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Content is King but Optimization Determines Victory

By gymosphere on February 25, 2014

We were often asked “How can I build a perfectly optimized page?” and “What should be look for while working on On-page SEO?”. These are probably few of the most asked questions in SEO and web marketing field. As modern day SEO evolves, it gets even harder to tell what’s optimal when it comes to On-page SEO.

Before we proceed with what we think as optimal, here’s a helpful article written by guys over MOZ, entitled “Visual Guide to Keyword Targeting and On-Page Optimization”. It laid out some of the reasons why certain websites are penalized or even totally ignored by major search engines. So be sure to check that out if you are looking for material that would help you understand how modern days On-page SEO works.

Is Content Still The King?

“Content is King.”, an age-old expression coined by Bill Gates that is widely practiced among the web marketers. But is this still true today? Is it all about content or are there pressing technical requirements that are more important to learn? Think of this way: In chess, the “king” is the most important piece on the board since his survival determines the winner and loser of the game. Remember though that in chess you each have sixteen pieces that will contribute to the king’s victorious campaign. Ignoring these essential pieces is ultimately going to pit your king in a losing battle. The same is true in SEO — ignoring website optimization is going to place your kingly content in jeopardy.

“Content is king” was a big deal when web marketing arrived in the 2000 decade. However, the industry have since long changed with the introduction of Google, Social media sites and many more. Successful web marketing is no longer just about putting up good content, but a combination of many different disciplines, especially On-page SEO.

What Makes a Perfectly Optimized Web Page?

Nowadays, using CMS like WordPress and Joomla is quite a norm as they standardise a great deal of automation for webmaster. What results from this over-dependence on automation and easy management is that many websites are sloppily designed in HTML and linking practice, which results in penalty of a deserving page. As a web marketer, we must understand what search engines are looking for beyond the automation a CMS bring about. While nobody knew what exactly search engines are looking for on a page, here are some key areas that we believe to be essential in On-page SEO:

  • Providing information and answer.
  • Having good user’s experience.
  • Audience targeted web pages.
  • Social network ready.
  • Crawler friendly.
  • Clear and concise meta data.

All of these technical areas are vital in today’s SEO and neglecting any of them will only sabotage yourself, losing traffic that could rightfully be yours. While these areas seem broad, we will be making very specific references and explanation concerning each of the area.

Providing Information and Answer

An optimized page is not just about the keyword, but also the information provided on the page. Whenever you optimize your page for a keyword, try to position yourself as a potential visitors, imagine what they would be looking for and make sure you provide them with something so exceptional that they couldn’t even look away. A web page optimized this way will have very good on site user’s behavior and retention rate (these are all measure by Google and it affect your search result ranking) When you are able to provide your visitors with such valuable information, social sharing, links and more are only natural to come next.

This hold true when using SEOPressor as well, when you are optimizing for a keyword, don’t just look at the On-page SEOPressor Score, make sure you provide what your visitors are looking for. A good On-page Score will bring you traffic, but only by providing valuable information, will you be able to convert these visitors into your advocates. So random visitors or advocates? Your choice.

Proving answer to your visitors is very important in On page SEO.

Optimize For Good User’s Experience

A good user’s experience is contributed by multiple different elements. From design, readability to the page loading speed, these are all factors that affect the experience when visiting your site. While user’s experience can be a very subjective matter of taste, here’s some general rules of thumb to follow:

  • Clean layout and good text readability. Make sure your website doesn’t look cluttered and text are easily readable. Make good use of your headings too, drawing a big picture with headings make skimping and reading a much more pleasant experience. Make sure you have some keywords in the heading too, after all that’s what most visitors are looking for when they skimp through your page.
  • Intuitive navigation and easily accessible pages. Provide a standardized navigation and make sure all pages are reach-able in a few clicks. What to avoid? Having different navigation on every single different pages, that will confuse the hell out of your visitors and gives you another bounce. Also always cross link your related pages/blog posts as it will improve your visitors on site’s behavior.
  • Quick site loading speed. This one is quite literal, a quick loading page = better user’s experience. A slow website is also a bad signal to Google. Not sure how your website fare? Google have the answer for you here: Google Page Speed.
  • Visually appealing A very subjective one. And no, your website doen’t necessarily have to look like some professional web design studio’s website, just make sure you don’t look like you came from 1990’s. Here are two sites that we refer to a lot: Smashing Magazine and Awwwards.
  • Responsive design. Everyone is using smartphones and tablets nowadays, so make sure your site renders well on this devices. Visitors are much likely to bounce if your website looks bad on their device. If you need to get a good responsive design, folks at SomoThemes do excellent job.

