There are many aspects to Search Engine Optimization or more commonly referred to as SEO. But sometimes certain aspects of SEO get more attention than the rest. This act of playing favorites is simply not SEO.
Favoring just one side of an aspect of SEO is simply not enough because SEO involves methods, which require all of these aspects which needs to sync or to work together in perfect synergy for it to be effective.
In a common SEO case, many website owners and SEO practitioners alike tend to focus more and pour in more effort towards Off-site SEO. Where the most commonly talked about subjects are backlinking, where to get them, how to acquire them, so on and so forth.
As important as backlinks are for a website to gain traffic and rank well for a certain keyword in the search engines, it can only take your SEO efforts that far.
Each individual SEO aspect can be seen as a percentage of the whole SEO pie. Let’s say that backlinks compromises a huge chunk of it, say around 50% (just throwing around numbers here), that means even if you theoretically had a perfect backlinking strategy, it’s still only going to contribute at the most 50% of your entire SEO strategy, and neglecting the other 50% is not the way to go.
The right thing to do is always pay attention, focus and also your effort to the other aspects of SEO. Take for example OnSite SEO.
In some ways, OnSite SEO is even more important than Off-Site SEO because not only can great OnSite SEO practice help your site rankings, and thus gain the search engine favors, but OnSite SEO provides a great user experience for your visitors who land on your site.
Below are some great ways to maximize your OnSite SEO:
Web visitors are lazy, and that’s a fact. When you make it hard for them to on your website (difficult navigation, color schemes that hurt their eyes, fonts that are hard to read, annoying…etc…etc), they will leave and jump onto the next website, without any hesitation whatsoever. You only have a few seconds to make a striking impression to your web visitors.
What kind of impression that your website makes is what is going to make them stay or immediately leave. And making a good impression is an even more important factor when it comes to being appealing to those first-time visitors.
So the best thing that you can do is to give them exactly what they want or what they are looking for. And what is even better is to make them find it easier. Now remember that the fact that web visitors are lazy, therefore the best way to present content to them is to make it available “above the fold”.
What this means is to place all your important content all above the upper half of your web page. In the areas which don’t require the web visitor to scroll down to. If there is no incentive to make your web visitor scroll down, he/she will not.
Statistically, most web visitors spend the majority of their time and attention areas “above the fold” so if you have any content, news, announcements, promotions or call-to-actions should be placed “above-the-fold”.
Do not make your web visitors work too hard or require them to put in too much effort for something they want on your site. No matter how minuscule or insignificant it might be to you, if there is a way to improve it or make it simpler, then it is in your best interest to do so.
This is a great way to make your visitors stick around your website, and this is also a great way to keep your bounce rate down, which can affect rankings if the search engines see that your site’s bounce rate is unusually high.
Everyone has the right to make money online. And you have the right to monetize your website and sell your web space in placement of whatever advertising it may be, be it PPC ads, banner ads, text ads so on and so forth. However, if you really care about your website and do not want to jeopardize your rank and credibility to your web visitors, then don’t turn your entire web page into a billboard.
There is a Google algorithm update, which actually checks your web pages on how much content you have “above the fold”. If the algorithm discovers and determines that your content “above the fold” is overwhelmed by ads instead, then your website might be penalized by Google.
Do not let the ads on your website overwhelm the contents of your website. Keep the ratio of ads low compared to your content and give priority of your content and place it “above the fold” instead of your ads.
Your ads are important to you, not to your visitors. So try to cut down on the amount of ads if you are guilty of employing this method, because if it can hamper your web visitor’s experience, then chances are it can hamper your rankings as well.
The Need For Speed
With current changes to Google’s algorithm, there really is a need for speed when it comes to a website loading time nowadays. Because whatever the majority of your web visitors don’t like, chances are that Google doesn’t like it too. So if your web visitors don’t like a slow loading site, then Google won’t too.
However, you need not worry because fortunately there are many tools and tips out there to help minimize the loading time of your website. And many of them are free to use. This includes Google’s very own diagnostic tool that helps checks your site’s loading speed and provide suggestions on what you can do to help bring it down.
With page speed becoming a bigger factor in the search engine speeds, this is another good reason to have your website on your own dedicated hosting server if you haven’t done so already.
Number Of Links
This is one aspect of SEO that many have overlooked (including myself). Google publishes many great guidelines regarding on how to design your site, and it would be wise to heed that guideline. According to one of Google’s webmaster guidelines, there is a limit to how many links that we should have on a single web page.
There was a time long ago, that Google was only able to index a certain size of a web page. And with this limitation came the limitation of how many links get indexed as well. So that means, you can’t have as many links as you want on a single web page and expect to have it all crawled and thus indexed by the search engines.
Even though that limitation might be increased in more present current times, according to many webmaster guidelines and based on user experiences as well, it’s best to keep the number of links to a certain number. The sweet spot would be less than 100 links in total on a single page.
Studies have also shown that when a web visitor is presented with too many options (such as links) ironically the web visitor will feel overwhelmed and will result in not taking any action instead, and thus leave the page or the web site entirely.
So include only the links that are necessary on a web page and there is a link that every single page has to have, which is a link to your main or home page. It gives a chance for your web visitor to return to your main page plus it gives the impression that your visitor can start afresh if he is deep in your website.
OnSite SEO is not just about satisfying the search engines because ultimately the search engines are all about improving a web visitor experience by presenting them with web-worthy websites based on their search results. So by keeping your web visitors in mind when designing your website, you are indirectly designing for the search engines as well which fulfills great OnSite SEO guidelines.