Deep On-Page SEO-for-Content Analysis

26 January, 2011

google, keywords, search, seo, web content

For the keywords: “home energy evaluation” Google presents this on the first page of organic listings. Read the SERP snippet for the second listing:

Google search snippet
Now compare that text to the actual page description tag:

Description meta tag

<meta name=”description” content=”Home energy savings from Dr. Energy Saver experts. Sign up for a Home Energy Audit Learn about insulation, water heaters, furnaces, replacement windows, air conditioning, air sealing, radiant barriers. Repair, replacement, installation.” />

Despite the fact that this is a well-optimized description tag, Google, instead, goes for snatching a sentence from the actual webpage content where the keywords are found. Note that this sentence is located within the first paragraph of the page (see my highlight):

What does this mean?

I harp on sculpting well-optimized meta description tags for all webpages as a key content task, but here is an example where I can clearly see the value in carefully sculpting and optimizing the on-page text (particularly the first few sentences of a page)—because any piece of it could become a key component in the organic search results. In many cases, Google will opt to find the BEST match between your content and a search query and could grab any sentence or block of sentences to serve as snippet if the engine determines it to be better. Does your page content satisfy all these various situations?

Based on what we see above, can you identify which sentences on your site pages might be snagged by Google – out of context—and delivered in a search snippet? Would they make sense standing alone? Think about it….it’s not such as easy task, but it could be one that puts you higher in the organic results.

Now, for the query, “home energy audit,” the above site again gets delivered in the first page of organic results, but this time Google delivers the actual meta description tag as the search snippet. Why? Even though the title tag doesn’t match, the description does match the search query: “home energy audit”:

For the query, “home energy savings” the site doesn’t show up until halfway down the second page of organic results, even though it matches in the title tag AND in the description tag—exact matches! If you look back a the page content, the first paragraph also contains the keywords: “home energy-saving services” and the page sub-header, “let us help your home save energy…”

Why, if this is the epitome of a perfectly optimized title and description tag for a site that is smartly optimized, does it show up not until the 2nd page of results? .gov sites, for starters, are still more authoritative in Google results, so those usually display first even if keywords are not exact matches. But why do a few other commercial sites get priority? Let’s see if we can identify anything via content…

The second SERP has the keywords in the page title, but not in the description. Could the domain name carry more influence in this case—

Let’s look closer at the page content:

  • There is no description tag.
  • Page header (H1 tag) is an exact match to the query.
  • Page content is not well-written. The caps in the browser/page title are visually irritating, but not a detriment for the serps…just poor form (letters are letters to a search bot, but all caps –for the nth time—are difficult to read)
  • This is a content farm, (which I’m not going to sneer at, b/c when well done I’ve been part of site efforts that provide users with excellent libraries of content. They can be very well done and offer quite insightful and detailed info) Here is very general content- nothing really authoritative, just info, but a lot of it and deeper internal links to more very general and not well-written content…
  • Monetized with Google ads and a couple affiliate ads.

So where does the search snippet come from? From the first paragraph on the site:

The SEO juice here could be attributed to a combination of page header and first sentence. Could the actual content on the page carry more weight with Google than the description tag? Can we dig more intensely into every single piece of the content scheme to ensure we have all our bases covered for the primary keywords and phrases—for every single page on our sites?

Let’s look at another site that made it onto the first page of serps (see my highlight):

This is a microsite belonging to Rocky Mountain Power and Pacific Power companies. The domain name, as a content match, is pretty key –

The page title tag is an exact match and the description tag contains the keywords, as well (see below):

The webpage:

See the page header (H1 tag) is a longer one (also not necessarily a detriment) and contains an exact match to the search query keywords (home energy savings). The first sentence beneath that again contains the exact keyword match.

This was a fairly deep dig into the layers, but might it be a worthwhile exercise to weigh the value of every single word that goes onto a web page, evaluating use of keywords, keyphrases, and synonyms within the text?

And then what about using analytics and simple search data short- and long-term—evaluating for competitors’ efforts, search trends, market trends, and the wider lens of search algorithms to punch up the SEO of our content?

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One Comment on “Deep On-Page SEO-for-Content Analysis”

  1. Seo xhtml Says:

    Perfecting your current content is important in order to have a continuous supply regarding traffic going to your small business daily. This is where search engine marketing tactics come in. The thing is, if …skyscraper seo


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