It’s no secret that search engine optimisation takes time. All the link building, social sharing and SEO campaigns can be a slow process. However, on-site optimisation of each page is also a large factor that helps determine how your site ranks.
Each page on your site needs to be fully optimised in order to take full advantage of all your other SEO and digital marketing efforts. The good news is that unless you make major changes to your site or targeted keywords, you only have to optimise your site once.
Here are five things you can do to optimise every page on your site now:
1. Use Your Keywords Correctly
If you are trying to rank for certain keywords, it only makes sense that those keywords are used on your site. Disperse them throughout each page, being careful not to keyword stuff. Also make sure the words you use are natural and make sense, otherwise you run the risk of driving visitors from your site. The keywords you are using should also be included as meta keywords for each page or blog post.
2. Write Title Tags and Meta Descriptions
Each of your pages should have solid title tags and meta descriptions. Depending on what kind of content management system you use, you may be able to use a simple plugin to help you input this information. The results of most search engines display a page’s title and meta description, so remember to make them informative and enticing. It’s also a good idea to include keywords here.
The title and meta description for your pages appear in search results.
3. Include Keywords in Header Tags
Header tags are more popular in blog posts, but can be included on any web page. Use headers that include keywords and that make your page easier to read. When people read online content, they tend to read headlines and skim, so make your content easy to digest and your information and message easy to find.
4. Optimise Page URLs
If your site has pages with URLs that have lots of numbers or strange words, they are less likely to achieve high rankings. Stick with URLs that include keywords and that make sense. Logical and memorable URLs can also help in other marketing and awareness efforts.
5. Create Some Internal Links
Internal links (links to other pages on your site) keep search engines crawling your website. Include some links to other pages on your site and use your keywords as the anchor text. Another benefit to doing this is that your readers will be more likely to spend more time on your site and possibly respond to your calls to action.
On-site optimisation is vital to your success in earning search engine rankings. It is also something you can do in a relatively short amount of time, and normally just once for each page.
You’ve got your website set up, your social media profiles are good to go, you’ve perfected your e-mail signature - your company’s online profile is flawless. Now you just need reach your customers.
Hiring a good SEO agency is essential to the success of your website; you wouldn’t open a restaurant, not put up a sign, turn all the lights off, and pretend you’re not open, would you? Not hiring someone to optimise your site for search engines is just as bad.
Here are some top tips for navigating the world of SEO agencies.
- You don’t have to be an expert, but have a good idea of the basics and some of the lingo perfected before you venture into the world of SEO agencies. While most will be happy to guide you through the basics, you don’t want to get caught with an unscrupulous agency who will take advantage of your lack of knowledge.
- Know the difference between white hat and black hat techniques; while black hat may get you the results you want, they can also get your site black listed, so it really isn’t worth the risk.
- Be wary of any company guaranteeing a #1 page rank – check their previous clients, check which keywords they optimised, and finally check their website page rank. If they can’t optimise their own site, don’t expect them to be able to optimise yours.
- Be wary of the price being too high or too low; high does not guarantee good results, but when it comes to the lower end of the price bracket, you generally get what you pay for.
- When you first start looking you may find that many companies are freelancers working from home; decide if you want this, or if you’d prefer an agency with premises that you can visit. This all depends on how you prefer to work; in person, or via the phone/ e-mail.
- And finally, be realistic about your expectations. Search engine optimisation is not somethig that can be achieved over night, so try to establish a good relationship with your chosen SEO agency, you may need them again in the future.
We all make mistakes, we’re only human, but when we start making SEO mistakes, it can have a disastrous effect on our page rank. Here are some of the top 5, most obvious, in-your-face, ‘how did I not notice that’, SEO mistakes… And the easy steps to take to avoid them. Prepare for a few face palm moments.
1. Using the wrong key words. This is easily done; you’ve built up your website from scratch, it’s your pride and joy, it’s your baby. You understand exactly what it is that you’re trying to achieve, you’ve spent hours painstakingly selecting the key words to best describe the aims of your site; they’re perfect and poetic. It’s just a shame that your site is overlooked, because your keywords don’t match with actual search terms your users throw at Google.
Quick Fix: Do a bit of research into the needs of your target market, get inside their heads, and figure out what they search for. And then, once you have traffic passing through your site, respond to the key words that are driving them there. If you run a boutique pet store, but people are finding you through ‘chihuahua nutrition advice’, optimise with these key words in mind, and figure out why ‘high end pet food’ isn’t working for you.
2. Ignoring the Title tag and Focussing too much on the Meta tag. We all know how important that Meta tag is, you’ll see a lot of articles claiming it’s the magic touch your SEO campaign needs to succeed, just a sprinkle of Meta pixie dust, and all your SEO dreams will come true. Just to give a brief explanation of what both tags do; when you search for something in Google, it returns a bunch of results like so
The Title tag makes up the linked text, and the Meta tag is supposed to make up the description below (But Google generally just whips something up.) So they’re both important, and it can’t hurt to use them. It’s as simple as that. (Unless you go crazy and ‘over-optimize’, but that’s a whole other jar of cookies.)
3. Out of Date Content. The web is constantly changing, and with the pervasive influence of social media, it’s changing fast. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can set up a site, get your key word frequency perfect, and then just leave it. Your website needs fresh content, as this will encourage the search engines to continue crawling and indexing your site. More crawling means higher keyword relevance. Keep your content on topic and relevant to the aims of your site.
5. Lumping words together in URLS. We’ve all seen the hilarious results of lumping together words in your URL, which results in the rest of the Internet laughing at your expense. Whatever happened to Experts Exchange?
With the risk of looking silly aside, omitting a ‘-‘ or a ‘_’ from your web address and URLs can make it more difficult for search engines to pull out your key words. Take care with links, and make sure they reflect the content on the page. And while I’m on it; when you’re interlinking on your site, make sure the linked word is a keyword, and not ‘click here’, or ‘go to this page’.
So there you have it, some of the top, and most easily avoided SEO mistakes. How many have you been guilty of in this past? And did I miss any?