You generated links, promoted pieces, and infographics on social networks, and built spectacular campaigns over several months. All are great off-page SEO actions that have proven to work, but for some reason, the site does not appear in the first results for the most relevant terms of your college or college.
What’s the problem? Simple: Your on-page optimization is not good.
Optimization on-page, that is, those changes in titles, meta descriptions, and other small technical changes should be the first items on your checklist and, in reality, are the ONLY ones you have TOTAL control in the SEO strategy.
Below we list a small checklist, detailing each of the main factors that should be optimized on the websites of colleges and colleges.
The title tag of the page is one of the most important and should be built with a focus on the content being quoted on the page and be between 60 and 65 characters in its ideal format.
It is normally where the main keywords are and are the terms that look in the search results, which can improve the clickthrough rate when well written.
How to write a good title:
The ideal title should be up to 65 characters, which is the character limit that is displayed on the google results page. While a bigger headline won’t hurt rankings, it can reduce your clickthrough rate on Google by cutting out important terms.
Look for creative ways to include relevant keywords in the title to make it more impactful. However, avoid inserting meaningless terms, just so they appear.
The meta description is an excerpt of about 160 characters that summarizes the content of a given page. Users see this description as they browse through the results of a Google search page. It has little impact on SEO, but it is crucial to improve clickthrough rates on Google results.
How to create a good meta description?
As with the title, it is important to use relevant and specific keywords that encourage the visitor to click on the result on the search engine. And there is a very expressive number of sites that simply do not use a unique meta description for each page.
When they do this, Google tries to generate a meta description based on the content of the page, and these descriptions are generally bad and result in the loss of many relevant clicks ??
Stay within the 160 character limit. Anything else will be cut off and can make reading and understanding difficult.
Insert more specific “long tail” keywords creatively and by building phrases. Avoid going out by entering keywords randomly.
Insert a call-to-action in the description, adding phrases like “read more”, “find out here” and so on. This can have a significant impact on the click-through rate.
Never ignore the header tags (h1, h2, h3, etc.). They are essential to a smart SEO structure. Generally speaking, these tags represent the organization of your content with hierarchically structured titles. Their use greatly improves the reading of the content, positively impacting metrics such as time on the site and bounce rate.
How to use header tags correctly?
Use only a single H1 tag per page. This tag must contain the post title or the exclusive content of that page and must have the main keyword.
This rule does not apply to the following headers, such as h2, h3, and so on. They can have as many as needed to present their content.
Include the keywords you want to position yourself in, all headers.
Google understands the differences between synonyms, and this helps to position well in different terms such as graduation and higher education, without having to enter multiple terms.
While searching for keywords for content, you’ll notice many common questions from people on Google. Include these questions in the headers, as answering these questions is a very friendly strategy for Google to understand that you are giving clear answers to people.
As an on-page factor, ALT tags are important in the eyes of Google. Think about how Google could know what the content of an image is if it doesn’t have any metadata together? The alt tag identifies the content of the image and allows google to help with ranking, including making it appear on Google Images.
How to design a suitable alt tag?
Avoid simply adding keywords.
Be as descriptive as possible. For example, if an image has the term “distance learning graduate”, you can use an alt tag like “The XPTO college offers the best distance learning graduate in the market!”
As we mentioned earlier, it is important to avoid entering keywords at random. Google can identify this practice and even penalize sites that use it. Keyword density is a way to understand whether you are using keywords too much on the site. The calculation is simple: divide the number of times the keyword is repeated in the text by the number of words on the page.
Generally speaking, you should keep the density at about 1%, maybe a little lower. That is, if you have 1,000 words on the page, the main keyword should be repeated a maximum of 10 times.
Internal links are very important to the SEO process, as they facilitate Google’s indexing by creating new entry channels for certain pages from others within the portal. Now let’s go into more detail about their impact on the on-page part of SEO:
There is a concept called “link juice”, which is the “power” that each link brings to your website. Since most external links go to the home page of the site, using internal links to different pages helps to “disperse” that link juice to the rest of the site. The more the interns have, the better the rankings.
Google rewards sites that have a better user experience, and creating internal links improves usability by allowing visitors to continue relevant reading through other content on the site.
Reduce the bounce rate by creating new areas for the visitor to access. And a low bounce rate is a positive sign for Google, which understands that your site has great features available.
One way to improve the ranking of important pages is to link to them using the relevant keyword. For example: Do you want to make the “Graduate EAD” page well positioned? Then create links to it using the keyword “Postgraduate EAD”.
Due to recent Inbound Marketing strategies, content size has become extremely important as an on-page factor to help the page rank well for certain keywords (especially those that are more competitive). Having a text with 300, 400 words is no longer as good as it used to be ??
How does more extensive content help?
This is the most obvious, but a true part. If you analyze the pages on your site that already rank well for a particular keyword, chances are great that they are those with more content. This is obviously not the only reason to affect the ranking, but it is a common denominator.
This does not mean that you should simply “inflate” the texts of useless words. Google is smart and will always be privileging content and structure that please users. The goal is to transform your content into something that adds VALUE to visitors, something that makes them stay engaged with the texts and interested in reading.
Adds Value Having enough qualified content on a given page is something that adds value to both Google and the visitor. As mentioned earlier, the goal is to make your site a place with a lot of valuable information. Look at Wikipedia as an example and you will understand the extent of the articles that are best positioned on Google ??
Focus on long-tail keywords This is perhaps the most important benefit of adding more content to your pages. The more extensive the content, the more likely you are to have good rankings in terms of the long tail, the more specific.
While these terms don’t usually have a very high search volume, they do attract more qualified visitors. Think of it this way: If you get good rankings for 5 keywords that have 100 searches per month on Google, you can be well-positioned and appear among the first results in about 500 searches per month.
But what should be the size standard to adopt in 2017? After all my arguments you must be asking yourself, “But how big should my content be?”If all the first results for your keywords have pages with 2,000 words, you should consider at least that volume for your texts. But it is important that you produce content that is not just to fill that space. If you don’t have quality material to add, don’t do it.
This is another factor that is often overlooked in the world of higher education. If you think that the speed of your website does not matter because internet connections are getting faster and faster, you will be well behind the competition.
The loading speed of your website is not only important to the user (who has a high chance of accessing your website over a slow connection like 3G), but Google is now paying close attention to this!
How does speed affect the site? Imagine the following scenario: You are very well positioned for the desired keywords and potential students are frequently accessing the main landing page of your course, but does it take a long time to load ??
How much do you think your visitors will expect? With the competitor just a click away and dozens of options available, why should you expect them?
Think about how many times you searched for something in Google, in a hurry, and visited a site that didn’t load. You clicked on the “back” button and went to the next result, right? In doing so, in addition to losing an important visitor, the site increased its bounce rate, a process that sends a negative signal to Google that your site is not relevant to your audience.
Some quick ways to solve the problem of a slow website:
Good hosting One of the most common causes for a slow website is slow hosting. If you are paying for cheap shared hosting, chances are great that it will be slow and have a big impact on your website load. Consider migrating your structure to a dedicated server or a cloud-like Amazon AWS (our favorite!).
This will be a little more expensive, but it will have a big impact on the site loading speed.
Optimize images and their formats A common problem with the weight of the site is images in inappropriate or uncompressed formats. Check mainly the use of PNG, opting for gif and jpg whenever possible. And use optimization tools to reduce the size of each one without reducing the quality.
Minify HTML / CSS / JS
This is a very technical change, but it can have a good impact on the site loading time. In WordPress, there are plugins that do this automatically (W3 Total Cache is one of them). If you are not using WordPress, contact the developer and ask them to perform this “minification”.