Boost Search Engine Visibility With On-Page Optimization
May 14, 2020 / Web Design
Boosting your search engine visibility relies on lots of factors but on-page optimization can be viewed as the foundation. Without optimizing your website, any other SEO efforts you make will have a lower impact.
Search engines are smart, but they still have a long way to go to understand your content the way your users do. This is why optimizing your website is so important — you need to let Google know what your content is about so they can show it to people in search.
SEO can seem complicated but there is a lot you can learn and if you take it step by step you’ll be able to make real progress getting seen by your audience. If you’re completely new to SEO then take a look at our beginners guide here.
What Is On-Page SEO?
On-page SEO is all about how your site is configured and what you can do on your website’s pages and posts to tell search engines what your content is about. On-page or on-site SEO is just a small part of increasing your online visibility but it is by far the most important and builds a foundation for everything else you do.
How to Optimize for Search Engine Visibility
Let’s break it down into easy-to-follow steps to make sure your page, post or product is properly optimized.
Step 1. Research
Choose a keyword or group of keywords that have a similar meaning (different ways people might search for your content).
- For example, ‘minnesota wedding photography’, ‘wedding photographer minnesota’
Now it’s time to see if those keywords will help to drive traffic to your site. To understand this you need to know if people search for the keyword and how competitive it is. For new sites or anyone who hasn’t invested in SEO before, low competition keywords will be more important.
You can pay for some great keyword research tools like SEMRush or Ahrefs but if you’re just starting out a free tool like UberSuggest will give you some ideas.
Step 2. Optimize your page or post
Now it’s time to let search engines know what your content is about by including relevant keywords and groups of words with similar meaning. You never want your content to look spammy so make sure you don’t just stuff your keyword in to every heading!
Metadata can include a title and description that the search engine could display in their results. It’s good practice to include your keyword in the meta title and the meta description at least once, keeping the keyword as close to the beginning of the tag as possible. If you’re using WordPress with Yoast (or similar plugin) the plugin should indicate if your text is too short or too long. you can also use a tool like the SEO Snippet Optimizer.
Use the keyword(s) in the URL. Be careful with changing URLs when you are optimizing content that has already been published. Changing your URL can lead to broken links, lost rankings and lost traffic. If you do change a URL you should put in a redirect from the old link.
Your page or post text should use headings. This helps readers to scan your content to find the information they need. Headings create hierarchy, making the important parts of your content stand out and making everything easier to read. Include your keyword in your h1/heading 1 (this may be the page or post title depending on how your website is set up) and in the h2s/heading 2s.
If possible you should include your keyword in the first 100 words and in the rest of your content where natural. Use keyword variants (synonyms of your keyword) or phrases with a similar meaning.
Images on your site can be given an alt attribute. This is a tag that is used in screen readers and improves your websites accessibility for partially sites users. Adding keywords to img alt texts and captions helps search engines understand what they are about. Without this info, search engines have no idea what is in your image. Make sure the content in your alt tags is relevant to the image.
Multimedia graphics and videos can keep visitors on your page for longer and increase the value of your content. When visitors stay on your page for longer, this sends signals to search engines that they find your content useful. This is called ‘dwell time’.
Add links to relevant good quality websites that your readers may find helpful. This can be other content on your site or resources on external sites. Be sure to review this often.
Final thoughts on optimizing content for SEO
Optimizing your website pages and posts is the foundation for all the other work you may do on SEO and should be the first thing you think about. It’s important to do the research to see what people are searching for – don’t skip it!
There are a lot of factors that can have an impact on how visible your business is in search engines. Other onsite factors you may need to improve include:
- Site Speed
- Resolving Errors
- Relevant Links
Are you ready to optimize your website?