While the search engines take a ton of different criteria into account when scoring the content on your site, the most important criteria related to your rank are still found on your pages. Social Media posts, reviews, and directory listings all play a part. But the most important, and frankly the items most likely directly under your control, is found in your content, on your pages.
According to the latest report from MOZ, the factors that make up the “On Page Signals” portion of Google’s SEO algorithm make up a full 21% of the influence.
Keywords still play a large part in this series of factors. Keywords page titles, headlines, alt image tags, and in the body of the content anchor this category. In fact, the number one influence in the localization of content on a page is the inclusion of geographical references (city/state) in the page title.
NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) information allows the search engine to categorize the content within local searches. In addition to the page title information, NAP information should be on EVERY page of a site. Search Engines use this data to cross-reference mentions and information about your business found across the internet – referred to as “Citation”.
In the absence of a link to a specific site, to tell the difference between information written about Pizza King in community A and another reference to a Pizza King in community B, the search engines look for a reference in the content to some other unique data such as a city name or a phone number. Once it has two points of connection, it can apply the citation value to the reference and increase the site’s SEO value.
Getting keywords into Headline tags such as <H1>, <h2>, <h3>, etc. also help indicate to the search engine that this word is important. Including the word within the first hundred or so characters of the content associated with the headline continue to prove the keywords relevance.
Another often over-looked place for keywords is that Alt Image tags. Because search engines can’t “see” the content of an image to prove relevance of the image to the content, building the keywords into the Alt Image tags provides a “caption” that the search engine can see separate from what is communicated in the actual caption to the human reader.
If you have direct control over your website, take a look at how you are using keyword content on your site. How are you integrating NAP data. If you don’t, then have a conversation with your webmaster about how they are. Make sure that your website is doing all that it can for your business.
If you are interested in learning more about the factors that come in to play for SEO, Check out the presentation from my recent SEO Seminar: