An overview of simple On-site SEO and how to make it effective
On-Page SEO is one of the favourite for many people that practice SEO because it’s the factors that they control.
70% of the factors involved in SEO are part of onsite optimization and this is great because we have the power to control it in our favour. The thing that tends to happen though is that people are too smart for their own good and tend to overcomplicate things.
Turning simple things such as the proper header tags and trying to manipulate it to fit the #1 volume keyword that doesn’t make sense as far as grammar and traditional speaking just to try to rank for it.
A lot of times we have to remember that Google can read and understands that if a sentence doesn’t make sense in terms of readability just to stuff a keyword in there, then we can potentially be hurting our site instead of helping the rankings.
So moving on here is 5 simple rules for on-page SEO listed from 1 being the most important to 5 being the least important.
1. Keyword in Domain or URL
Have your keyword in the domain or in the URL string.
For example let’s say we are going to have a mold removal company so a great way to make it work would be to have the brand name followed by the target keyword which would of course be “mold removal”. So we could have the Domain be https://”BrandName”moldremoval.com.
This gets the mold removal keyword in the domain and will later make it so that Google can associate your brand name with the term “mold removal” if you play your cards right.
Now let’s say you already have a running website or domain with good metrics and want to expand into the mold removal industry for example, having a general contractor website. We can optimize the URL string to include mold removal ex. https://generalcontractor.com/mold-removal.
The same practice can be done for the earlier website that already had mold removal in the domain.
We can use the practice of including keywords in the URL structure for Local SEO. For example let’s say we are well established in one area but are looking to expand into another city or state.
We can include the name of the city in the URL string by making a location specific page ex. “BrandName”moldremoval.com/los-angeles. This allows for the search engine bots to read exactly what this page is about and where to rank it for.
The domain tells them that it is a website about mold removal and the URL string specifies that it is location based for Los Angeles. Based on how strong our original domain is and the backlinks related that are linked to it we won’t have to do much linking to the city specific page and it should be able to rank even in such a big city as Los Angeles.
2. Keyword in Title
Something so simple as fixing the title for your webpage has such a high importance to your websites ranking.
A lot of people that don’t know about SEO but get their business website aren’t aware of this small yet so important factor.
The title is the hyperlink that displays in Search Engines and allows for only 60 characters, so we need to take advantage of this small important snippet.
We can use it to display our most important keywords, as this is the item that Google will display in its search results so knowing that alone inherently makes us aware of just how important this factor is.
Going back to our mold removal company as an example, we can choose to have the title display as follows: “Los Angeles Mold Removal & Remediation | Inspection Services” With this title we have targeted the city, Have our highest volume keyword in “mold removal” but we have also included another LSI “remediation” and similar keywords that someone looking for mold removal will search for, Inspection and Services.
This looks like a natural title and doesn’t feel forced. Also it doesn’t matter that the other terms “Inspection Services” do not directly follow the main word “Mold”, Google is smart enough that if it’s in the title then it can put them together and will still consider them for ranking factors.
3. Keywords in Header Tags
The header tags give a breakdown of what the particular section of the website will be about. They can also be used to emphasize a keyword and to include LSI’s. LSI stands for Latent Semantic Indexing, this is the way in which search engines compare and study relationships between different terms and concepts.
LSI keywords are used to improve SEO traffic and create a wider net of visibility and provide higher rankings in search results. Using LSI’s in Header tags are a way to rank for more keywords, but also provide a way for search engine bots to better identify the contents of the web page all while avoiding the overuse of one particular keyword.
An example using an electronic cigarette review website. Their main keyword would be “Best Electronic Cigarettes” so it is included in the URL string, in the web page Title and it is also in the H1 tag.
As a general rule a web page should only have one H1 tag, all others on the same web page should be H2, H3 etc. Now since the H1, title and URL already have “Best Electronic Cigarettes” we don’t have to stress about including it in the other header tags, this is where the LSI’s come into play.
We can use “Best E-Cigarettes and Starter Kits”, “E-Cig Brands to look for”, and so on for the following H2 tags. This way we avoid overusing just one keyword but we make the point that we want to rank for electronic cigarettes.
4. Keywords in Meta Descriptions – Consider Enticements
Similar to the Title, this is another underused factor when people have a website built but do not emphasize SEO.
Website creators are very good at what they do, which is build and design a website, but a lot of them do not know much about SEO.
SEO is a whole different animal. So a lot of times this small simple step gets overlooked. Just like the Title, the Meta description is important because it is directly what is displayed in the search engine results so we should use this to our advantage and emphasize it not only by adding keywords, but by also enticing the audience that is reading it to make them choose our website to visit.
This is the first thing that your audience sees in the search result so think of a description that will make it valuable for them to click through.
Using the e-cigarette example, they include the main keyword and LSI’s in a natural way, which is describing what an e-cig is and how it works.
They also make it enticing by stating that they “include several types of products and starter kits, this can be valuable to someone that is new to the e-cigs and doesn’t know much, this will show them a variety of quality products to choose from.
5. Keywords in Content – Do NOT overuse this!
Believe it or not overdoing the keyword stuffing is actually hurting you! If anything underusing it will help you as long as the other 4 factors in this article are optimized.
For example if your domain, title header tags etc. all include “mold removal” but you content is stuffed with a completely different subject such as “barbie dolls” then there is absolutely no chance that you will rank for the keyword barbie dolls no matter how many times you stuff it into the content.
Keyword stuffing can hurt your rankings, google bots are smart enough to detect this. The basics are that keyword stuffing has a higher chance of hurting you than underusing a keyword.
As long as you have the keyword in your content at least once then it is enough for Google bots to detect it, as long as the rest of the other rules are optimized for the related topic.
Summary of Simple On-Page SEO Steps
To summarize its the simple things that matter. Most people tend to have these steps in reverse order and emphasize their efforts on keyword stuffing in the content which is a huge misconception. When in reality they should be focusing on the smaller details such as proper URL structure, Proper Title, LSI’s in Header Tags, and Meta Description. The things that we don’t spend as much time filling in tend to have the most impact in our website ranking.
We would like to thank our friends at Forza Digital Marketing for helping us with this article. If you have any questions about On-site SEO or live in the Pacific Northwest don’t hesitate in contacting this Portland SEO Company