The On-Page SEO kit any entrepreneur needs to have
The On-Page SEO kit any entrepreneur needs to have
So, SEO, the golden tool of the new generation. Some say that SEO is dead, others on the contrary. It’s like the Elvis Presley dispute all over again. Only it’s not. SEO is alive and it’s going to stay that way, most likely for as long as Google exists. You needn’t question its existence, but rather the shape SEO takes. And you shouldn’t wait for your website to go down or start a new one just to ask yourself that question. You could just follow the evolution of SEO and see when the next change happens. SEO has a thing about giving a heads-up when it’s reinventing itself.
You need SEO because you need Google. You need Google to recognize you like an element of interest and index you properly, display your offer to the audience that matters.
Whether you like it or not, you need SEO and you need to learn, step by step how to properly optimize your website.
What exactly is On-page SEO?
This is actually the practice through which you can optimize web pages to allow them to rank higher in search engines. Doing so, you are ultimately increasing traffic to your website, traffic leads to visibility, and visibility to leads, which, with a bit of luck, convert to buyers.
It sounds simple, at first, as most strategies refer to the use of keywords. So, basically, you add keywords here and there and in the end, you should get more customers, right?
Well, not exactly.
Sure, the essence might be the use of keywords, but given the fact that this strategy has been intensely used, the strategic, sole use of keywords has been massively outdated.
Apparently, as of 2018, Google goes far beyond the exact keywords. If you have ever done on-page SEO, you might have crossed paths with that annoying keyword that was so difficult to be placed naturally in a text, not to mention title. They felt completely out of place and anyone could instantly tell that you were working your SEO magic to increase in rank, including Google, which, by the way, doesn’t appreciate being controlled.
One of the secrets of SEO was to make all your efforts and struggles pass unnoticed. So, you really need to put some muscle in and make sure everything seemed natural. Google didn’t make it easy for you to rank. Now, it seems that the huge search engine is trying to be friends with you and no longer looks at exact keywords as the only existing solution to a better SEO.
Now, we are talking about related terms, we are talking about semantics, or better said we will in a short while. But to clearly answer your question, on-page SEO is actually about optimizing your web pages to get a high rank in Google and greater visibility. So, prepare yourself for some massive SEO training.
SEO Tips & Tricks
This is probably your ground zero moment. You need to get this one right. Indexing your metadata needs to be done in line with Google’s expectations and this search engine is trying to make a point here. If some time ago, when using exact keywords and you would type something like buy laptop, you would get those websites that have specifically used those terms in that order in their metadata. Now, Google understands that you intend to buy a laptop. So, it will display the elements that say exactly that. For instance, if you have a review website, then Google won’t present you to the customers that type in buy laptop, because it is clear that their intention is not to read reviews, but to purchase laptops and you are not selling anything right?
In other words, if you want to increase in rank, then you need to focus on what Google tells you is the search intent. Instead of trying to target large keywords that have nothing to do with your business, go for understanding search intent and act upon it.
Faster is better
This is the era of speed, right? So why wouldn’t this detail be of interest in terms of SEO indexing? We all lack in patience and some of us have to find it altogether as it is missing completely. Pages that take a long time to load are the pages that suffer most. If you notice that seconds keep rolling down and the page you are interested in has not yet opened, you are bye-bye. And that’s the case with websites you are familiar with, websites you actually wanted to visit and not first-timers.
You need to make sure that your pages load fast and that there are no issues in this regard. And by the way, while load time has been among the aspects Google considers when ranking your website since 2001, it seems that mobile page speed is going to be added to the list. So, better watch out for that one as well.
Luckily, you can check page load speed using one of Google’s tools, Page Speed Insights1, and even receive optimizations recommendations.
But, if you are looking for a few tips given be someone other than Google to optimize your page speed a bit before sending it to be verified, here are our tricks:
Reduce the size of the images on your web page
Minimize unnecessary HTML
You need to be under 3 seconds, so don’t go speed optimizing wild. Milliseconds won’t help that much.
Use your keywords carefully in the title, meta descriptions, and H1 tags
Yes, yes we know, we did say something about exact keywords, but it’s not what you think. We only said that it shouldn’t be the only thing you do when it comes to optimizing your web pages. And we still stand by what we have said. But coming back to the issue, here is what you need to know about keyword placing.
