Sunday, July 24, 2022

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If you're trying to get more traffic to your website then one thing that you must do first is optimize your on-page content. If you don’t have a lot of experience with this type of optimization it can be difficult to know where to start. In fact, I would go so far as saying that it's easy to forget how important this part of the process actually is.

That being said, there are some things that you should keep in mind when optimizing your pages. For example, if you want to rank well in Google you will need to make sure that you include relevant keywords in your on-page content and use them appropriately. You also want to make sure that all of the links that point back to your site use proper anchor text. Finally, you will want to take care not to overstuff any given page.

There are many other aspects of on-page optimization that you may or may not consider but these three items mentioned above are key to getting good rankings from Google. The following tips provide additional information on how to best optimize your webpages for maximum search engine exposure.

Crawl Your Website

The very first step in optimizing your on-site content is to ensure that you crawl your own website. Crawling means that you check out every single page on your website using a tool like Site Explorer, Screaming Frog, or another similar program. While doing this exercise you might find that certain pages aren't indexed by search engines yet, or they are indexed incorrectly. Fixing problems such as these before they become a problem will help your website perform much better than it otherwise could.

Also, while crawling your entire site you'll want to pay particular attention to your homepage and landing pages. These two areas account for most of the visits that people make to your site. Therefore, it's crucial that these pages are optimized properly. That way visitors won't bounce off after seeing your home page once and never return again. It's also vital that you track which keywords lead people to your homepage, because knowing which words drive traffic is essential to ensuring that your site ranks high for those terms.

Once you've crawled your entire site you can begin to analyze its structure. This analysis will tell you whether or not your site has the right architecture and design for optimal performance. One area that you will definitely want to look at is the number of pages that link to each other. Ideally, you want your site to have only five or six main pages. After that, you can add up to 50 sub-pages. However, it depends on how long your site takes to load how many pages per section you should allow. Also, remember that having too many pages on your site can cause it to slow down loading time overall.

A quick way to determine how many pages you should have on your site is to break down your total number of pages into percentages. Let's say that you currently have 150 pages on your site. Divide that figure by 100, and you will see that you have 15% of your total content broken up into pages. Next, divide that percentage by 10, and you'll discover that you have 1.5% of your content broken up into sections. Now, multiply the answer to that equation by 5 and you'll end up with 7.5%. That tells us that we should probably have between 6 and 8 pages per section. Of course, this isn't set in stone; you can always adjust your numbers based on your needs and goals.

Define Your Site Architecture

Now that you've determined exactly how many pages you should have on your site, the next step involves defining the layout of your site. When creating your website you'll want to decide ahead of time exactly how you want it laid out. There are several ways that you can lay out your site, including left-to-right, top-down, and bottom-up approaches. Each approach has benefits and drawbacks depending on the situation.

For example, a left-to-right approach works great when you have a large amount of content that flows easily from page to page. On the other hand, a top-down approach works well for sites that contain articles that stand alone without any surrounding context. A bottom-up approach can work well for sites that feature lots of products or services. Whichever method seems most appropriate for your site, you'll want to stick with it until you run across trouble. Then you can switch to something else.

Update Your URLs, Page Titles & Meta Descriptions

When designing your site you'll likely want to give each page a unique address. For instance, let's say that your website features products ranging from $20 to $50. Instead of calling each product page "product page X" (where X equals 20 through 49), you'd rather call each page "product page XX". Not only does this improve your user experience, but it makes it easier for users who bookmarked the old page names to come back later and still access their favorite pages.

You'll also want to update your page titles and meta description tags whenever possible. Make sure that you write accurate title tags that clearly explain what each page is about. Include your primary keyword in the title tag wherever possible. Similarly, make sure that the meta description for your page accurately describes what the page contains. Use the same technique to create custom snippets of text that appear on the SERPs when someone searches for related queries.

Finally, be aware that Google doesn't necessarily display all of your page titles in SERPs. Because of this, it's important to focus on writing meta descriptions that are concise and compelling enough to grab searchers' attention.

Keyword Stuffing Is Bad News

This tip comes directly from my colleague, Danny Sullivan. He says that keyword stuffing is bad news for both your brand reputation and your organic ranking position. To illustrate his point he uses the term "douchebag." Here are some examples of common instances of keyword stuffing.

Example #1: A company sells a new line of clothing. They want to promote the item and get more sales. So the CEO decides to place a sentence containing the word "douchebags" somewhere near the beginning of the product description for the item.

Example #2: A company wants to sell a car. Their ad reads: "We sell cars! We have duchesses!"

Example #3: A company sells a new line of shoes. Its ads read: "Buy our shoes today! Our customers love our shoes! Try our shoes now!"

All of these sentences are guilty of keyword stuffing. But why? Well, here's what happens when keyword stuffing occurs.

First, the phrase "buy our shoes," appears twice in Example 3. As a result, the phrase gets repeated multiple times within the ad, thus diluting the value of the message.

Second, the phrase "our customers love our shoes", which is used in Examples 2 and 3, sounds like spam. People tend to ignore messages that sound like advertising pitches and move quickly past them.

Third, the presence of the word "duchess" in the last example suggests that the advertiser is targeting women. Women are typically less responsive to advertisements aimed at men.

Fourth, the use of the word "today" in Example 2 implies urgency. Urgency appeals to consumers and increases sales.

Fifth, the repetition of the phrase "try our shoes now" in Example 3 indicates that the company is desperate to sell as many pairs of shoes as possible.

Sixth, the inclusion of the word "now" in Example 2 suggests that the company is offering a limited time discount. Again, this tactic tends to appeal to consumers.

As you can see, keyword stuffing often leads to poor results. Fortunately, you can avoid falling victim to this trap by keeping your ads simple and clean.

Keep Images Small And Simple

One big mistake that people make when building websites is to cram tons of distracting imagery onto their pages. For instance, imagine that you're visiting a site that sells shirts. Imagine that the shirt you're looking at has a picture of a woman wearing a bikini on it. Wouldn't you think twice about buying the shirt if you saw that picture? Yes, you would. This is precisely why you shouldn't overload your website with pictures unless absolutely necessary.

Instead, you should choose a few clear, crisp photos instead. Remember that search engines view images differently than they do textual content. That's why it's so important to use images that complement your written content.

Optimize Image Sizes

Next, you'll want to make sure that all of your images are optimized correctly. By that I mean that you'll want to make sure that the file sizes of your images are small enough to fit comfortably in a browser window. If you exceed this limit, you risk losing valuable bandwidth.

Additionally, you'll want to make sure that the dimensions of your images match the widths of your columns on your webpage. Otherwise, you risk making your website look messy or distorted.

Lastly, you'll want to make sure that your images are labeled properly. That is, you'll want to label your images with meaningful descriptors like "shirt_1.jpg" or "shirt_4.jpg."


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