Factors Affecting On-Page Ranking

The manner in which your page is optimized can have a significant impact on its potential to rank.

What are On-Page Ranking Factors for SEO?

When properly optimized, on-page ranking criteria can have a significant impact on your page’s potential to rank. The following are the most important on-page criteria that influence search engine rankings:

Content of Page

A page’s content is what qualifies it for a search result position. It’s what the user came to view, so it’s crucial to the search engines. As a result, it is critical to producing high-quality material. So, what exactly is good content? From an SEO standpoint, every good content has two characteristics. Good content must meet a need and be linkable.

Good content supplies a demand:

Information, like the rest of the world’s marketplaces, is influenced by supply and demand. The finest material is one that meets the greatest amount of demand. It may be an XKCD comic that provides nerd jokes to a huge group of technologists, or it could be a Wikipedia page that defines Web 2.0 for the rest of the world. It can be a video, a picture, a sound, or text, but it must satisfy a need to be called good content.

Good content can be linked to:

There is no difference between the finest and worst content on the Internet in terms of SEO if it is not linkable. If others cannot link to it, search engines are unlikely to rank it, and the material will not drive traffic to the given website. Unfortunately, this occurs far more frequently than one might assume. AJAX-powered image slide shows, content only available after logging in, and content that cannot be replicated or shared are a few examples. Content that does not meet a demand or is not linkable is negative in the eyes of search engines—and probably some users as well.

Title Tag

After content, title tags are the second most significant on-page feature for SEO. More information on title tags can be found here.


Along with smart internal linking, SEOs should ensure that the supplied website’s category structure is reflected in URLs.

A good example of URL structure is as follows:


This URL clearly demonstrates the page’s information hierarchy (history as it pertains to video games in the context of games in general). Search engines utilize this information to determine the relevance of a given web page. Because of the hierarchy, the engines may conclude that the page is most likely not about history in general, but rather about the history of video games. As a result, it is an excellent contender for search results relating to video game history. All of this information can be speculated on without having to process the page’s content.

A terrible example of URL structure is as follows:


Unlike the first example, this URL does not reflect the website’s information hierarchy. Search engines can identify that the supplied page is about titles (/title/) and is on the IMDB domain, but they can’t tell what it’s about. The mention of “tt0468569” does not imply anything that a web user is likely to look up. This signifies that the URL’s information is of relatively little significance to search engines.

URL structure is significant since it aids search engines in determining relative relevance and provides a useful relevancy metric for the given website. It is also advantageous in terms of anchor text since people are more likely to link to the relevant word or phrase if the keywords are contained in the URL.

SEO Best Practice

The meat of a website is its content pages, which are virtually always the reason users come to a site. Ideal content pages should be hyper-relevant and very particular to a specified topic—usually a product or an object.

The following areas should all immediately state the goal of the supplied web page:

  • Tag for the title
  • URL
  • Page’s content
  • alt text for an image

Here’s an example of a well-structured, search engine–friendly website. All of its on-page elements have been optimized.

The content page in this figure is regarded favorably for a number of reasons. First, the content is unique on the Internet (which makes it worthwhile for search engines to rank well) and goes into great detail about a certain topic. If a searcher had a question about Super Mario World, this page is likely to provide an answer.

Aside from the material, this page is well-designed. The page’s theme is specified in the title tag (Super Mario World – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia), URL ( Mario World), page content (the page heading, “Super Mario World”), and the alt text of every image on the page.

The following is an example of a badly optimized web page. Take note of how it differs from the previous example.

This diagram depicts a less search engine–friendly example of a content page aimed at the phrase “Super Mario World.” While the subject of the page is included in several key aspects of the web page (title tag and photos), the content is weaker than in the Wikipedia example, and the relevant material on the page is less beneficial to a reader.

Take note that the game’s description is remarkably similar to text created by a marketing agency. “Mario is headed on his biggest trip yet, and he has brought a companion with him.” That is not the language in which searchers make their inquiries, and it is not the type of response that is likely to respond to a searcher’s question. Contrast this with the first phrase of Wikipedia’s example: “Super Mario World is a platform game developed and released by Nintendo as a pack-in launch title for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System.” The first line in the badly optimized example establishes just that someone or something called Mario is on an adventure that is bigger than his or her prior excursion (how do you define that?) and that he or she is accompanied by an unnamed companion.

The Wikipedia example informs the reader that Super Mario World is a game developed and published by Nintendo for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System gaming system–the other example does not. Both Bing and Google search results show the better-optimized page ranking higher.

An Ideally Optimized Web Page

An excellent website should include all of the following features:

  • Be hyper-relevant to a single topic (usually a product or single object)
  • Include the subject in the title tag.
  • Include the subject in the URL.
  • Include the subject in the image alt text.
  • Specify the subject multiple times throughout the text.
  • Provide one-of-a-kind content on a specific topic.
  • Backlink to its category page
  • Backlink to its subcategory page (If applicable)
  • Backlink to its home page (normally accomplished with an image link showing the website logo on the top left of a page)

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