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SEO 101: How to do on page optimization like a pro!

Posted on 21 January 2016
  The foundation of anything (house, structure, or marketing campaign) is the single most important piece of the overall plan. Build on a weak foundation, and you can expect a collapse.

The same goes for SEO.

Even the best off-page strategy won't do much if the foundational on-page strategy is not properly in place.

 

Metadata Implementation (Title, Meta Description, H1 & ALT)

Title Tags
Personally, I have steered away from the old days of creating title tags like: Keyword 1 | Keyword 1 | Brand Name

I prefer writing more descriptive title tags that read like a sentence (think Hummingbird update). Something like:

Internet Marketing News & Tips | SEJ
A descriptive title tag reads more naturally and it's probably better for conversions as well. Also, make sure the title tags are within the new recommend length of 55-60 characters. Anything more and you will see your title tags truncated in search results, which kills user experience.

Meta Description
These are not calculated in search engine rankings, but they are read by searchers to better understand what a page is about. It can also be effectively used as a call to action for your product or service.

Make sure you use your meta description to entice searchers to click on your website over all others. The recommended character limit for meta description tags is between 155-160 characters.

H1
Depending on the page, try to incorporate a descriptive H1 tag with relevant keywords without going overboard. Your goal is to give your audience the best user experience.

ALT Tags
While you're optimizing all the tags, you should also optimize the images. Try and incorporate descriptive ALT tags for all images. Who know? They could show up in a Google image search and bring in some relevant traffic via that channel.

 

Keyword Research


There are many great resources that can be found on this topic, so there's no need for me to re-hash old information. Make sure you read a few articles and do proper keyword research for all the relevant pages.

This is the single most important step in a successful SEO campaign.

This recent SEJ article on keyword research is worth reading for additional insight. CLICK HERE TO READ

 

Site Load Speed

Use the Google Page Insight tool to see how fast your website loads. It has long been known that Google incorporates site speed into its search rankings. And this is for good reason. As a user, I personally hate slow loading websites. Google has taken note of this and gives preference to faster loading websites.

Depending on the size of your site, a good average is at least 90+ for both desktop and mobile versions. If your site falls short, take Google's recommendation and hand them to the site Webmaster for implementation. Sometimes, it could be as easy as tweaking the HTACCESS file, but sometimes it could mean changing the image size or JavaScript.

 

XML Sitemap


Make sure the site has an XML sitemap created. The easiest way to check for this is to type in www.site.com/sitemap.xml.

If you see a 404 page or the homepage show up, this means there is no XML sitemap. This type of sitemap is recommended by all the major search engines (Yahoo and Bing, too) and helps search bots know how many pages your site has.

There are several tools that will create an XML sitemap for you. Create one and place it in the root directory of your website via FTP or you can use your favorite plugin for WordPress or any other CMS system you are using,

 

Social Icons

 

Make sure you have signed up for the major social media accounts such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+. Then, take it one step further and insert those social media icons on your website. This helps Google bots make a direct connection with your website's social media pages, but it also helps user experience as it provides an extra layer of credibility when searchers land on your website.

Let's face it, what company does not have social media profiles these days? When I see a site without one, it raises suspicions about their credibility.

 

Content/Copy Optimization

 

There are several studies around long versus short copy. Without getting into it, my personal recommendation would be to go for at least 500+ words of relevant copy for each of the important pages.

Obviously the "Contact Us" page will not have a lot of content (generally speaking). Additionally, having more content cannot hurt your site, but less content can make your website come across as "thin".

Hire a good copywriter to create some relevant and compelling content. It will help both conversion and search engine visibility.

 

Contact Information

 

This is another area that adds trust to your website for both search bots and users. Always list your contact number and e-mail address on your website. Whether you are a local business or an e-commerce website, customers might want to get in touch with you.

Make sure this information is easily available on your website.

 

This article is pieced from Search Engine Journal

 

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