If you want your website to be found better or really well on the Internet, then you should deal with on-site optimization. In the following, you will receive specific and helpful tips on how you can carry out and improve on-site optimization.
But first of all: what actually is on-site optimization? When “on-site” is used to distinguish it from “on-page” – that is, “on-page optimization” – this primarily concerns the factors that are directly related to the entire domain.
Often it is programmers or generally the administrators of the domain who initiate and carry out the on-site optimization. In contrast to this, on-page optimization aims at individual URLs and optimization must be carried out on each individual URL.
Both – that is, on-site optimization and on-page optimization – are often summarized under the term “on-page optimization”, which, however, does not detract from the importance of on-site optimization.
So what can be done to improve the findability of a domain with on-site optimization ?! Here are the tips:
Tip 1: check the indexing of the website
The first tip is about the question of how your website will be found on search engines and above all on Google. Can the internet user find you when they enter the keywords on Google – and what do they see?
The way to get more detailed information: Enter “site: Domain.tld”, replacing Domain.tld with your domain. Take a look at what is displayed. Your homepage should be “at the top” of the search results. Including some subpages.
If this is not the case, then you should focus on indexing. Reasons for not being able to be found can be:
- Blocking of the Google bot by the robots.txt,
- Blocking of the Google bot through noindex tags in the source code,
- a rather weak quality of the page architecture,
- a Google penalty for violating Google guidelines.
Work on this if the search results are blank to weak.
Tip 2: Find brand names and brand keywords
Then check whether your brand name can be found on the search engine or, above all, on Google. Enter this (for example “Bosch”) in the search engine and look at the results.
KATJES // The #brand name of the chewy candy is the Dutch translation of the term “little kittens” = Katjes
– UNIMASE advertising dictionary (@UNIMASE) April 14, 2010
If your brand name does not appear or only appears on the lower search result pages, then you should again take serious care of the point “indexing”. You should also do the same check not only with your umbrella brand, but also with your subsidiary and product brands.
Tip 3: check organic landing pages
Use the tool “Google Analytics” to find out how many “organic” landing pages you have. A landing page is a website that Internet users and potential buyers can access through search queries on the search engine or through Internet advertising (e.g. Google AdWords).
This can be a category or product page from your online shop. In the page overview, you then switch to the “organic” section in order to see all the pages that can be found using the organic search. See if the number of visitors has dropped suddenly in the last few months.
If so, you may have hit a Google update or you have some other problem with your site.
Tip 4: check Google cache
Another important tool from Google is “Google Cache”. All crawled data of a website are stored on Google Cache. “Crawling” means that search engines – such as Google in particular – use web crawlers (= search programs), which run through the Internet in order to analyze websites and Internet pages.
The data in the Google Cache is updated on average once a week. The recorded content is then listed in Google’s search results. That means: All indexed pages of your domain that Google accesses for its search results can be found in the Google cache. Therefore you should check
- whether your web content is cached,
- whether there are navigation links and
- whether there are invisible links on the website.
It is important that your content is available in the cache, because only then can Google access it at all for search queries. To do this, enter “cache: URL” on Google. Replace the URL with the URL of your page whose cache you want to view.
Tip 5: Unwanted advertising
Every day several thousand websites are hacked and unwanted advertisements are added to them. Often these relate to Viagra, sex or the like. Usually common CMS (Content Management Systems), such as Joomla or WordPress, and also – mostly older – shop systems are affected by this unwanted advertising.
Tip: To check, enter keyword combinations consisting of your domain name and, for example, “Viagra” or “Sex” on Google. If you find hits here in the search results and thus unspeakable advertising, you must remove them immediately.
Tip 6: legal security
Webmasters are very often warned. This very often affects online shops. Therefore, you should check the following content modules of your website carefully for completeness and correctness:
- Declaration of revocation and
- Data protection.
To do this, contact a specialized lawyer or use the latest generators. Under no circumstances should you copy the texts from other websites. Nobody tells you that these texts are correct.
Tip 7: structure the page structure
Websites and online shops, for example, are growing steadily: new products, categories and pages are being added. In doing so, you should not lose track of your page structure. Before you add more pages, categories, etc., you should therefore draw up an organizational chart. This organizational chart, which should be both present and future-oriented, includes all current and future categories, sub-categories, products and information contributions.
Then find the essential keywords for each product and each shop category and insert them into the organizational chart. If you do this consistently, your organization chart will ultimately look like a pyramid, with the most important main categories at the top and above, and then the sub-categories and products below.
If you have an online shop, you should also consider important properties of the products, such as the colors of the products in the case of clothing. The organizational chart therefore fulfills important tasks in terms of usability and the findability of the website.
Word of the day: fully qualified. #usability
– Helge Wenck (@lgeeh) October 12, 2015
It is imperative that you ensure that all sub-pages can be reached with a maximum of five clicks from the user’s perspective. If your online shop is already active, you can also use appropriate tools for this optimization step, such as OnpageDoc or Xovi.
Tip 8: Avoid duplicate content
Each of your pages and content may only be available once on the web. So avoid duplicate content both on your own page and look for pages that have also published your texts.
On the one hand, you should make sure that your website is only available with or without www. is attainable. You should redirect the other variant. The start page should also not be found under /index.php or / start. Redirect duplicate pages with 301 redirects.
You should protect content in development environments with a password. You should also redirect mirrored domains via 301. And you should take legal action against content thieves. It is your texts and only you have the rights to them.
Tip 9: create a reference to target groups
Ideally, the following tip should be implemented before the web project is started. Of course, many webmasters do keyword research. It usually becomes evident that the majority of users use certain keyword combinations for their search more often than others.
For example, a larger number of people are looking for “cheap pants” than for “high quality pants” (similarly more often for “buy cheap socks” than for “buy high quality socks”). However, it is mostly worthwhile – and this also when using keywords – to stand out from the competition and to differentiate itself. Not every online shopper wants to buy cheap pants. The target group of those who value quality, nature, organic, etc. is constantly growing.
In addition to the keywords, you should also adapt your content and design to your target group. If your target group is older, you should make your font and buttons larger.
All in all, you will have achieved a lot if you implement all of the above tips and make them successful. These tips are essential information and assistance from a large number of optimization options, but they are at the center of the on-site optimization work.