In our previous article we shared the benefits of both Search Engine Optimization and Pay Per Click marketing, also known as Google Ad Words. To recap, we mentioned that both are beneficial to your business and ultimately it depends on your goals and objectives. (Read more: GOOGLE ADS OR SEO: WHAT SHOULD YOU PRIORITIZE?)
In this article, we will be discussing SEO a little further, specifically on-page SEO. We get it, you may have your reservations about on-page seo or seo in general. You may have thoughts like “is seo really helpful?” or “How can seo help my business?” Whether you will do these on your own or look for an on-page SEO service provider, it’s good to be in the know of how things work.
How can SEO help my business? SEO can be broken down into three pillars:
- On-page SEO
- Off-page SEO
- Technical SEO
Each one is important and is beneficial to your business when it comes to improving your organic traffic and making your website rank higher on search engine results pages (SERP).
On-page SEO, as the name suggests, is the process of optimizing elements and content on your web site. This is important because this provides information to readers as well as giving signals to search engines what your page is about. We’re pretty sure that you have seen these elements, but perhaps did not know at that time what they’re called.
Imagine you’re browsing the internet and opening a lot of different links. What’s the quickest way to find a link you’ve opened? You’ll probably shift or hover each tab and read each text. Well, that’s the title tag – it indicates what the page is about.
It is recommended that title tags contain your target keywords (the keywords your SEO campaign efforts will revolve around from blog writing and optimization to backlinks building) and should not be more than 70 characters. Otherwise it will be truncated.
There have been recent news that Google was starting to come up with the title tags to display (Search Engine Journal: Google is Rewriting Title Tags in SERPs). Whether this has been fully implemented or just an A/B test, it’s best to write your own title tags for your pages.
The H1 tag works similarly with the title tags. It gives the readers and search engines an idea what the page content is about. It is the header of the page that’s usually the first one read. To optimize this, include your target keyword and keep it concise and simple. If it’s already too long, you can consider using some text as H2.
Another important element is the meta description. Prior to opening your website, the meta description is the user’s first interaction with you. This is the brief write up that shows up in search engine results pages (SERP). To optimize this, try not to go beyond 160 characters while again incorporating your target keywords. And since this is one of the first interactions, add a call to action to improve your click thru rate!
It is also important to properly label images in your web pages. Suppose the reader’s internet is slow and the images won’t load. If that’s the case, the image file name is what will show up. Further, this also provides another signal to the search engine on what your page is about.
A well-constructed URL is beneficial to both readers and search engines as it provides information about the destination. To illustrate also the importance of it, here’s a scenario: without seeing the title tag or meta description, what are you more likely to click on?
LINK, LINK, LINK
Aside from backlinking (an off-page SEO activity), do link your pages internally as well. Why? For one, it improves your site’s session duration. With more navigation options for the user, they can stay on your site longer and explore other pages. Second, it helps your site’s crawlability!
ONE LAST.. PAGE SPEED
Whether you classify this as on-page or technical SEO, one this is for certain: you need to have a website that loads quickly. What good is your content if it takes too long to load? Users will just leave your page, and that will shoot up your bounce rate. Here is a free tool you can use to check your site and how to improve your page load speed: Google Pagespeed Insights
WHERE DO I START?
So how do you start with all of these? As with any SEO campaign and SEO strategy, our recommendation is starting by doing keyword research. You can use different keyword research tools, or even just by observing what your competitors are using. As a digital marketer, it’s always a good idea to check what your competitors’ activities are. Once you’ve identified your keywords, use them to build your content.
As a tip, do keyword research constantly – identify your target keywords at the start of your campaign and add related long-tail keywords for your content. When writing, do not keyword stuff. Gone are the days when search engines can be tricked by keyword stuffing just to improve organic traffic and rank higher.
You may also want to check our SEO framework to help you get started.