Audience Targeted Content

In web marketing, not all web pages are built for the same purpose. While homepage is generally built for everyone, there are pages that only serve a single purpose, some call them custom landing page. On top of providing the visitors with information they are looking for, an optimized audience targeted web pages also serve as your tool to influence how your visitors behave on your web page. While this might not be exactly part of On-Page SEO, we believe this is what every marketers need to have in their mind – to optimize your webpage in a way that it would help you achieve certain desired results. (Think of a squeeze page, they are usually optimized differently from your other pages.)

Social Sharing Ready

There is no deny that Social Media is the big thing now, an optimized webpage should make social sharing as easy as possible. An optimized webpage should have obvious CTA or buttons to encourage sharing. Employing social markup like Facebook Open Graph and Twitter Card is essential as it gives you control over how your content will look like when shared on these Social Media sites. This can be easily achieved by Social SEO feature of SEOPressor, so make sure you set them up with SEOPressor before posting up your web pages.

Social SEO Settings

Setting up Twitter Card is easy with SEOPressor Social SEO

Crawler Friendly.

In addition, crawler/bot accessibility is also a major issue. Despite many in web publishing claiming to understand how crawler works, the facts show that many websites fail to follow the guidelines when building a crawler friendly web site. An optimized website should fulfilled these below criteria:

  • Provide XML sitemap for the crawler.
  • Unique content for every unique URL. If there are any duplicates, make good use of rel=canonical tag.
  • Do not block the crawler if you don’t intend to. Setup your robots.txt so crawlers behave exactly the way you want them to be.
  • If a page is down, redirect them. Don’t let the crawler bump into a status 404 page.

Clear and concise meta data.

There are a tons of different mark ups that search engines read when they index a webpage. Here are some important one that you should not missed:

  • Your Meta Title and Meta Description. You can easily set them up at SEOPressor’s meta settings tab.
  • Seen those stars in your search listing? Those are Google’s Structured Data. Those mark ups tell Google what your webpage is all about, whether it is a review, recipe or about an event. You can configure them with SEOPressor’s Rich Snippets feature.
  • Google Authorship. Display your face and profile in search profile. Study shown that it can increase your web listing CTR by folds. Learn how to claim your authorship with SEOPressor.
Google authorship

Google authorship can easily increase your search listing’s CTR.

That’s Quite a Handful of Them. How Do I Manage All of These?

We are aware of how difficult it could be to manage all of these by yourself, and that’s why we are here for you. As you can see, on-page SEO is about balancing aesthetic, content, technical and business priorities, not just a matter of publishing a good page. Modern On-page SEO is like fighting an uphill battle which you can’t win with just your powerful “king” piece. Winning in SEO means using all of your tools, all of your technology, to protect your king and outperform the competition.

SEOPressor is a WordPress plugin made to help you optimize your On-page SEO and is specifically designed for WordPress users to increase their traffic, protect themselves from new and threatening algorithm changes, and take advantage of traffic-boosting opportunities.

Excelling in modern day’s SEO is not an easy task, it involves many trials and errors and ultimately it will cost you a lot of time. So if you are already using SEOPressor, make sure you are making good use of our features. Like one of our customers so graciously told us, “It would have cost me more if I hadn’t bought SEO Pressor.” Indeed time is money. So get SEOPressor today if you hadn’t already. We are serving 129K websites already, we want you in.

Updated: 4 December 2022

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