Optimizing your website with On-Page SEO can help send your site to the top of search engine results.
If you’re like me, you’re probably a little wary about tech terms that are thrown around indiscriminately. One I hear all the time is SEO. What is SEO and why should you worry about optimizing it? SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It’s making sure your website is search-engine friendly. What is a search engine? It’s Google, Bing, Yahoo—the program/algorithm that searches around the internet looking for good content, so when someone types something into the Google (or Bing, or Yahoo) search bar, they get good results. Search engines want to produce good results because then you will keep using them, and then they can sell advertising with you as their promised audience.
Unfortunately, people have always found a way to game the search engine system so that the search engines sometimes bring up some crappy results. To combat that, Google, Bing and others won’t tell us what their search algorithm is. The truth is they have rooms full of brilliant minds working to combat people from gaming the system and do a great job. The best way to get ranked in the long run is to produce high quality content and help people to find it by employing a few simple strategies. Some strategies are referred to as “on-page SEO” and some are referred to as “off-page SEO.”
What exactly is on-page SEO? On-page SEO is everything you can do on your website to raise your website’s search ranking. By increasing your search engine ranking, you’ll get increased prospect to client conversions. But how do you do on-page SEO? Let’s take a look at the steps to optimize your search engine rankings.
Do you have unique names for the different pages on your website? This is important because the page names include keywords for that page. For example, if you are selling merchandise online (e-commerce), if you have a page for leather handbags, you’ll want to have “leather handbags” in title for that page. By doing so, people searching the internet for leather handbags will be more likely to find you.
Is your URL short and does it include keywords? URL stands for Uniform Resource Locator, and is used to specify addresses on the World Wide Web. The URL is the address on the internet, the link you share with people when you want them to find your website. The first 3-5 words of a URL are given the most weight according to Google. Make sure your URL isn’t confusing or vague. A good URL should be under 100 characters in length, have the words separated by dashes, and should include no more than three sub-directories. If you run a website with varied products, be sure to put the product number at the end of the URL, but don’t replace the URL name with the product number.
Are you using tags? Heading tags, alt image tags, and meta tags are all important tags for your website. Meta tags tell the search engine what your page is about. Likewise, heading tags are very similar to meta tags and will help your reader, as well as the search engine, be able to scan your content. Be sure to use keywords that are related to the heading; don’t force it. With alt image tags, you’ll want to use keywords too. Again, be sure not to force the relationship there. If your images keywords don’t match up with the content on that page, perhaps you need to look for new images instead trying to make it work with those keywords. Again, tags should always be relevant!
Most important, think about your content as a way to improve your on-page search engine optimization. Not only do you want to have keywords in your content, you also want to make sure that those keywords are relevant. Try not to overuse a keyword just for the sake of search engines. If you do, you could have your site dinged by the search engines. That’s one of the ways people in the past used to game the system and search engines do not like it when you jam your articles and webpages full of keywords. Instead, if you find yourself using the same word repeatedly, look up an alternative in the thesaurus. This will prevent your site from being nicked and still get the same point across to your customers.
These are just a few ways to help your site with on-page SEO. Together, they can make a huge difference in how your site is ranked with search engines. In the end, it will help your customers find you and produce results in your conversion of prospects to customers.
I want to make sure you don’t miss this: the best way to improve your search engine optimization is by producing high quality content that readers want to read and helping them find it. Don’t get bogged down in the technical aspects of this and don’t throw up your hands in despair. Share what your audience wants and you will go a long way to helping the search engines love your website.
If you have questions about SEO, or would like to share tactics that have worked well for you, please comment below.