Search engine optimization is a process of drawing organic traffic to your website or web pages. Not just traffic, but specifically targeting ways to improve both the quality and quantity of who visits. The focus is on unpaid traffic, not direct nor paid traffic. A strong SEO strategy can reduce organizational costs (such as the cost per customer) while improving customer acquisition.
Within SEO, there are multiple components and processes that will all contribute to your overall goal. Two areas of difference are on-page and within blog post SEO.
On-page, or on-site SEO, works towards optimizing web pages themselves to improve rankings in search engines. In addition to requiring strong keywords, there also needs to be an alignment of page elements: title tags, headings, and the content. On-page SEO isn’t just technical SEO like page speed. However, every page is important to your website’s overall SEO.
Specifically, you want to optimize the pages that either are most important to your website (such as pages that detail your products/ services) as well as pages that are high traffic pages (such as your home page or a top level pillar page that has others linked to and through it). We will go over a few components of on-page SEO that can improve your ranking:
The page’s URL can improve the page’s SEO. A few components to consider when designing your page’s URL is to have a keyword in it, use real words, be succinct, and hyphenate. Prior to launching your page, it is good to include a primary keyword, which won’t only help draw searchers that way, but also should be representative of the page content. Using real words also improves understanding of the content. Succinct URLs are not only easier for search engines to understand, but they increase your chances of direct searching and sharing of the page. Hyphens are utilized to increase readability, versus having random characters can confuse potential customers when they view the URL without context.
Tags within your page are utilized by bots / search engines when they are indexing / crawling your site to determine the difference in your content. There are cases when Google may “rewrite” what the page’s title is based on the elements on the page and this can impact your click through rate. It is important to not repeat tags, especially things like title tags, and make sure they are properly connected to the different parts of your content.
A meta description is an HTML tag or snippet that summarizes the page’s content. It appears beneath the page title and URL on search engines. It can be up to 300 characters long, however, 150-160 is recommended because otherwise it will be cut off and followed by a “…”. Within your meta description, be sure to include one primary keyword that reflects what is on your page. Do not “keyword stuff” the meta description. It is recommended to have only a couple keywords max, sometimes one primary and a few “secondary” keywords. They need to all represent what is on page. However, it is important to have a keyword here because when the word is searched, this page will pop up and the keyword will be bolded within the search results. For some, this can assure them that your page will really have what they are searching for. When constructing your meta description, understand that it is similar to an advertisement. It should assure people that the page has what they are searching for, but it should also compel people to click your page versus others.
Within the content on your page, it is important to differentiate (and have) headers. Headers are similar to titles, main page title and subtitles. Not only does this clarify information, but it makes it easier for page viewers. Imagine reading an essay with no titles, just text on text on text. You wouldn’t be prepared for when there is a switch in subjects or what is the introduction versus the body versus the conclusion. Headers help readers grasp the content and know if they want to read it as well as where they will find their answer. Proper headers can keep them on the page longer, keeping them from page bouncing. Additionally, headers help search engines understand your content as well.
Internal linking creates a framework for your content and allows for greater depth into topics while not overwhelming users. These links are important for the user experience as they organize the flow of your website and if done properly can reduce your bounce rate. Additionally, it helps search engines understand the relationship of your pages. Once again, refer to the URL key points of using keywords while keeping the link short and descriptive. Internal links don’t help with your authority; that is external links which will be touched on in a different article.
This article is not all inclusive—it touches on a few areas of on-page search engine optimization that can boost your SEO strategy and improve your ranking in the long run. SEO is a great part of your marketing strategy and a strong one can drastically improve your digital customer acquisition. There are many areas that need to be optimized for your SEO strategy. Including within blogs, on-page, and off.
If you want more help understanding how your SEO is going, your current rankings and website strength, or more, reach out to a LiveFive member today.