Table of Contents
Click the links below to move quickly to that section.
- Using keywords correctly
- Writing quality unique content that pays off
- How to get your heading titles perfect?
- SEO title and Meta descriptions
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the key to standing out from competitors online. With the rush to get on the web in 2020, visibility in search has become increasingly hard for small businesses. There is space for everyone online if you know how to use the tools at hand.
Having a website is only a first step.
Buyers cannot flock in if they have no idea you exist. Getting in front of people’s eyes is the most challenging part of marketing on the web. There is a limited number of places people look in, and the only way to get there is by knowing exactly what people look for when they want your product.
There are three types of SEO: On-page, Off-page and Technical. On-page is mainly the things you can do on your own website to make search engines showcase you higher than your competitors. Off-page mostly refer to the referrals you get to your website. Technical SEO is the improvements that can be technically brought to your website and respond to search engine demands.
In this article, we will talk about how to do On-page SEO well. It offers two main advantages over the other types:
- On-page SEO is more controllable because you optimise every step yourself on your own site
- it doesn’t require technical web developing knowledge.
The following simple tactics will help you attract buyers from search engines.
Using keywords right
Keywords are the phrases people type into search engines. These can range from one simple general word to a grammatically incorrect sentence or a complete question.
People have many different intentions when making a query. Search engines have built more sophisticated algorithms year after year to decipher what people truly intend with their quickly jotted words.
If you want your website to appear in search engines, you must mention what services or products you are providing clearly. You also need to know what people are searching for on the internet when they are looking for the services or products you provide.
General single words are usually oversaturated. Established competitors with popular sites and strong SEO often take centre stage on search engines.
While you should use some of those simple keywords to help search engine algorithms understand what your website is about, you should be counting mainly on long-tailed keywords to drive real traffic to your site.
Long-tailed keywords are more complex phrases composed of three or more words that people type into search engines. Optimise each page or post on your site towards one specific phrase.
Once you have chosen a general topic or product to focus on for a page, it’s important to do some research around it. Try to find synonyms, alternative wordings, associated keywords, and long-tailed phrases and use those throughout your article or product page.
For example, if you have an IT business, you would first consider all the types of services people ask for from you. Then you would take each of those services and find the associated keywords. If one of your services were computer repair, you would try to figure out the kinds of things people type in Google to find a business that can repair their computer.
There are many free tools you can use to do your initial research. Professionals, such as ourselves, use high tech methodology in the form of web-crawling data gathering tools. Those offer exact data ranging from how many people are searching for these exact keywords and how difficult it is to compete against other websites for high ranking. While this is very valuable to solidify your presence, you can do some interesting initial digging. By typing “broken computer” in Google, a drop down appears with a list of long-tailed keywords people are also searching for in your region. Those are all keywords.
You can also use the free Ubersuggest tool to start building a list of keywords.
To be effective, keywords have to be used throughout the page you are optimising. Choose relevant ones around a similar topic and integrate them in the content, the titles, the picture names and the SEO meta description. Answer common questions that people may ask. This is how to maximise their effectiveness.
Writing quality unique content that pays off
To determine the usefulness of a website page, search engines crawl through all the content, from the back-end tags to the picture file names and the actual article. When creating content, it is crucial to use keywords (those phrases that people type in their search engines) in a meaningful way.
Search engines algorithms have become intelligent in the sense that random words put together will not rank at all. Duplicate content stolen from other websites will be ignored. Pages repeating a specific keyword too often will be penalised.
Cover the topic in full
The best option is for your article or product page to cover your topic in full. You want your article to have original content and be well written with no spelling or grammatical mistakes. Use the vocabulary of your audience – don’t make it too complicated or easy if you are talking to a knowledgeable specialised end-user.
Remember also to make your article easy to digest by using various mediums – use a combination of text, pictures, audio and videos.
The variety both keeps people on the page longer, and helps the ranking of your page.
Backlinks – a measure of popular content
Creating the most interesting article with data, video, case studies, examples, research, and insights will make the most promising backlink target. And backlinks from other websites help you rank higher as they signal search engines that your page is relevant.
People often worry about the word count of articles. We are talking about the total number of words on a whole page – from header to article, to call to action and footer with your business information. All of it is indexed.
Word count is not a specific ranking factor, even though search engines do compare the overall number of words between all of the pages talking about a particular subject. If your competitors in the top 3 positions in search use an average of 1200 words, it’s a good idea to do the same.
High word counts have two advantages: they allow you to use more keywords and give you more chances to cover a topic in full. Whether you write 500 words or 10,000, the key is to create the best resource available for your target keyword.
How to get your titles perfect?
Headings should be ordered by size and importance to help visitors and search engines understand the page’s content. Divide your content into clear sections when writing, with titles for each. This makes screen reading easier. Indicate titles using the tags H1 to H6 in your website code.
Those tags help search engines understand your article and see how relevant your text is. Use keywords and active verbs, intriguing concepts, and emotionally charged vocabulary that can attract and keep the attention of your audience. It is important to remember that you are writing for both people and AI.
There should be only one H1 title. It should describe the primary purpose of the page. H1 headers are widely considered to be one of the stronger on-page ranking signals.
