As we mentioned in our last post on SEO best practices, SEO is a huge topic and is comprised of many elements. In this post, we’re going to talk a bit about on-site SEO.
On-site (or on-page) SEO is what’s displayed on your website – it’s the written copy your visitors read and search engines see, and it’s what helps give your site a boost in search engine rankings. Off-site (off-page) SEO, on the other hand, involves content outside (and/or linking back to) your site.
Here are four key things to keep in mind for both SEO-friendly and viewer-friendly content:
1. Write for people, not for Google
When writing your content, make sure you write for real, live people. First of all, people who visit your site will be much more likely to read it (and actually spend some time learning about what you offer) if it’s clear and makes sense. Creating good, informational and engaging content takes a lot of time and effort, but it will always help you in the long run.
And when you have new, fresh content available on a regular basis, Google will re-index your site and your customers will keep coming back (and hopefully make additional purchases). Your customers want to see what’s new, understand what’s different about your products and services, get ideas on how to use a product and learn about related topics, so Google will reward you when you show them.
2. Research your keywords and use them wisely
It’s important to do your keyword research (and if you need help with that, contact us) and then put together a plan for where and how they can be used to the best advantage, including within pages and in your meta data. Don’t just create a bunch of sentences that include keywords. Remember, Google and other search engines are getting much better at ranking sites that are designed just to rank for certain terms – a technique known as “keyword stuffing”.
(Remember the bad “black hat” techniques we talked about in our last post? “The Goog” is watching and will penalise you for these sooner or later.)
As a basic guideline for ranking with search engines, be aware that it’s hard to rank for keywords that don’t appear in your page content itself. Each page should be organised around the goal of ranking for a specific keyword or keyword phrase, with a few related phrases and keywords mixed into that copy. You don’t want to overdo it.
3. Don’t duplicate
Make sure that as much as possible, you have unique content on every page of your site. Google claims there is NO duplicate content penalty, but they do recognise ‘thin’ or ‘boiler-plate’ content that’s out there just for the sake of ranking.
If you’re just building your site and haven’t written the content yet, consider creating a spreadsheet to map out what’s going to go where, look for places where you need additional content, and then create pages to fit your needs within that structure.
4. Make sure title tags and content match
As mentioned in our previous SEO post, a title tag is text that’s incorporated into your html to help describe your site content to search engines. Even though a visitor to your site doesn’t see this text on the page, it’s still considered an element of on-page SEO. In fact, it’s the most important on-site SEO element besides your actual content, and it appears in three key places:
⋅ In a browser
⋅ In search engine results
⋅ On external websites (such as social media sites)
It’s critical to create descriptive title tags for your site’s pages that match the content and include keywords to help with your rankings. Remember, if someone finds your site in a search, it may be their first exposure to your site and/or product, so write compelling text that will draw those searchers in.
Finally, in addition to the fact that both Google and your visitors like it, an added bonus of creating good on-page content is that it helps position you as an expert in your field. The more you and your team members write and share knowledge about your products or industry, the more you build trust and loyalty with your audience.
Need help with keyword research or improving your SEO? Contact Breathe Marketing today.