On Page SEO factors play the major role in achieving the higher search engine rankings. If implemented rightly, you can take your pages on top rankings and violating the same can cause your website penalized and thrown out of the SERPs. Follow this article that lists 95 on page SEO ranking factors and how to rightly implement those. You can also use this list to identify the on page SEO issues within your web pages.
Step 1: Start with the Head Section <head> </head>
This section is being focused on priority because it’s the first section that search engine crawlers read on your page. It must follow the standards mentioned below:
1- Title Tag <title> </title>: This tag contains web page’s title which must be meaningful, unique from the other pages on site and must be between 35 and 65 characters with targeted keywords in it, preferably occurring in the beginning.
2- Meta Description <meta name=“description” content=“description here”>: Must be meaningful, unique from other pages on site and between 125 and 165 characters having keywords occurring in the beginning.
3- Meta Keywords <meta name=“keyword” content=“keyword1, keyword2”>: The targeted keywords and phrases for which you want the page to rank. Must not be more than 256 characters.
4- Meta Robots: For a page that you want to rank high in SERPs it must be kept index throuogh meta robots as <meta name=“robots” content=“index,follow”>.
5- Link Relation <link rel=”next” href=”/xyz” />: Every page uses links on it so the relation must be identified through head section, i.e. rel=“prev”, rel=“index” and so on.
Step 2: Determine the Content Quality
Content is king but only if it follows the standards given below:
7- Grammatically correct
8- Frequently updated
9- Static in nature
10- Quantitative enough, i.e. not less than 150 words
12- Creating value
Step 3: Proper Keyword Usage
Keyword usage if it’s not proper can penalize your website, so be careful and know the standards for perfect keyword usage.
13- In Title; must not use more than 4 keywords in title
14- In Meta Description; Use 6 to 8 keywords in description
15- Keyword must occur in <body>, preferably the content
16- Main right Keyword Density, i.e. keyword density for highly competitive keywords should be different than those for low competition.
17- Keyword Proximity; the close proximity, the better it is.
18- Keyword Phrase Order; must be in a way that it makes sense to users
19- Bold Keywords in Text help you in ranking better for those, but do not bold a keyword more than twice within content.
20- Underlined Keywords in Text, helps emphasizing the importance of keyword on page, but do not over underline.
21- Keyword stemming; helps in achieving traffic for close keyphrases, i.e. submit, submission, submitting etc.
22- Keyword Placement in HTML; HTML must not be messy to stop the bot from identifying the keywords and their importance. Besides that it’s great if the initial part of HTML covers major keywords.
23- Keywords & Semantics; Google ranks pages for users based on Semantics too, so do study your users’ behavior from Analytics while developing new content for the site.
24- Keywords Relevancy; it must be the first part while discussing keywords, as if they’re not relevant to the content, that doesn’t make sense either for the user or for the search engine.
Step 4: Text formatting plays major role in determining the average stay time on site, which helps in gaining and retaining ranking. Focus on;
25- Readability; i.e. font size, colors, background alignment etc.
26- Bold & Underlined Content; Follow the keywords section and make sure that non keywords must not be decorated with bold, italic and underlined tags, however you can use bullets/numbering etc and can also take help from headings to break down the content for better explanation.
Step 5: Headings must be in a flow
27- H1; must be only 1 H1 tag on a page and preferably should be matching the page title.
28- H2; can be more than one, however use H2 tags only for the second level breakdown.
29- H3; can be multiple H3 tags on one page, can be used either to break down the content on H2 tag or else highlighting other important areas on site.
30- H4; Next important after H3
31- H5; Next in the line/
32- H6; The hierarchy goes on
Step 6: Make URLs SEO Friendly by following these standards;
33- Length; the shorter the better it is, not more than 2000 characters.
