On-Page SEO for Search Engine Success
7 Minutes, 54 Second
Written By John Marx
We routinely will work with clients and look at what they’ve built and many have come close to hitting all the major point for on-page SEO success. They are normally just missing a few items to take their page from good to great. With this article we are going to share some of our core SEO optimization techniques to help you take your pages from good to great.
The title of your page is a true factor in determining the success of your page. You want your core keyword of your page to be as close to the front of the page name as possible. If you are promoting Valparaiso Web Design or Valpo Web Design having your title start with Valparaiso or Valpo Web Design is crucial. If you are promoting your web design services for Northwest Indiana having your page say Northwest Indiana Web Design would be the optimal title for your page.
SEO Friendly URLs
Although a person can get to your page and the URL doesn’t truly matter having one that is human readable, short, and sweet will go a long way. If your selling widgets having your page name like http://domain.com/widgets is a lot clearer than http://domain/content.php?Id=1. The first example is easily remembered, contains your keyword, and is short. A short URL will typically rank better than a longer or cryptic URL.
On your page there are items called “headings”. There is one primary heading called an H1. Every page should have one and only one. If your page has more than one, then you should have more than one page. Most modern CMS’s will have a H1 defined automatically to help you achieve this level of heading. Just because you have a heading that is large at the top of your page doesn’t mean it has an H1 tag. We’ve fixed over a dozen sites this year that are running modern CMS programs like WordPress that didn’t use H1 tags. With your page title if you can include a keyword that will also help you go further.
Knowing you can only have one H1 tag on your site there are five other tags you have available. They should be structured logically. After the H1 is an H2, then H3, etc. You can have multiple H2-H5 tags on your site. If you can group items on a page within a sub-category use H2-H5 tags to further improve your SEO rankings.
Image and Visuals Matter
We live in a visual world. When you have images, videos, diagrams, and other visual art on your page you can reduce the bounce rate of your page as well increase user interactions.
Keyword Word Use
Your keyword that is related to a page should be used within the first 100 characters of your page. This helps show the overall relevance on your page.
Define a Keyword Per Page
Every page should be tied to a specific keyword. By having one primary keyword per page you can further improve your search engine results while also being able to focus on a specific topic.
Being linked from external credible sites is important. Going a step further you can link to your own pages. This is building credibility between your own pages. Link to two or three internal links to tie information together within your own website.
Part of the links on your website is using information that is informative and descriptive. All too often people have click “here” where “here” is the link. A better link text would be “click here to learn about our great web design services in Northwest Indiana”. But don’t stop there! When you do go to that page make certain that many, or all, of those words in the link text also exist in the first 100 words within the page just like the page that they were just on were linked to the important keywords of that page.
Every page should have a purpose. This purpose should be your call-to-action. Whether you want people to just read your page, share your page, inquire about more information, or go to another page on your website. Wording and pictures within your site should achieve this on each and every page. Part of your call-to-action will be your sales funnel to convert users browsing your website into leads.
Your website should look and work well on desktop, tablet and mobile devices. You do not want two separate sites. If your mobile site goes to m.domain.com, mobile.domain.com, etc. you are hurting your search engine optimization. Ten years ago this was a trend. Then responsive web design came around and gives you a mobile experience that is optimized, will routinely cost you less, and best of all provides a consistent branding experience for your customers.
Be a Speed Demon
In 2015 Google put responsive design on the radar for being properly indexed for mobile devices. In 2016 speed is becoming the key differentiator when it comes to being found. The faster your site performs the less likely someone will be to leave your site.
A great way to improve your page speed is by optimizing your images so that they load quickly. You do not want an image that is the size of a billboard on your mobile page or even a desktop computer. Have your images set to the appropriate device and optimized for displaying fast.
Beyond being beautiful and conveying a message images also convey words. These words are not seen to many of us but those with disabilities as well as the search engines use this hidden and important information to convey what an image is about. This information is called the alternate text.
Colors can either distract or keep the attention of your readers. Colors are seen by many of us. Others are not as fortunate to see colors. Make certain that there is an appropriate contrast between colors that are complimentary for your users.
We all know how important social media is in our daily lives. Having your information shared on your webpage is equally important. Having social sharing buttons is a great way to get the word out about your content.
Content Is King
What we write needs to be engaging and informative. It is also important that people stay on your pages for a good amount of time, go to other pages within your site, etc. When users stay on your site and visit other pages it shows the search engines that you have information worth sending people to.
Do not repeat everything on every page to try and get people to love your widgets, web design, or other services. Have each page be unique and not duplicated within your site and equally not across the internet. Plagiarism is not something you want to be known for on the Internet. When we say content is king it is king when it is unique and helps your users solve their current and pressing needs.
Meta and Structured Meta Data
Behind everything great is a set of tools. For a webpage these magical tools are your meta information. This tells the search engines what your page is about as well as the social media outlets information they need to further share the important information on your site.
Your webpage should answer the questions your visitors have. This is why someone is on your site. They didn’t come here to just see how pretty your page is or how well you’ve written your content. They want answers to some aspect of their lives and the search engines have done their job and pointed you to them. Now take that information and answer their questions.
Even if you use other analytics software you need to be using Google Analytics. There are a multitude of reasons. One is it is owned by Google and having this information within Google’s system shows Google how important your website is and how well it is working for your visitors.
One of the key areas we do for our customers is we sit with them, evaluate what is working and what isn’t. This can take a couple of months to truly determine the baseline for everything in their site. Google Analytics will get you “so far”. What it is missing is explaining to you where people are clicking, how far on a page they are moving, and where their eyes are. With heat maps you can find that out and refine your page and optimize your overall search engine optimization.
As you can see there are a lot of items to weigh in on when creating your pages. Not everything above you will want to incorporate. You will want to do a good portion to increase your overall engagement. It does take time and these are not all of the items you want to look at. These are the ones that we see people missing when they come to us for assistance in helping them achieve greatness. If you would like help we are here to listen and will work directly with you. Give us a call at 219-229-1633, email at sales@FawkesDM.com, or use our online contact form here.