Is on-page optimisation dead in the age of links? There is a saying I remember from years ago and it is still relevant now, "Content is king, but links are everything". It kind of tells the story that you need to concentrate on both aspects of optimisation.
On Page Optimisation
Don't think of it as on-page optimisation, think of it as making sure all aspects of your page reflect the subject of your content. Google doesn't see the page the user does, or analyse the page the same way as we read it. Google spiders look at the way the page is built via the code, looking for elements such as the ones below to name but a few:-
- Title tag
- Meta Description
- Page heading tags
- Page content
- Image names
- Image Alt tags
So for instance the title tag of the page would read something like this "On-Page Optimisation – Company Name". The description would be something that would incorporate the desired keyword, but more importantly a description that will attract the user to visit your site rather than the competition.
Heading Tag Optimisation
The heading of the page would be "On-Page Optimisation". The golden rule here is, there should only ever be one tag. You could have sub headings of "heading tag optimisation" and "image optimisation" which flows nicely with the hierarchy of the main heading of the page.
Images should always be named with relevance to the subject of the image. For instance, if you show an image of the results in Google as above, this should be named "google-on-page-optimisation-example.jpg", and the ALT tag to match the image caption "Snippet from Google for the term "On-Page Optimisation". Images should always be optimised fully to reduce load times.
The content of the page should be written to reflect the subject of your heading; don't stuff it full of key words, or go off subject to try and capture as many of your keywords as possible as this will send a mixed message to Google. It is important to write your content for the user, at the end of the day if you have stuffed your content full of keywords to try and get good rankings, or it is off subject the visitor will leave the page quickly, raising your bounce rate and adversely affecting your rankings. Don't write too much content as it will overwhelm the reader, make it concise with a good sub heading structure to show both the user and search engine spider clearly the flow of content throughout your page.
The URLSs of the page should clearly reflect the subject of your content for instance, I always try to avoid a folder structure as this could get quite spammy if you have a lot of pages in one folder.
The above shows how the word "optimisation" could become overly spammy appearing in both the folder structure and the page name. I would always try and have everything at root level, with the url reading like this (www.companyname.co.uk/on-page-optimisation/ and www.companyname.co.uk/image-optimisation) This makes the url structure clear, concise and not too long.
Creating a page that will get good rankings in Google isn't rocket science; it is all about creating great content, on subject and easy to read, while making sure all the other elements on the page reflect your subject. If you have done the job correctly, your page is more likely to be ranked higher in Google and be shared across a wide range of social networks. This will help to build the authority of both your page and your site.