucial. Here are the essential on-page optimization tips to improve your search traffic and boost your ranking:
We all know what happens when a web-page takes ages to download its content. Do we like to wait? Not at all. We immediately move on to the next website. That is why site speed is crucial. One of the studies showed that a single second of delay in page response time can result in a 7% reduction in conversions, making it quite clear that site speed affects ranking.
Essential Tag Fundamentals
Meta-tags still play a significant role. Title tags and meta-description get you to site visitors and at the same time keep search engines happy.
Relevant content is the king today. You have to put the content that drives traffic and helps you grow your business. Content that brings traffic in has the following qualities:
– It is relevant to the search and engaging to read or watch. (Content no longer means only the written content but also includes infographics, videos, and more such forms).
– It is in-depth, well-created with the website’s visitor in mind and search engines.
– It is easy to share and link.
– It is optimized for a high-volume keyword.
URL is another important parameter for your on-page optimization to do well. The best practice is to make sure that the category hierarchy of the website is reflected in the URL. For example- http://www.example.org/games/video-game-history
Other than these Internal Link Structures like anchor texts, shortcut links to deep pages, and so on and indexing of most important pages with the help of sitemap are other parameters that govern on-page optimization.
An ideal web page is one, which is hyper-relevant to a specific topic (usually a product or single object), provides unique content about a given subject, links back to the home-page of the website, category page, and sub-category page (if applicable).
SEO Needs v/s Dev and UX Needs
There was a time when ranking on search engines through SEO was the primary motive of digital marketers. However, search engines have grown with time, and so is the way we use the internet today. In addition to SEO, the other factors that help to elevate the rank of the website are user experience and website development.
We have already discussed on-page SEO needs and their parameters. Now let’s take a look at website development and UX significance as well.
The website development process is complex and demands plenty of attention to minute details during its tenure and even after that. But once done correctly can make your growth journey over the internet smooth and hiccup-free. Let’s have a look at the below-listed website requirements checklist that is highly important to know before the website development process begins:
Target Audience Analysis– It includes demographic, psychographic, and web-o-graphics details of user-persona.
Domain-name-The selection of a domain name/URL for your website requires consideration of four perspectives, such as:
– Human Perspective that is easy to read and remember
– Brand Perspective- must be unique and stand-out and depend on the nature of the website.
– SEO Perspective- must be relevant and contain business-related keywords
– Legal Perspective- must not have any copyright or trademark issues.
Right Design and Latest Coding– Right design means the layout that can be easily navigated, contains the latest features, and is pleasant to the eyes. It should contain smart UI elements to make the website more accessible and attractive. Right design when combined with the latest and clean coding, creates a website that is technically sustainable and is user-friendly.
Content Strategy– A good content strategy is the one that keeps a balance between what users want and what search engines want. The content, be the images, written texts, or videos, should be optimized for search engines. This helps in gaining visibility and should be interesting and relevant enough to keep the audience glued.
User Experience (UX) Impact On SEO
Today, User Experience is a critical element for any website to perform well and attract traffic. Hence, we have a whole new field of UX optimization that stands distinctively from SEO. UX optimization keeps the full focus on the experience of the visitor on the website. The new-age search engine optimization is based on what users or visitors are looking for. Besides providing relevant information to internet users, search engines now also collect data that helps digital marketers and business owners understand user behavior. The analysis of the collected data is then used to tweak algorithms to present relevant results.
A good user experience would mean:
– The searcher visited your website becoming a visitor.
– The visitor scrolled through your website, checked-out different pages, or in other words, spent quantitative time on your website.
– The visitor gets an understanding of your website, that is the content.
– The visitor left with a positive experience.
Google is Continually Evolving and Changing
The digital marketing world is witnessing a continuously transforming Google landscape. Be it because of changing user-behavior patterns or technology, Google is tweaking algorithms towards a more natural approach. It is putting humans first.
Another point to note is the impact of evolving Google on traditional marketing. The new generation demands tech-savvy marketing specialists who can offer 360-degree cover plus conversions, and not remain limited to the ranking reports.
This transformation calls upon a change in the working of SEO agencies as well. Those who wish to thrive in the waves of changes have to take a more holistic marketing approach. They need to consider the bigger picture and include advanced factors like commercial intent to meet the growing needs of the dynamic market.
Is this shift beneficial? Without a doubt, Yes, but only for those agencies who have adapted to the changing environment, while keeping the SEO foundation strong. Also, the clients will reap higher rewards in terms of ranking and exposure.