SEO (Search Engine Optimization) refers to website strategies to better the position of a website in search results for a certain word or phrase. This is the process of improving a websites appearance on a natural or un-paid search engine results page like Google, Yahoo, or Bing. SEO strategies determine how your website, compared to your competition, is placed organically on a SERP (Search Engine Results Page).
Search Engine Optimization increases the prominence of a website or web page. When a web user is doing research online for a product or service, correct on-site SEO could be the difference maker in getting a new visitor on to your business website. The order in which these results come up on the search results page is due to their ranking as prominent sources with rich and relevant content.
Think about a typical trip to the grocery store, what makes one choose the specific brand or product to put in the cart? What makes a product a “popular product” or a “popular brand?” A good example is when choosing soft drinks to put in your cart. Some soda brands such as Coke and Pepsi are nationally marketed and recognized by everyone. Most grocery shoppers are organically drawn to national brands. These top brands own the space on the shelf. Owning the top place on the shelf is the ultimate goal of SEO. However, there are other sodas on the shelf that attract attention from shoppers because they are unique. Shoppers are drawn to these drinks because they have a unique flavor, unique brand, or unique marketing. For example, Mountain Dew has a very unique flavor that customers want to taste or try it for the first time. People buy Mountain Dew because it is different from all the other sodas on the shelf. Because of these product attributes people are drawn to take notice. Well, that is a primary factor in great SEO. To organically attract web users to your website because of the unique content that is inside. The first step in doing this is making Google, Yahoo, and Bing see you as “popular” or “unique” on the shelf of competitors. The Search Engines need to read all the special content on your website that set you apart from the others competing in the space.
The way in which the top search engines place your website on a results page can depend on several factors. Search engines send out little digital spiders that “crawl” your website and determine what placement you’re worthy of receiving. Below are some of the best online content practices that are pleasing to the spiders and, in turn, place your website above your competition online.
On-Page SEO consists of all of these elements:
- Keyword selection, research, and testing
- The single most important SEO practice is choosing and researching the correct keywords. Use Google Adwords to gauge your industry’s keyword competition and test the effectiveness in looking at web page analytics reports.
- Meta Description tags
- The 2 sentence write up that is displayed underneath the listing on the SERP. This content needs to be engaging and get the web searcher to click onto the site.
- ALT tags
- This is what search engines read when they cross over an image or graphic. These should be tagged with a focus keyword pertaining to the page and contain keywords as well.
- URL structure
- Having a clean concise URL (name of website) with a keyword or geography can greatly increase SEO search ranking.
- H1 tags
- Every page should have a title consistent to the information on the page. This title should stand out on the page and be a focus keyword.
- Keyword density
- A site rich with specific keywords tailored to your business services will help a site rank higher when someone is searching for your keywords
- Internal Linking Strategy
- Every website needs internal links. A link acts as a bridge to another website out in the internet. The more places your website exists the more the SERP’s will like you.
- Content is the internet. The internet is content. The content laid out on your website is clear, concise, and rich and engaging you will be rewarded. SERP’s can read too. If you engage the SERP’s they will like you.
- Site maps
- Site maps are a way of navigation throughout your website. Internal page SEO can lead a web searcher land on one of your internal pages.
- Tracking target keywords
- Analyze, analyze, analyze, always be tracking your focus keywords performance and make adjustments to become one of those “popular kids.”
On-page SEO is the face of your website. Solid On-page SEO can get your website into a competing space on the SERPs. It is a must to optimize every piece of content that resides on your website. Having good on-page SEO practices proves that you’re knowledgeable about the online world to your potential customers and, better yet, proves the crawling web spiders that you’re unique and deserve high placements on a SERP.