So you’ve heard about SEO and how powerful it can be for your business, but did you know that there’s On-Page SEO and Off-Page SEO? That’s right. Search engine optimization is generally split into a couple of categories. So what exactly is On-Page SEO? What does it entail, and why is it important? Read on below to find out more.
What Is On-Page SEO?On-Page SEO is a part of SEO (search engine optimization). Search Engine Optimization is the process of optimizing a website and its pages for search engines. In plain English, that means making it more likely for people to find your website and attract visitors. Think about search engines like Google (and Bing). When you search for something – perhaps “women’s shoes” – Google shows you search results related to the phrase you searched for. The search results page shown includes websites most closely related to “women’s shoes.”
How does Google choose what results to show you?So how does Google choose what results to show you? The 2 main factors are relevancy and domain authority. Additionally, it comes down to a large number of factors, many of which have been tweaked over the years as Google has released new updates to its algorithm. But if you want your website to be on that first page of search results for “women’s shoes,” there are a few things you can do to help make that happen. Yes, you have some control over where your website ends up in search results!
How does On-Page SEO factor into it?On-Page SEO includes the following:
- Keyword research and placement
- Optimization of website and blog content
- Optimizing tags and meta description
- Internal linking
Keyword Research and PlacementWhen building a solid SEO strategy, you need to take keywords into account. When potential customers look for a product or service on Google, the words they type into the search box are “keywords.” By choosing the right keywords, you can help customers find you faster – thus making it more likely for them to visit your website and buy from you. There are a few ways you can figure out keywords, and Google AdWords Keyword Planner is one of the best. As an AdWords tool, the Keyword Planner makes keyword research super easy and efficient. Quickly delve into data on search traffic, discover new keyword ideas, and more.
- Search for new keyword and group ideas
- Get search volume for a list of keywords/group them into ad groups
- Get traffic estimates for keywords
- Multiply keywords lists to get new keyword ideas
Optimization of Website and Blog ContentOptimizing your website and blog content is about so much more than keywords. If all you’re doing is “keyword stuffing” – throwing in your desired keywords as much as possible into your content – take a step back. This can actually negatively affect your SEO. Again, optimizing content is about much more than keywords. You definitely need to be using keywords to boost your content, but pepper them in liberally. Don’t overuse them, or Google will notice and dock your SEO. A good way to know if you’re hitting the right mark is to download a WordPress extension like Yoast, which can tell you your keyword usage percentage and if you’re on track or not. Also, if you don’t already have a blog, now is a great time to start one! Search engines like Google give SERP placement preference to websites that regularly publish new, engaging, and SEO-rich content. This means content that users read, share, link to, and return to. Furthermore, using a blog is great way to continuously publish keyword-rich content without rewriting the high-converting service pages of your website. So here’s how to do it:
Monitor Your Keyword Ranking (ongoing)If you depend on your organic placement to bring customers to your business, then subscribe to a service that tracks your keyword ranking in your target geographical markets. Whether an online service, such as MOZ, or an internet marketing agency, such as eWebResults, will provide you with regular reports that alert you to rise and falls in your keyword ranking.
Identify a Keyword Ranking Challenge or Opportunity (5 min)Use your most recent SEO report to target one of your 5-10 primary keyword targets. For example, if you rank #11 or #12, focusing on this keyword may get you to page 1 of Google. Similarly, a ranking of #48 probably means you can jump multiple spots, depending on the level of SEO competition in your industry.
Find a Close Variation or Long Tail Version of Your Primary Keyword Phrase (5 min)Use a tool, such as Google Keyword Planner, to identify search volume for phrases directly related to your Primary Keyword Phrase. If you’re a local business, try to find something with a search volume between 200-800 searches per month. These tend to be high traffic phrases with a mid-level difficulty of SEO competition. The official name for these are LSI Keywords (Latent Semantic Indexing), but we’ll keep it simple and call this your Secondary Keyword Phrase.
Identify a Blog Topic for Your Secondary Keyword Phrase (5 min)There are probably an endless amount of topics to write about in your industry, but if you’re stuck to find one, use an FAQ. This allows you to go in depth into a frequently asked question, AND let’s you direct clients to your blog that continue to ask this question.
Write a Keyword Rich Title that Includes Your Title & Secondary Keyword Phrase (5 min)I hope this is pretty self explanatory, but try to keep it between 50-60 characters.
Create a Quick Blog Outline (10 – 30 min)Outlines are a great way to organize and structure your thoughts before ever typing a single word. Blog outlines are proven to increase efficiency of time and quality of content. They help you avoid rambling, help you stay focused, and help you look at the big picture.
Create a New Blog Post on Your Website (3 min)Again, this should be pretty self-explanatory for most website users. Just remember to add your Secondary Keyword Phrase to your unique URL.
- Write Your Content – Using an SEO Checklist (0.5 – 2 hours)
- Always Include a Conclusion Call-to-Action (CTA) (5 min)
- Write a Custom SEO Title & Description (5 min)
- TITLE: An engaging seo keyword rich title is more important than your brand name, so show it first. Plus, don’t be afraid to abbreviate your name. 50-60 characters is optimal.
- DESCRIPTION: Your post’s meta description is prime SEO real estate. Include your post’s target keyword phrase, a direct call to action, and – if appropriate – include your phone number. For example, if you provide emergency plumbing repair, this saves your panicked user from any additional steps, additional time, and adds value to their online experience of your company.
- Always Add a Featured Image (5 min)
- Additional SEO Boosts (5 – 20 min)
- ADD INTERNAL LINKS TO YOUR OTHER PAGES/POSTS.
- USE EXTERNAL LINKS TO HIGH RANKING WEBSITES THAT ARE NOT YOUR COMPETITION.
- INCLUDE ADDITIONAL IMAGES AS EXAMPLES OR INFOGRAPHICS.
- EMBED A RELEVANT YOUTUBE VIDEO (PREFERABLY YOUR OWN).
- Preview & Proofread (10 min)
- Publish (Instant!)
- Submit New URL to Google (5 min)
Optimizing Tags and Meta DescriptionAnother big part of content optimization is tweaking tags and meta description. In website pages and blog content, there are Header Tags, Alt Tags, and Meta Descriptions. Header Tags signify which pieces of your content are headings or subheadings, basically headlines that break your content into sections. It also tells Google which pieces are the most important, kind of like a summary. Header Tags are broken down into sizes: