The three largest search engines, Google, Yahoo, and Bing, all outline ways for web pages to rank well in their search results; however, they do not disclose the algorithms they use to rank web pages. As a result, the degree of influence that different factors have on rankings is much contested by SEO experts.
In a recent study conducted by SEOmoz, the importance of several on-page factors were rated by 72 SEO experts and then ranked based on the level of consensus/contention. The following ranking of factors is derived from this report, listed in descending order of importance. Below each factor, an explanation of its core concepts is provided.
Keyword use anywhere in the title tag.
A keyword or key phrase is a word or phrase that a user enters into a search engine. A title tag is the meta tag of web pages that determines what text appears at the top of Internet browsers.
EXAMPLE: “Lone Star Cars – Used Cars and Used Trucks in Dallas, Texas”
Keyword use as the first word(s) of the title tag
According to the experts’ ratings, it is important for the first keyword(s) in your title tag to be keyword(s) that you would like your web page to show up for in search results.
EXAMPLE: “Used Cars and Used Trucks in Dallas, Texas – Lone Star Cars”
Keyword use in the root domain name (e.g. keyword.com)
A Root Domain is the starting point of the top level domain structure, for example, www.keywordHere.com.
Keyword use anywhere in the H1 headline tag
A heading briefly describes the subject of the section it introduces. Heading elements go from H1 to H6, with the lower numbered headings (ex: H1) being considered most important.
EXAMPLE: “Lone Star Cars – Your Source For Used Cars”
Keyword use in internal link anchor text on the page
An internal link – a link from one website pointing to another web page on the same site. Anchor Text is the actual clickable text of a link. Search engines use anchor text to indicate the relevancy of the referring site and of the link to the content on the landing page.
EXAMPLE: “learn more about our extended warranty”
Keyword use in external link anchor text on the page
An external link (a.k.a. back link) is any link into a page or site from any other website.
EXAMPLE: another website links to your site with “Used cars in Dallas”
Keyword use as the first word(s) in the H1 tag
According to the experts, it is important for the first keyword(s) in your H1 tag to be your targeted keyword(s) for the page.
EXAMPLE: “Used Cars Like You’ve Never Seen Before”
Keyword use in the first 50-100 words in HTML on the page
According to the experts, it is important for keyword(s) you’re targeting be located in the top section of your page’s body text. You don’t want to be “spammy” and just list a bunch of keywords – your text needs to read naturally, but you need to be sure you’re using your keyword in the first 50-100 words.
Keyword use in the page name URL
Page name URL is the name of the web page URL. It is used to locate a specific page on a domain.
Keyword use in image alt text
An alt tag is the HTML text that appears when an image doesn’t load, or when images are turned off. Alt text is useful in SEO because it can include keywords that a search engine looks for in response to a query.
EXAMPLE: “Lone Star Cars is Dallas’ premier used car dealer”
The best news of the day – AutoRevo’s system allows you to have control over every single one of these ranking factors.
Take some time to go through your dealer website and see how your current site content matches up to these ten ranking factors. It might take a few days, but it will be worth the effort to go through your site and update your custom pages to adhere to these guidelines. Not only will your site be more user-friendly and informative, it will rank better in the search engines.