When markets in Australia and all over the world went for an absolute spin in March 2020, many Australian businesses asked us for advice as a digital marketing agency. One of the most common and genuine recommendations we gave to businesses was, when it comes to digital marketing, think long-term. For most, the most relevant, high-ROI and relatively easy-to-execute long-term digital marketing strategy is SEO.
SEO is the gift that keeps on giving.
We’ve seen it time and again. Businesses that have invested in SEO efforts in-house or engaged with an SEO agency see a steady, almost guaranteed flow of traffic and leads to their business, even when times are tough.
Granted, SEO can get quite technical, when you suddenly have to jump from comfortable website front-end edits to back-end schema mark-ups and coding - all to convince a bot that your website is exactly what their searchers are looking for. It’s no surprise that most businesses turn to an outsourced SEO services company to boost their organic traffic.
However, as you build and edit more pages on your website, there are certain on-page SEO techniques that you can get disciplined about that will go a long way in improving your Google rankings.
On-Page SEO or on-site SEO are the steps one takes to optimise a specific webpage and its elements for search engines and users. On-Page SEO is important for digital marketing because Google still crawls your site for keywords.
There are two main reasons why on-page SEO is critical to your SEO strategy.
Keywords form the crux of your SEO strategy. Choose to optimise the page for a keyword that is relevant to the copy of your web-page content. Make sure the keyword you use matches what your audience is looking for. Many businesses use clever words to describe their business and the services they provide, and in terms of search, that may backfire.
For example, I was browsing some local Sydney websites, looking to buy some soy candles with earthy aromas like ‘sandalwood’ or ‘sage’. What I found interesting is that most retailers used creative copy, naming their candles ‘Sydney’ or ‘Clarity’. This copy rarely describes the product clearly and you miss out on organic rankings and more so, interest from a prospective buyer.
Ideally, each web-page will be optimised for one keyword or key phrase, but depending on the length of the copy on your web-page we recommend you optimise for no more than 5 keywords per web-page.
Recraft your content heading to include the keyword. Make sure that this is formatted with the H1 tag. It is very likely that this would just mean selecting the title and reformatting it as a Heading1 in your CMS. Each page must have a unique headline with an H1 tag.
Make sure the content you put together for the web-page is descriptive. The content must include the keyword you’ve chosen in Step 1, but beware of keyword stuffing. The content needs to sound natural and essentially, valuable for the reader. Google’s algorithms have evolved over the years, so adding your selected keyword X number of times just for the sake of it is likely to be more harmful than helpful.
We also recommend you pepper LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) keywords throughout your content. LSI keywords are contextual keywords that relate to your main keywords. For example, if your main keyword is “digital marketing agency”, your LSI keywords will be on the lines of “web marketing agency” or “how to hire a marketing agency” and the like.
Meta information is the little snippet of information that shows up when you paste the URL of your web-page on Outlook, LinkedIn or Facebook.
Generally, meta information for a page is grabbed either from your site’s homepage meta description, or from the content at the top of the page. You can use a plugin such as Yoast SEO in your CMS to set a unique meta title and description for each page or post on your website.
It’s important to write a meta description that summarises the content of the page in a way that the searcher knows they will find the information they need by clicking through to your site. However, you’ll need to keep your meta descriptions under 150 characters to avoid essential information being truncated. It’s a delicate balance!
Images on a web-page can make or break a page’s SEO results based on 3 factors- alt-tags, size, and format.
If you’ve hovered over an image online and had a small description pop up, that’s alt-text or alt-tag.
Search engines use alt-text to better crawl the web page and determine whether the page is worth serving to the searcher. It is also essential to those using screen-readers or assistive programs. When uploading an image to your CMS, you should have an option to set the alt-text. Make sure you succinctly describe the purpose of the image in this space.
Image size and format is also worth reviewing to optimise your search engine results. Ensure your images are compressed to a web-friendly size to suit the site and uploaded as a PNG for optimal site speed.
For more detailed instructions, check out Google's image optimization guide.
Short URLs work best for SEO. So, it’s important that you be selective with your words here, and try and eliminate in-between words such as ‘and’ or ‘for.’ While having a URL that’s descriptive is fantastic, a longer URL can run the risk of becoming truncated in search results.
Search engines will also crawl your page for links to other relevant content. Link keywords as an anchor text to other relevant parts of your website and place external links to reliable sources such as news articles and trusted industry websites to improve your backlink scores. Keep redirects - for example, from pages that may have been moved or renamed - at a minimum, to improve loading times.
Finally, make sure your content is formatted in a way that makes it easier for the reader to absorb the information. Use bullet points, bold, H2 and H3 tags to create sections, and where it makes sense, add images and videos relevant to the content.
Properly formatted content will increase the time a web visitor spends on your site. It also impacts your web page’s ability to be shown as a ‘featured snippet’, which is when your page appears above organic results in ‘Position 0.’
Google’s featured snippets are often the short answer to a search query. Crafting smart copy on your webpage that answers pressing questions promptly can be a great step in becoming a trusted source for searchers.
SEO can seem like a lot when you’re just getting started, but using these simple SEO best practices as a guide when creating new content can really help optimise your site for search engines in the long run.
Don’t have the time, energy and resources to focus on SEO? Get in touch with us at Rocket Agency for outsourced SEO agency services to get tangible results from your website!
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