On Page SEO Boosts Your Search Engine Rankings
By Mark Swartz
It’s a struggle to attract more eyeballs to pages of your website. Providing lots of interesting content helps. But that’s just the starting point. To ensure higher search engine rankings, tweak the page itself.
That’s the role of on page Search Engine Optimization (SEO). This process combines targeted content, user experience factors, and search-engine-friendly elements. You can do much of it yourself if you learn how. The rest can be outsourced without great expense.
It Begins With Fast-Loading Pages
47% of your target audience expects your web page to load in under two seconds. Accordingly, search engines rank fast-loading pages higher than slow ones. Reducing load time is ground zero in small business SEO tips.
You can measure the speed of your individual site pages using several free tools. Pingdom, gtmetrix and Google’s PageSpeed Insights are three such offerings. They show the load speed, then offer many technical insights on how to improve performance. At that point some specialist input will likely be needed to ensure you entire site runs fast.
Use Keywords Selectively
People use specific keywords and phrases when searching for your type of offering. You should find out the most popular of these. They’re known as “head terms.” Same with “long-tail” (less frequently used) variants. A free Google Adwords account lets you do this. Make this part of your social media strategy.
Each new page of content you produce should center on one particular keyword/phrase. The content should directly relate to your chosen term. Do not stuff keywords to try and game the system. Search engines will penalize you for using a black hat approach.
Make It Mobile
½ of all searches done on Google are via mobile devices. As a result, Google updated its algorithm. Mobile-friendly websites get a ranking boost on searches conducted via mobile device.
So make sure that your site is designed appropriately. One simple test? In Google’s webmaster tools, visit their “Mobile-Friendly Test” section. Input your site’s URL. In moments it will tell you if it’s acceptable or not.
Content Quality Is Critical
How far search engine robots have come! They now assess the content of a page for quality. Mostly this relates to how well the page addresses reader needs vis-a-vis the search term used.
Aim to satisfy a user’s intent – in other words, the reason why they’re searching for that keyword. You give relevant insights and advice to your customers. They respond via social media with their questions, appreciation or suggestions. Soon you rank higher.
Length and Publishing Frequency Are Factors
How often should you publish new pages of content? Ideally at least once a day. Except the material needs to be pertinent; not redundant or thin. That’s tough to pump out rapidly.
More realistically, publishing two times a week will ensure that your web pages are fresh. It’s enough to attract renewed crawls from Google’s spider, in addition to deep bots that will sustain your previously indexed pages. Employ content repurposing for additional exposure.
As for content length, think in terms of about 500 words as a minimum. There has to be some substance for the spider to evaluate. Lately posts of 2,000 words are becoming common in top 10 listing results.
Other Contributing Elements
On page SEO techniques also includes elements such as:
- Meta Tags – using descriptive title, meta description and ALT tags
- URL selection – keep them relatively short; incorporate page’s keyword when possible
- Video – pages that have an embedded, topic-pertinent video tend to rank higher
- Internal Links – use keyword variations as anchor text for internal linking
Do It Right Consistently
From a content marketing standpoint, generating fresh pages on a regular basis makes sense. Blogging for your small business facilitates this. But no matter how you produce new content, enhance its chances of ranking higher in search results.
On page SEO helps bring your site in synch with search engine algorithms. Do it consistently and your pages will make it closer to the top.