Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the most powerful marketing tools for any online business today. Simply put, an effective SEO strategy will make your company visible to the greatest possible number of customers by ensuring a high ranking on Google's search results.
Of course, SEO involves a lot more than just building links to your website and hoping that Google (or another search engine) will give you that top-ranking you desire. The fact is, there are a lot of technical elements that come into the picture. For instance, you need to make sure that your website has strong "on-page SEO" (i.e., that each page has the necessary elements to drive a high SEO ranking).
In this article, we're going to share some practical on-page SEO tips that can help you grow your small business. Some of these you may be able to implement yourself; but at the very least, you'll gain some insight into what an experienced web development agency can do for your website.
Just for the sake of clarity, it's important to know what a "keyword" is, and how keywords relate to good SEO. Keywords have been defined as:
"Terms added to online content in order to improve search engine rankings for those terms."
In other words, if you operate an HVAC business, you want your content to contain plenty of HVAC-specific words and phrases. If you own a restaurant, you want your content to contain plenty of cuisine-specific words and phrases. And in either scenario, you'd want your content to also contain location-specific words and phrases (e.g., "HVAC company in Los Angeles," or "pizza restaurant in Chicago").
Those keywords help Google to "understand" what type of business you operate, and where it's located. Then, Google can match appropriate search queries to your website, and pull it up as one of the results.
Bottom line? Keywords are a very, very big deal when it comes to effective SEO.
Now, let's review 7 on-page SEO tips that can help your business shoot to the top of those rankings.
Google and other search engines look at heading tags to determine what a web page is all about. Therefore, it's important that you use heading tags correctly throughout your website.
For example, your page or post title should be the only on-page text that uses the H1 tag (the size reserved for the most important heading). And if you're trying to optimize your page for specific keywords, it may be a good idea to include them in both your main heading, as well as other headings and subheadings (using the H2 and H3 tags, respectively).
Any well-designed web page will have a title tag in its HTML code. The text within this title tag is what shows up in Google's search results, as well as on the tab for the page.
The title tag is an important on-page SEO element for at least a couple of reasons:
In general, you should put your primary keyword at the start of the title tag, so it will be immediately visible in the search results as well as on the tab above the page window. It's a good idea to use less than 60 characters for your title tag.
Your page's meta description is that little "blurb" or summary that shows up in the search results, right underneath the page's main title. Meta descriptions usually allow for up to 160 characters.
Here again, you want to take the opportunity to use your primary keyword within the meta description. You can leverage this short summary of the page to attract interested users to your site, and also reinforce the other aspects of your keyword strategy.
This is one that a lot of website owners forget about; but the fact is, it's always best practice to associate a snippet of alternative text with each image on your page. Why? There are three basic reasons:
Links are right next to keywords when it comes to vital SEO elements. While backlinks to your site can only come from other websites, you can also incorporate internal links into your pages (i.e., links that direct consumers to other useful content on your website). Not only will these links increase your customers' engagement with your business, but they will also help Google to "find" more pages on your site, and index them properly.
Depending on the nature of your business, you can expect at least half of your consumers to visit your website on a smartphone or tablet. Therefore, you want your site to look good on any device that's being used. In fact, experts recommend that sites be designed from a "mobile-first" perspective, especially since Google and other search engines give higher priority to websites that display well on smaller screens.
If it takes longer than 2 seconds for your web page to load, then you're probably losing a lot of business. We won't get into the technical details of how to fix slow load times right now, but just know that this should be a top priority for you if you want a successful website.
If you implement these 7 on-page SEO tips for your website, then you'll be in a much better position to dominate Google's search results for your specific industry and location. Reach out to our team at Peak Performance Digital to learn more about how we can help.