One of the most important elements of any website are keywords, which must be present in different places on the website. The search engine searches through the text of a page and assigns the website to a specific topic based on the words and phrases found. The corresponding website then appears according to the search queries the user played. In the right words, the website operators tell the search engine what they want to be found for. Keywords, semantically related terms and synonyms therefore not only have to appear in the text, but in the best case also have to be in the right places.
For example, SEO experts assume that a keyword is more important in the title than in the middle of a paragraph. The density or frequency of use of keywords is controversial. The information about the correct density of keywords has changed over time. Many experts now believe that there is no fixed percentage. In addition, there are always new ideas about keyword density, such as the WDF * IDF formula, which aims to redefine the correct use of keywords.
Meta tags are markings in the HTML code that explain certain properties of a website to the search engine. Webmasters can define here in the code how Google and Co. should handle a page or what they should say about it. Important meta tags are, for example:
- the title tag (in the header): names a page and is usually used as a title in search results, here, for example, keywords are very important in order to display the content of the page to the user;
- the meta description tag: describes the content of a page and is often used as a teaser in search engines;
- (IMG) title: (IMG) Alt: describes the content of an image and is displayed if the image cannot be loaded, for example;
- Robots: determines, for example, whether a search engine should search and / or index a website;
- Canonical: can define a website with identical content to signal the search engine which page does not need to be searched.
Not all meta tags are considered by the search engine, some weigh more heavily, others less for the ranking.
Search engines prefer well-structured content. HTML tags can be used to organize and structure text, videos, or images. Many SEO experts assume that, for example, keywords marked with certain tags are recognized as important by search engines. This includes title tags such as h1 or h2, as well as sorted or unsorted lists.
Links are the internal and external connections of a website. Links that lead to your site from other sites mainly belong in the field of off-page optimization. The internal link of a page, on the other hand, is seen as an important factor for the SEO of a page. The more the individual pages of a website are linked and better structured, the more the user can move around the website. A property that is rated positively by search engines.
Links can be placed in various places on a website. The placement likely also has an impact on how the search engine ranks a link. Links in the main navigation could therefore be more important than links in the footer. The functionality of links in search engine optimization is often explained using the “link juice”. Each website therefore has an individual strength, i.e. a certain amount of link juice. The strength is defined by various factors such as the number of incoming links. This link juice is partially transmitted from a website via internal and external outbound links. The more links there are on a page, the more link juice can flow from this page to other pages. The backlink of a strong website is therefore more valuable than that of a website with few links.
URLs & redirects
The URL of a page can have an impact on the ranking in search engines. Keywords in the URL are seen by many SEO experts as an important ranking factor. The length of a web address could also have an impact on the ranking, as suggested by Google’s Matt Cutts.
A good page structure shows the search engine that a website is designed to be user-friendly. This means, for example, that every subpage can be reached with a minimum of clicks, that the navigation is well thought out or the design is correct. Search engines cannot or only insufficiently research various programming languages, files or page elements. Google, for example, has had problems reading AJAX applications in the past. As a result, the pages have not been (fully) researched and / or indexed.
Website owners need to design a page so that it is easily accessible to search engines. This includes, for example, granting the corresponding rights in the page’s robots.txt file. Creating a sitemap can also make it easier for search engines to index.
Analysis of the onpage optimization
When analyzing the optimization of a page, Google always explains that website operators should simply orientate themselves on what is useful for the user when it comes to search engine optimization. Even if this is primarily correct, the search engine has more than 200 ranking factors that enable it to rate a page. To keep track of the small adjustments that website owners have to make to optimally present their site, a few tools can help. These tools can be broken down into fee-based software such as Searchmetrics or Sistrix.
These tools offer a wide range of functions and thus enable in-depth analysis. They rely on their own database to correctly determine rankings and keywords. There are also free tools like the Screaming Frog or the Google Search Console. These programs also analyze your own website and provide data on the status of the optimization. However, the range of functions is limited here.
The content of a website includes, for example, text, images, videos or graphics. Unique, up-to-date and high-quality content influence the various ranking factors and are the key to high customer satisfaction. For example, they increase the length of stay and reduce the return and bounce rate of the SERP. Duplicated content, i.e. content that is duplicated on different pages, can be rated negatively by Google. They mean additional exploration effort for the search engine and are of no use to the reader.
Unique content is therefore a factor that webmasters should not neglect when optimizing their homepage. There are several ways to publish high quality content. In addition to a blog, in which articles or tutorials appear regularly, website operators can create videos or infographics, for example. Well-made e-books or white papers also offer the reader help, advice and entertainment and thus have a positive effect on important ranking factors.