On-Page SEO Best Practices
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) delivers one of the lowest cost per leads available to your business.
On-line leads from SEO, blogs and social media cost less on average than traditional leads from direct mail, telemarketing and tradeshows according to Hubspot.
94% of people clicked on unpaid organic search results versus 6% who clicked on paid advertised search results.
Things that you can do to your website to make it rank higher in search engine results is called On-Page SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
You want the search engines to find the compelling and unique content that you created for your website visitors, and as a result, recognize your webpages as an authority for that kind of information.
There are two important considerations:
- Is your website technically optimized for search engines?
- Is your content optimized for search engines?
A quick and easy test to assess your overall search engine optimization
Get an overall view of your website by using WooRank.
You can run one free website report per week or you can sign up for their free 7 day trial. It will give you feedback on a wide range of factors including how friendly your site is to search engines, whether your site has enough content, whether your site receives enough social networking signals, website traffic levels and competitive reports. Here are some sample website reports .
If your website score is under 60, you should seriously consider getting on-page search optimization services.
Free tools to monitor search engine issues with your website
With Webmaster tools from Google and Bing you can identify crawl errors (issues the search engine has with your website), whether your website was hacked and malware installed, optimization tips and more. You should check this weekly to ensure your website remains search engine friendly. Sign up for both Google Webmaster Tools and Bing Webmaster Tools.
80% of web shoppers who have trouble with web site performance say they won’t return to the site, and, over 40% will tell a friend if they had a poor experience!
50% of consumers expect a page to load in two seconds or less.
In 2009, a study by Forrester Research found that online shoppers expected pages to load in two seconds or fewer — and at three seconds, a large share of these shoppers will abandon the site. Only three years earlier a similar Forrester study found the average expectations for page load times were four seconds or fewer.
Website speed is also a factor that search engines use to evaluate the ranking of your website.
Test how long it takes for your website to load using Pingdom . You can run multiple free speed reports. In the settings (directly under the box where you enter your website address), you can specify whether the test is conducted between your website and New York or Dallas or Amsterdam. You can also sign up for a free account that will send you an email whenever your website is unavailable.
Always focus on designing your website structure and content to help convert visitors to customers. On-Page SEO should by a secondary consideration.
Search engines are continually changing the factors that are acceptable or important. For example, best practice used to be to optimize your website for a few keywords and phrases. Now, search engines are penalizing sites that are “too optimized”, whatever that means. Try to keep your keywords less than 3% of the page content. You can check it with this free keyword density tool.
Search engines never reveal what factors they really use, and in addition, they often provide misinformation so that people can’t easily game their system.
Therefore your business success must focus on user experience and not the whims of a search engine. Never sacrifice user experience for potentially fleeting search engine rankings. Read this post about creating compelling content.
Free tools to monitor user activity on your website
With a free version of Google Analytics you can identify the number of visitors to your site, how many were new visitors versus returning visitors, bounce rate (how many prospects visited your site and quickly left because the content wasn’t what they expected), page views (how many webpages did the typical visitor view before leaving), most popular content pages, current keywords used by visitors to find your website, and much more.
This is a critical tool in determining how well your website is attracting the right prospect and how well it is converting prospects into customers. A high bounce rate could suggest you are attracting the wrong prospect or they are landing on a webpage that is not compelling. A high rate of returning visitors along with a high number of page views could suggest that you are indeed providing compelling content. A review of the most popular content pages and current keywords could help you decide which keywords and pages to promote more heavily going forward.
Most importantly, use Google Analytics to help determine which of your marketing efforts/campaigns is delivering a great return on investment, and which campaigns should be scaled back or dropped.
60% of users click on one of the top 3 results on a search page.
Getting in the top three results for a particular keyword or phrase can be extremely challenging. It can also be expensive and time consuming if the keyword you chose is one that most companies want to rank for. Traffic dramatically drops for results that are not on the first page.
Therefore best practices are:
- Focus more on generating overall targeted traffic to your website from organic search rather than focusing on the ranking of one or two high volume keywords.
- Choose keywords that are more closely targeted to the prospects that you really want.
- Focus on longer phrases (referred to as long tail keywords) that are less competitive but more targeted towards your audience.
- Instead of targeting the keyword “shoes”, for example, target “buy blue suede shoes” or “buy Saxony model X’.
- For additional insight you can read Website Optimization and SEO.
With this strategy, you’ll probably need to target 100 long tail keywords to get the same traffic as a few high volume keywords. However, your cost will be much lower and the quality of leads will be much higher.
The longer a prospect is engaged with your website, the more likely they will become a customer.
The Power Of A Blog
A blog provides fresh and compelling content for both your readers and the search engines. If you allow your readers to share the content within their social group you’ll generate additional traffic. In the end, you will end up with more leads for your business.
Add a blog and social sharing buttons with the help of outsourced website services.
The Power of Video
Video’s are a powerful way to attract, engage, educate and support your users. Read this case study if you’re not 100% convinced: The Power Of Online Video.
Search engines are specifically searching for video information. Remember to use your targeted keywords in your video titles and alt tags!
Users are also searching for video content. You could create an account on You Tube to host the playing of all your videos and to promote your video information to a broader audience.
The Power of Images
Images help re-enforce your content and add interest. Additional information in this article.
Search engines and users are also looking for interesting images. Remember to use your targeted keywords in your image titles and alt tags!
A website is of less value if Google and Bing don’t help your prospects find you on the internet.
Chapter 3 will cover Off-Page Search Engine Optimization to further help you rank in the search engines. To give you time to act on the above information, the link for Chapter 3 will be emailed to subscribers in a few days.