Part II On-Page Optimization: Webpage Organization
Updated: Aug 28, 2020
In our previous post, we covered title tags, URL, and meta descriptions: the search engine optimization (SEO) elements that control what information is displayed for webpages on the search engine result pages (SERPs), and how they affect page ranking and click-through rates. Now that we know how to increase page visibility with search engines and persuade qualified searchers to click on our link, we can take things a step further with optimizing the content on the pages themselves through header tags and webpage copy!
All information on a page such as introductory content, navigational links, or even logos, must be organized using header tags for optimal optimization. Using appropriate keyword terms in your header tags will highlight information so it can be easily found by both search engines and users who visit your page. You may recall our previous post mentioning the use of a system of folders to organize information within a URL; header tags follow the same protocol of arranging content in descending order of specificity, only its implemented with header tags instead of backslashes (/) alone.
Header tags are an HTML element serving as an outline that structures a webpage’s content. Information is categorized and labeled H1-H6, and is arranged in a nested hierarchy of most to least important. Each page needs a unique H1 tag in its main header to serve as the overall description, containing primary keywords or phrases that highlight its topic(s). As with URLs, only use as many necessary to organize the content – less complex webpages won’t require the use of all six header tags.
<h1> = Headline / Page Title
<h2> = Major Heading
<h3> = Subheading
<h4> = Minor Subheading
An example of the full range of header tags, H1-H6, in a properly nested hierarchy:
<h6>Plates and Bowls</h6>
Hint: Think of it like a text-version of a fully expanded, multi-level drop-down list. If you find yourself getting stuck, revisit the URL section from our previous post. The organization of a page’s header tags should align with its respective URL, and each should be able to serve as the basis for the other.
First things first: Copy, or textual content, plays a role in page ranking on SERPs.
Technological advancements have given search engines the ability to recognize much more than keywords and phrases – Google in particular uses an algorithm that takes things a step further by analyzing user behavior data when determining page rankings. Pinpointing the intention behind search terms by integrating meaning and context yields a better user experience for searchers by directing qualified traffic to appropriate destinations.
The process of increasing page visibility through copy has become extremely dynamic; before we get into organization, a few key points for creating copy:
Intent – Understanding your target audience is paramount in serving the best quality content, as it allows for tailoring your copy to the intent behind their searches.
Authority – Search engines recognize well-written content and give higher rank to pages with content exhibiting authority and expertise.
Keywords – While incorporating keywords helps, using too many (or not including those used in your title tags, URL, and meta descriptions) can be detrimental to a page’s success. Be tactical with keyword and phrase placement throughout the text to ensure that it reads naturally.
Format + Readability
Everything we’ve covered thus far will help get searchers to a webpage, but it’s all for naught if whoever clicks on your link finds disorganized copy. If that’s not enough of an incentive to KonMari your content, perhaps we should mention that good formatting increases the chances of your page being displayed as a featured snippet on the SERPs!
Text – Use a font color that’s complimentary to the page background, and text should be no smaller than 16-point in size.
Headings / paragraph breaks – Breaking up blocks of text on a page is conducive to locating specific information and keeps readers interested longer!
Media – Don’t be afraid to include images and/or videos when applicable. Proper use of media throughout copy enhances the content and the user’s experience.
Bullet points – These assist readers with identifying important lists of information. Imagine if this list were in paragraph form. Oy vey!
Emphasis – Make text bold or italics to reinforce or call attention to important information. Use wisely and remember to be consistent throughout the copy.
Optimizing content goes much deeper than incorporating keywords. Copy should demonstrate a voice in alignment with the target audience, and content should be organized and formatted for readability. Remember that at the heart of it all, our goal is to create content designed to lead readers toward performing a specific action.
For those who have no idea what actions we’re talking about (and those who do know but just want to make sure that we know), be sure to join us for our next and final post in the Foundations of SEO series for the scoop on internal linking and calls to action (CTAs)!