What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. According to moz.com, this is “the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results.” There are two different types of SEO: On-Site and Off-Site SEO.
- On-Site SEO (a.k.a. on-page SEO) is the art of optimizing aspects on a website in order to help generate more traffic from search engines and rank higher on search engine result pages (SERPs). Just like the name implies, it includes things you can do on your website. Some of these include optimizing both the HTML source code and content on a page.
- Off-Site SEO (a.k.a. off-page SEO) includes acts outside of your own website to help impact rankings and generate website traffic.
Although there are two types of SEO, in this post we are going to be focusing on some of the best On-Site SEO techniques to help boost your website rankings. Ultimately, the goal of this type of SEO is to help make your website user-friendly so visitors can quickly understand:
- What the webpage is about
- If it’s useful for what the user is trying to search/worthy of ranking
- Whether the page is relevant to the search query used
Here are 5 key On-Site SEO techniques:
- When it comes down to it, page titles are one of the most important SEO features on a website. Having unique titles is key as it helps differentiate your posts and pages from the rest. The unique title should include main keywords from that page/post and not be presented in a passive manner. Good titles will help you rank for a keyword and help make the user want to click through your page.
- However, if your content is duplicated or copied from another site online, that can negatively impact the chance of your site ranking high on the SERPs. You want to make sure your title is inclusive enough to include a wider range of keyword searches for the topic you are writing about while also being unique to you. For help crafting great page titles, check out the site SEMrush.
- These are tags in HTML which summarize a page’s content. When the searched-for phrase is within the description, the search engine will show your meta description, so this is a crucial aspect to optimize for On-Site SEO. This article on the site Yoast provides a helpful overview of how to create great Meta Descriptions.
- These are snippets that work as descriptors to help tell search engines what a web page/post is actually about. The most important form is title tags which have a big impact on search rankings and are the first impression many people have of your page since they are visible to users. Title tags appear at the top of your search engine result page as the clickable headline for a search result and at the top of your web browser (as a placeholder).
- Make sure your title tag is descriptive of what your page/post is about and stays between 50-60 characters. If you are interested to learn more, Moz provides an insightful overview on meta title tags.
- This is the number of times a keyword appears on a webpage as a percentage of the overall word count. Thus, it is important to include relevant keywords relating to your topic throughout your content. This helps search engines decipher what your content is about. However, keyword density should be kept to roughly 2-5% because you don’t want to excessively repeat or overuse the keywords since this could lead to Google penalizing your site.
- In addition, keyword rich headlines are more useful than generic ones and help increase Google’s crawling process of your page. To learn more about this topic, check out Keyword Density: Does It Still Matter for SEO? on WordStream.
URL Structure/Internal Linking:
- It is highly recommended to include user-friendly search engine URLs for your pages. All in all, they lead to better Google crawling and make it easier for users to find your website. You want the user to be able to understand what your site is about by looking at the URL. It has been found that shorter, easy to understand URLs /URLs that include targeted keywords perform better in search results.
- In addition, placing links to your other website pages can help improve your site. Internal links make it easier for users to navigate around your site to see all your content. It also helps build relevancy of a page to relevant keywords/phrases and helps make sure all the pages on your website get properly crawled. To learn more about URL structure, check out this article published on the Search Engine Journal titled The Ultimate Guide for an SEO-Friendly URL Structure.
As you can see, On-Site SEO is key to optimizing your website. These techniques described above should be used in conjunction to increase traffic and rankings. If you are interested to learn more about optimization, you should check out my post on Michigan Google Ads Campaign Optimization. 😊