34- Simple; instead a mixture of numbers, symbols and text, it should be a simple word or phrases
35- Keywords in URLs are great option
36- www vs non www versions; keep the www one, i.e. http://www.yoursite.com/xyz-stuff/
37- dash vs undersquare; dashes are better
38- Trailing slashes; your URLs must end with a trailing slash and the non slash version to be redirected to the one with slash.
39- Directory index; redirect all /index.php, default.asp etc to http://www.yoursite.com/
40- Canonicalization; must implement canonical URLs to avoid content duplication due to session ids, referral urls, listing pages etc.
41- Manage additive filters; i.e. used for the sorting purpose. They create huge duplication, so if you cannot manage them in anyway, just keep them noindex.
42- URL structure in case of news site; news sites have a different URL structure, so make sure to have proper URLs for news sites.
43- Rewriting; Follow number 34 and make sure to have all URLs rewritten.
44- Redirection; all old URLs to be permanently 301 redirected.
Step 7: Images must have
45 – Alt tag with keyword in it
46- Title tag with keyword in it
47- File format to be jpg, jpeg, gif or png
48- Image size must not be too bulky to load; resize images before uploading
49- Captions must be present on all images
50- Long descriptions in case of image based site
Step 8: Optimize Videos and make sure your videos have;
51- Thumbnail image of the video
52- Video Title
53- Video Description
54- Video Type
55- Video Duration
56- mRSS Feed
Step 9: For Flash Content you must have:
57- Object Tag
58- Embed Tag
59- Noscript Tag
Step 10: Site Hierarchy and Data Flow
60- Categorization & Hierarchy is very much needed for content based sites. Create a complete hierarchy of all categories and arrange them in a way that particular content should go in single category and multiple tags.
61- Organized Data Flow; Data must flow in a way that it can be archived from various options in many ways. Again it’s a must for content type sites whereby content might be needed to be archived based on date, category, tag, author etc.
Step 11- Navigation needs major focus
62- Draw an Internal linking map
63- Top navigation should be based on most frequently archived/needed data
64- SILOs Structure to be applied to keep the link juice and page authority, i.e. nofollow all the unnecessary links from page.
65- Internal anchor texts must not be empty and must be placed within navigation as well as in content.
66- Even distribution of internal links on page, i.e. one page must have at least 5 internal backlinks
67- Optimized Pagination structure, i.e. making sure that all pages of a listing page a crawlable.
68- Breadcrumbs to be present on each page
69- Site search must be available on all the pages on the site
70- Manage Ajax with dual purpose linking, i.e. use static links
Step 12: Sitemaps must be present on site according to nature of content, i.e.:
71- Normal sitemap
72- News sitemap
73- Videos sitemap
74- Images sitemap
75- Geo sitemap
76- Code search sitemap
Step 13: Work on Rich Snippets for various content types, i.e. recipes, shopping etc with:
77- Content structure
78- Appropriate HTML implementation
Step 14: Make sure crawling is in order by checking:
79- Robots.txt must not block the important pages of site.
80- Site speed; site must load quickly
81- Crawl rate; keep it on Google to determine the crawl rate, or else set 0.031 pages/sec.
Step 15: Maintain code to text ratio by
82- Make sure that a page must not have more code than the text, better to have 20:80 ratio for code to text.
Step 16: Check text to link ratio
83- Outgoing internal links
84- Outgoing external links; they must be nofollowed too.
85- Total outgoing links from a page must not exceed 100
Step 17: Quick Check for regional content
86- TLDs vs Directories; TLDs are great for individual site, and directories work better for a large site covering multiple regions.
87- Remove duplication with translations and get a writer for translation rather than auto translations.
Step 18: Ensure Domain authority by:
88- Domain age
89- On page trust factors, i.e. address, contact number, map location and testimonials
Step 19: Ensure users’ security
90- SSL certificates
91- Using secure platform
92- Your web host matters
93- Must install security updates on site
Step 20- Do not forget Social Search Optimization using:
94- RSS Feed
95- Using APIs with nofollow links for better sharing on social sites.