Going for exact keywords, using them at the beginning of the sentence or within the first paragraph is the right approach. However, this is only when the keyword permits you to do so. In other words, you want to avoid a spammy appearance at all costs. Otherwise, this strategy could backfire. If you have a keyword that does not permit a natural placing, maybe you could simply trust Google to index you in the correct category. And you could do that by using content. Show your intention in the actual content of the meta descriptions and title to be certain that you will make your point loud and clear.
Short, descriptive URLs – the way to go
It is preferable to have a keyword part of your URL. This is a detail that enforces the idea that readers like to see what they are reading and they want to see that the URL describes exactly the topic they are interested in. Instead of having a long, never-ending URL filled with numbers and symbols you can’t exactly know what they are for, a short, keyword targeted URL will help your Google rank. So, if possible, try to have SEO friendly, short link. They are great in terms of content sharing.
However, if the structure of your URL does not permit you to make changes, as this can happen, you needn’t lose too much time on it. Just let it go. It’s true that it helps in terms of SEO, but so do consider the rest of the tips you will find here. So, if you have sacrificed something, then this would be it.
The SCHEMA Markup
Now, this one is really great. And it’s great for SEO.
The idea is like this. By now, you should have noticed an aspect that Google does. It serves its readers. It has to. You are struggling to get on Google’s good side and Google is struggling to get on the visitor’s good side because if that day comes, the day in which the visitor finds another search engine as big as Google to surf the internet, he is just going to wave Google bye-bye. It won’t need it anymore. So, naturally, Google is making all possible efforts to be sure that the reader finds exactly what he needs out of a search query?
But what does the visitor want, the visitor that has to deal with thousands of results from just one simple search, the visitor who theoretically has a pretty good idea of the item/service he is keen on, given the keywords selected, the visitor who does not appreciate visiting useless pages to eventually find one that fits his needs? Well, for one thing, he wants information. That’s what the Schema Markup offers.
Basically, Google has come up with this system by means of which websites can display an enhanced presentation of their pages, with stars, reviews, and small descriptions. It’s like a much-improved version of the metadata.
Plus, there are visuals. And, really now, who doesn’t like a good picture?
It’s a lot of work, it’s true, but it can be done. You don’t have to do it for each and every single page of your website, just those that are more important. Important how? Well, based on your competition naturally and your primary keywords. By making a quick search, looking at the manner in which your competition behaves when it comes to primary keywords, you should be able to tell whether or not certain pages require enhanced presentation, by means of Schema Markup. From that point on, it’s time to start working.
Content: simple, clean, READABLE
A few years ago, when you said content, you automatically said keyword stuffing. There would be texts with keywords separated by two, maybe three different words, which only served a purpose, that of connecting them, nothing else. There was no value to that text, no idea to be presented forward and the reader would leave the page completely empty-handed in terms of information. He would, however, know all your keywords by heart. Google did not have a problem, until the moment it noticed that more and more visitors were hitting the back button faster than you could say wait. And that’s when everything changed.
Nowadays, Google is looking to bring in quality. The reader should be able to understand your article, to obtain relevant information out of it, whatever his background education might be. And that’s where the crown jewels hide.
No one wants to read articles written by academics. It wouldn’t hurt, but given the complexity of their manner of writing, most likely a great part of us might not completely understand what they are saying. Not to mention that it might take an eternity to finish that article. Some of us take pride in our IQs, but that trust was a bit shattered when we realized that we knew nothing about Inception the second time we saw it. We didn’t tell this to anyone, but we kind of avoided this type of movies. That’s what happens with overly complex articles or poorly written ones. They start being avoided. And that’s something you don’t want.
Content needs to be dedicated to your audience. It has to carry keywords of course, but again, in a natural manner. You cannot sacrifice language for keywords. And write for the people you want to visit you.
If Google notices that people hit the back button too often, it can lower you in terms of rank.
Be yourself, write for the people, for the customers you are hoping to convert. And try not to overcomplicate things.
Remember that on-page SEO is just one of the many things you’ll be working on to make sure that your website is up and running as it should. You will be working on creating a name for yourself outside SEO, so targeted searches will most likely start appearing. You’ll be building relationships with your customers, so info on your audience will be provided to you. You are spreading the word about various actions or events you are part of, so PR and article distribution will most likely happen. Given all these aspects, your on-page SEO becomes just another tool in your pocket.
It never functions alone, but it must be prepared to function first. So, keep your eyes on queries, avoid targeting keywords that even though they are of a great interest to readers they do not exactly fit the nature of your business and consider your visitors. Write to them through google.