- Posted by Nigel Edelshain
- On June 12, 2017
What I mean by “Google Juice” is how attractive your website is to the search engine and hence how high it will rank you.
When you consider that most websites I’ve ever seen get more than 50% of their traffic from Google, you can see that making your site attractive to Google is a good business move.
The latest research from Moz shows that 14% of your “Google Juice” is based on what SEO consultants call “on page factors”. These are factors you can control on your website.
Here are 3 “on page factors” that are very important and a great place to start when optimizing your website for Google.
1. Page title
Research shows that your page title is one of the most important SEO elements on a web page.
Since Google puts such weight on your web page title it’s important to include your target keywords.
It also seems that Google puts more weight on the words that appear to the left of the page title than those on the right. So you should put your keywords at the beginning of your page title.
This is one place where many local businesses go astray in my experience. I’ve seen web page titles that begin with the business’s name, e.g. “Jimmy’s Pizza—best pizza Paramus” but the better format is “Best pizza Paramus—Jimmy’s Pizza” because Jimmy’s wants to compete for the search term “best pizza Paramus”.
Another common mistake is to build your website then leave the web page titles as they came when the site was set up. So I see many home pages where the title of the page is “home”. This means the company is competing for the keyword “home”, probably not what they mean to do.
Your web page’s title is actually not necessarily what you see in a big font at the top of the page. It is actually what appears in the tab on your browser.
In a lot of content management systems, like WordPress, your web page’s title will be equal to the words you see in a large font on the page but can often be overridden. This override feature is for SEO so you can make sure you page title is exactly what you need for Google.
2. Page URL
Set up your website content management system (for example WordPress) so your page URLs are simple and clear to Google.
It seems Google puts quite a bit of weight on the content of your web page URL (address). You want your URLs to include your keywords and not include any weird numbers and characters that Google cannot interpret.
Most content management systems give you a choice of how to set up your URLs. Choose the most straightforward format and keep an eye on how your URLs are actually coming out so they contain your keywords.
3. H1 and H2
Web pages are written in HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language). If you look at HTML code you will see “tags”. Tags tell your browser (Chrome, Firefox etc) how to display the web page. Some of the most basic tags in HTML are heading tags.
Heading tags go from H1 to Hn, for example H1, H2, H3 etc. Heading tags are like headings in a Word document. H1 means “heading 1” and is the top level heading, H2 is a subheading of H1 and so on.
Just as using headings in a document helps readers to read it so HTML headings in a web page help Google (and readers) understand the page. Google therefore considers heading tags important for SEO.
It’s a best practice to have the heading of your page (this is usually the big text at the top of your web page) tagged as “H1”. Then each section of content on your page should be tagged with “H2”. If you have subsections within each section then these should be tagged “H3”.
You should include your target keywords in your page’s heading–the element tagged H1.
These are just 3 of the elements that you should include in your web pages to make them attractive to Google. Combining good on-page tactics with link building will make up approximately 31% of your “Google Juice” so can really boost your ranking.