As the popularity of the web keeps increasing million of people continue using search engines to get information. However, these searchers are only interested in the top results; this is where SEO comes in. Search engine optimization is basically the art of getting your page on the first SERP (Search engine result page) for search terms that are relevant to your online business. The better your SEO, the more traffic your site will attract and ultimately increase sales. On the same line, it is important to mention that a big part of SEO involves keywords and targeting these keywords in 2 ways, that is, on-site and off-site.
Off-site refers to building backlinks to your site from other relevant sites with your keywords in the anchor text. On-site SEO on the other hand is about optimizing your site for the keywords that you want to rank for. A solid combination of on-site and off-site SEO is crucial for the success of any online business. In this read, we focus on on-page SEO tips and some common mistakes that every online marketer should avoid.
On-page SEO Tips
These are basically short descriptions that a searcher uses to find information regarding a particular topic. They represent the relationship between the search term and millions of web pages. In onsite optimization, you need to find keywords that are mostly used by searchers in your niche and target them in your content. Within the SEO circle, it is generally accepted that getting more than a 1000 organic searches in a day is healthy for your site. On-site optimization includes web design elements such as;
> Title tag- This is the biggest ranking factors and since most search engines use the site’s title tag for listing sites in SERP’s.
> Location of keyword- The search engine will check whether the keyword appears in <header> tag, <title> tag, <meta> tag or in the anchor text just to mention a few.
> Keyword density- This refers to the frequency of which a keyword appears on a web page relative to the total number of words on the page. The frequency of a keyword in the title tag and the body tag are strong optimization factors.
The above are just but some of the web design elements included in keyword optimization. One common mistake when it comes to keyword optimization is failing to target keywords in the content. There are cases where the content is so generic that there are no targeted keywords; to avoid such ensure that you always have targeted keywords that are relevant to your page within your content while still providing relevant and informative content.
Quite essential to the organization and presentation of your site, the sitemap offers a complete internal structure of your site and also gives search engines access to all the pages within your site. The usual and accepted protocol for sitemaps is XML. Static websites have inbuilt sitemap capability and will auto generate once content is added. However, most websites that have sitemap.XML tend to use values such as ‘frequency’ and ‘priority’ which are both irrelevant if not well utilized. Instead, you should ensure that you have a properly generated sitemap for your site and that the URL structure is search engine friendly not to mention descriptive.
This is a file that allows control over how search engines crawl and index your website. What you allow and disallow the search engines to crawl on your site is up to you. For instance, you can prevent search engines from crawling on duplicate pages within your site to avoid duplicate content issues. Depending on which page you do not want to get indexed, you can implement the simplest directives to the most complex ones. Here’s an example of a simple directive that allows the search engines to crawl all the pages in your site; User agent:* Allow:/
- Meta description
The meta description gives you the ability to show potential visitors what your page is about before they click. In 160 words or less, you are required to convince the searcher that your page is more relevant and informational than the rest. While this may sound impossible it is quite easy to achieve. For one, you need to make the description catchy and interesting, remember, you’ve only got a single shot so give it your best. You also need to include your keywords within it and elaborate on what you have to offer. Lastly, other than keeping the characters below 155, you should include a strong call to action. What most online marketers do not take into consideration is that each page should have its own unique meta description; this should always be avoided.
- Image optimization
All images within your site should be described through ALT tags with the targeted keywords. Keeping in mind that search engines cannot read images when they crawl through your site you get to understand why ALT tags are important. Some tips for effectively optimizing your images include using targeted keywords in the image name and the ALT tag. And although it is easy to give image optimization an afterthought after spending much time developing content, always remember that optimizing your images is a great way of improving on-page SEO.
- Website content and inner pages
Following the release of algorithm updates such as Penguin and Panda, it has become quite clear that thin websites with nothing but affiliate links do not have a place in the online world. Therefore, in on-page optimization, you should consider creating original and keyword optimized content. As for the inner page content always adhere to these tips;
> Add sub-headers that include within the content for every new paragraph
> Always include keywords in on-page titles
> Have the keywords in the first, the middle and the last paragraph
> Customize meta tags for all the inner pages
> Consider putting the keywords in bold a few times especially in the last sentences- do not over do it.
Just like a typical brick and mortar store needs people walking in and out, an online business needs visitors as well; traffic is the prerequisite of any successful online venture. And although traffic generation may be a challenging process it can be enjoyable if you have the right information and the determination to achieve your goals.