There are over 200 ranking factors for any given web page when trying to rank highly for your keywords in the search engines. Here are 10 of the most important On-Page SEO tips and techniques that you can use to keep you on track in 2014. Search Engine Optimisation is the single most important factor when building a website. After all, what is the point of having a website when nobody sees or visits it?
Editor’s note: Many of these have been around for quite a while but they are still some of the key On-Page SEO ranking factors when building a website in 2014.
USE OF REL CANONICAL
Make sure your canonical tag is pointing to the correct page and not a different URL. If your canonical tag is pointing at another URL the search engines won’t include your page as the reference resource. This will stop your page from having the chance to rank in the search results.
The title tag is considered by the search engines the number one element of a web page to identify which keywords and keyword phrases the page is trying to rank for. Make sure you use your most important keywords here.
KEYWORD USAGE IN PAGE COPY
It is important to use your most important keywords and keyword phrases within the page copy itself. The search engine spiders and crawlers will scan your page copy for appropriate keyword usage and use those keywords when ranking your web page.
ACCESSIBILITY TO SEARCH ENGINES
It is critical that the search engines can access your web page otherwise they will not rank your page within the search engines. Make sure you get a HTTP response code of 200 returned and that your URL is not blocked with robots.txt, meta robots or similar.
AVOID KEYWORD STUFFING
There was a time when keyword stuffing would be used by many SEO companies in order to rank web pages high in the search engines for their chosen keywords. This is considered bad practice now and the search engines will penalise you for doing it. Make sure you do not place to many instances of your most important keywords within your page title and page copy.
A SINGLE CANONICAL URL TAG
Use of the canonical tag is supposed to be only used once per page. Make sure you only have one version of your canonical tag in every web page.
SEARCH ENGINE FRIENDLY URL’S
It is recommended that you only use standard characters in your website URL’s in order to avoid potential problems for search engines when crawling your site. URL’s using characters that are less common can cause accessibility and interpretation problems for search engine web crawlers when trying to rank your web pages in the search results.
It is important that you use your most important keywords at the front of page titles and in the page copy. This will help the search engines to understand which keywords you are trying to rank your web page for.
IMAGE ALT ATTRIBUTE
Make sure you use your moth important keywords in the image ALT attribute within your website pages. The image ALT tag is still regarded as one of the top On-Page ranking factors when building your website pages. If you do not have an image on your web page put one in.
QUANTITY OF WORDS IN PAGE COPY
The search engines seek out website pages with sufficient machine-readable content. It is recommended that you use at the very least a minimum of 50 words or 300 characters (whichever comes first) in your document to fulfil the ‘minimum’ unique content that the search engines are looking for when ranking website pages.