If you’re a business owner, then you know how important it is to rank high in search engine results pages (SERPs). After all, that’s how potential customers will find you!
That’s why we’ve put together the ultimate onsite SEO guide. This guide covers everything from keyword research to how to optimize your website content. By following the tips in this guide, you’ll be well on your way to higher search rankings.
How Your Website Is Built
Use SEO-Friendly URLs to make your page more visible
When you’re creating a new page (or modifying an existing one), be sure to use an SEO-friendly URL that naturally uses keyword phrases to demonstrate what the page is about. This is good for both search engines (to assign SEO value) and users (so they can trust the URL and understand what it’s about).
The key is to keep it simple, easy to read, and recognizable yet keyword rich as in Google search results. The keywords in permalink url are bold which means they still carry some weight, so make sure your URL is understandable yet still packs a SEO punch!
Here are some tips to follow:
- Try using keyword-only URL’s – they just might help you rank higher!
- Make sure your URL is clean and easy to read – users and search engines will thank you for it.
- Use only one version of your URL to avoid any confusion.
Your Page’s Title Tag
Your title tag is one of the most important on-page SEO factors. Pages can rank high just by using keywords properly in the title tag. Google’s algorithm looks heavily to the Title tag to identify what a web page is about. This shows not only at the top of your browser, but also in SERP results.
Therefore, it is recommended to include the keyword you are trying to rank for. However, make sure to use keyword wisely, and that the title is compelling. Use principles of writing good headlines by making title tags that are understandable, simple, and get straight to the point.
Tip: The closer you have the keyword at the beginning of the title, the more weight it carries in search engines.
Make your focus keyword an H1
Your title should be wrapped in an H1 tag – this will make it stand out as the headline. However, don’t overdo it by adding keywords to subheadings like H2, H3, and H4.
H tags are used to tell Google about the structure of your content, making it easier to read. For example, our title describes the topic of this post, followed by subheadings which explain On-Page SEO in more detail.
As you work down the page, keep an eye on your headings and subheadings to make sure they’re using keywords effectively and flowing smoothly. Are they engaging and compelling? These are the questions you should be asking at every step of the on-page SEO process.
Set up Schema or Structured Data Markup
If you want your pages to rank higher than your competition, you need to use structured data markup (also known as rich snippets). This will give search engines more information about your site and the content it offers.
Not every content type benefits from this, but you should make full use of it where possible. Structured data can have a multitude of benefits, ranging from improved CTR in the SERPs to better SEO.
Write about your keyword in your meta description
Looking to make the most of your meta descriptions? At just around 150 characters, they’re one of the most powerful tools you have in the SERPs. Use them to make a call to action, note unique value propositions, feature your brand name and any geographic locations, and more.
Links Within Your Site
The goal is always to keep users and search engines moving deeper into your site. So if you’re referencing specific pages or sources, be sure to link to them using anchor text that uses calls to action, like “learn more” or “sign up now.” But be careful to not overwhelm the user with links—keep it focused and only drive them off the landing page when it makes sense.
Links Away From Your Site
Outbound links can be really useful for SEO purposes. Linking out to other sites in your industry shows that you’re keeping up with what’s going on and that you’re adding value for your readers. Not to mention, it’s a great relevancy signal for Google.
So go ahead and link out to those helpful resources! Your readers will appreciate the extra effort and you’ll earn some credibility points in the process.
What Is On Your Website
Write like you are having a converation
If you want your website to rank well on Google, you need to make sure your content sounds natural and flows smoothly. Use keyword phrases throughout, as well as synonyms and related keywords. This will help Google better understand your page’s relevancy.
To test if your content sounds natural, read it out loud. Does it sound like something someone would say in conversation? If not, consider reducing your keyword usage or adjusting your wording for a more natural flow.
Longer Content Wins (Most of the time)
The length of your content can mean strength in SEO, so try to aim for longer pieces if you can. In theory, the more valuable content you provide, the better, but that doesn’t always hold true. To optimize a page, it’s about finding the right balance between word count and value offered.
Rich pieces of content don’t have to be thousands upon thousands of words long – use your best judgment to determine if you’re meeting the needs of your visitors with content that delivers what they need to learn/be entertained by/etc.
Optimize Your Images
If you’re using images on your pages, make sure they’re relevant to the topic at hand. Attractive, relevant images can help keep visitors engaged, while irrelevant or jarring images can drive up bounce rate. Be sure to use descriptive alt text and captions for your images, too – this will help Google understand what your image is all about and could improve your page’s ranking in the search results.
Quality Content Matter
Your content quality is essential to your success online. Make sure it’s free of spelling and grammatical errors, engaging, and informative to keep people coming back for more. Google may not have a direct way of determining the quality of your content, but metrics like time spent on site, repeat visitors, bookmarks, and shares all play a role in showing your content is valuable and relevant.
Be sure that your content is original – duplicate content can hurt your ranking on search engines and turn off potential customers. If you can’t avoid duplicate content, use canonical tags to tell search engines which version of the page to focus on. Not sure how canonicalization works? Check out Google’s Webmaster Guidelines for more info.
Make it easy to share your content on socal media
Make sharing your content a breeze with social sharing buttons. By encouraging website visitors to share your content across multiple platforms, you’re not only helping your SEO efforts, but also creating more touch points with your brand. And who doesn’t want that?
Your Website Experience For Visitors
Make sure your website is FAST
Your site’s speed is important for a number of reasons. First, it’s friendlier to your users. A fast site typically results in better on-page user metrics, plus there’s a correlation between having a fast website and good rankings.
Second, site speed can occasionally be limited by your platform. Platforms like Squarespace and Wix can significantly hinder your website from showing high in search rankings. If you’re not sure how to optimize your speed, start by investigating your load time with a tool and then contacting your hosting provider. If your hosting provider isn’t helpful, you can schedule a time to talk with our SEO experts.
If you’re looking to speed up your website, a CDN can help. In most cases, though, the main cause of slow loading times is the hosting. That’s why we’ve seen companies like Liquid Web focus on Managed WordPress Hosting and Cloud servers – it’s such an important element of site speed.
Of course, top-notch hosting comes at a price. But if you’re serious about performance, it’s worth the investment.
Mobile Friendly Design
If you’re not hip to the lingo, responsive design just means that your website will look great no matter what device your visitors are using. So whether they’re browsing on their phone, tablet, or laptop, they’ll be able to navigate your site with ease.
And in today’s mobile-first world, that’s more important than ever. Google has started labeling sites as “mobile-friendly” in search results, which means better click-through rates for those that are optimized for mobile devices. And for those that aren’t? They get a big, fat label telling them they need to shape up if they want to rank high on Google.
So not only is responsive design good for your visitors, it’s also good for your site’s SEO performance. Plus, you can expect increased time on site from users who enjoy the easy navigation and attractive design of a well-optimized website.
Your font choice can actually affect your SEO. If it’s too small or difficult to read, people are less likely to stick around, which tells search engines your page isn’t valuable. Choose a font that’s easy on the eyes and easy to read, and you’ll see better results in your traffic.
Your Website Organization
Is your content well organized? Can a reader easily skim and get a general idea of what you’re trying to convey? While it may be tempting to write a dissertation on your product, keep things trim and well organized so that someone reading quickly can still gain insight.
With this checklist of essentials, optimizing for on-page SEO can be easier for you. Now the trick is to blend these tactics with your off-site strategy for SEO Success.