Some techniques are particularly effective for grabbing the interest of audiences to convert more:
- Include a number – People are attracted to them, especially odd ones. This is why lists are so popular.
- Make it a question – It’s hard to resist a mystery or a good “How to” article.
- Use 8 words – It’s the ideal length to grab people’s interest, giving some detail but not losing them in too much complexity.
- Address your reader – It makes it more personal and memorable.
- Be clear and have a subheading. While mysteries are enticing, people don’t like to be lost.
The H2 titles are considered the second essential topic indicators of a page and are generally sized and styled as the second-largest heading. H2 headings are often used to describe sections or topics within a document. They act as signposts for the user and help search engines understand the page.
Site SEO title and Meta descriptions
SEO Title tags are one of the cornerstones of SEO. When it comes to low effort and big results, title tags and meta descriptions come second only to content. If you have a WordPress website, use the plugin “Yoast SEO” to easily edit your “SEO Title” and “Meta Desc”.
There are a few general rules to adhere to.
- Title tags should be short. Shorter titles are easier for people to read and for search engines to crawl. Keep them between 30 and 65 characters in length.
- Title tags should contain your main focus keyword as close to the beginning as possible.
- Title tags should describe a benefit. Much like a headline, a title tag needs to communicate a benefit to stand out. For example, “Luxurious Weddings on Picturesque Sydney Harbour” rather than “Weddings on Sydney Harbour”.
- Capitalise the first letters of each word in the title.
- Make sure you don’t have any duplicate title tags. Google explicitly says that “it’s important to have distinct, descriptive titles for each page on your site.”
- Add your brand name to your Home page title tag. Your brand doesn’t need to be on any other pages. Only add it if it makes sense related to the content. In which case, add it at the end of the title tag if there is room (remember the 65 character limit).
You have to remember that spaces and punctuation count as characters when looking at the length of your title. There are many tools to make it easy to calculate how many characters you are using. Here’s an example free online character counter to paste your title and meta tags into to know if you are within range quickly.
When your website pages appear in search engine results, your “SEO Title” and “Meta Description” are the first things people see. Your writing directly affects whether searchers reading the results click on your page link or not. Think less about keywords and more about click-throughs.
Using alternative keywords about your primary topic is still important. But this section essentially serves the function of advertising copy. It draws readers to the site from the results.
If people are interested in the little snippet of added information, they will click through.
Meta description is a vital part of search marketing. Crafting a readable, compelling description using important keywords can draw a much higher click-through rate of searchers to the page.
Ensure your meta descriptions use the keywords you are targeting and are written to encourage searchers to click on that result. Keep it between 130 and 155 characters.
For example, let us look at Google’s own meta description (159 characters in length).
“Search the world’s information, including webpages, images, videos and more. Google has many special features to help you find exactly what you’re looking …”
At the 155 character mark, the description is cut off. Keeping it within the recommended length usually looks more professional. It also ensures people get the information you spent a while crafting and want to communicate.
That said, search engines sometimes don’t show the meta description that you wrote for your page. Sometimes, when it deems it not relevant to the searched for query, it might select a passage of your article/product description to show instead. While it is frustrating, as the extract might not be as good a pitch for your product, the keywords you used in your meta description are not lost. Search engines are still taking them into account.
Extras: Making pictures and links count
Pictures are significant in any of your articles or product/service description pages. Search engines know when you have included images. They usually flag a post with pictures as more interesting which helps it in ranking a little higher. Not only that, but search engines look at your picture name files, from its title to its “alt text” and description.
Your page’s audience will rarely see the name of your picture, but search engines will use it to determine what your article is about and how relevant your image is. Using keywords in all the tag fields of your picture will help you rank higher. If the titles are irrelevant, misnamed, or abstract, they will, at best, serve no purpose; at worst, flag your page as not entirely relevant.
People also enjoy pictures, and relevant diagrams, information, and photos are usually shared more across social media. They can help your backlink building effort.
Links are, in fact, a big part of your SEO, whether you are trying to get other sites to link to your pages or you include links to other websites.
Search engines always look at whether you are providing any links on your page. Links are viewed as added value, proof that your article is informative and relevant. It is good to always have a few links on your pages, either to reputable websites or even internal links (links to your own site).
When you link to other websites, make sure those are deemed safe links and that the links are working. Broken links, or links to what is deemed an unsafe zone of the net, will get you penalised.
Google does not look favourably on websites that are not active and regularly updating, optimising content or reviewing its pages. Broken links are an easy way for them to see that your site is unkempt and probably less relevant.
Watch the video below which summarises the many ways to optimise your site for search engines.
AIs are developed to pinpoint and understand the intent in people’s searches. For this reason, the best approach to SEO is working on your content. Make it relevant, unique, ensure it covers a topic thoroughly and in an interesting way, and answers questions people may have about the subject.
Making your articles informative, enjoyable and attractive enables you to keep your audience interested, reading and hopefully invested.
This is a win-win situation because the more interesting your content is, the higher it can rank, and also the more likely it is to be shared by people.
If you have any questions or would like some help with any SEO matter, Boost IT does keyword reports, backlink reports, competitor reports and can optimise your title and meta tags, and your image names.