Quick on-page changes you can make to improve your SEO!
Overview of SEO
You’re here because you likely know the fundamentals of SEO, and how it can help your blog, eCommerce, or website in general. Search Engine Optimisation, as you may know revolves around Search Engines like Google that rank your website against other website according to an algorithm. The algorithm is comprised of 200 variables which are constantly changing and updating due to Google’s new AI code snippet called RankBrain.
There are certain fundamentals that you can improve on your website that will improve ranking factors that we know Google takes into account. There are different types of SEO, on-page, off-page and technical SEO. On-Page SEO revolves around a mixture of what your user experiences, like your content and your visuals, and what the Search Engine understands about your website. Off-Page SEO relates to the network of websites connected to yours. Who’s linking to you, where is your traffic coming from, is it reliable? That sort of thing. Finally technical SEO looks at how your website functions as a whole. Does it run properly, are there errors here and there, what can be optimised to make it look better to a Search Engine?
1. Check your META header.
Your <Title> as it’s sometimes called is important for two reasons. A) Because it’s the first thing users check if they want to know if your website is a possible match for their question and B) because Search Engines rely on this to identify key things about your website. The first thing that a Search Engine does with this is the keywords. What are you trying to rank for, and what is your website about. If your META header says something about SEO, whether or not Google knows what that is, if someone Googles “SEO” it knows your website has that word in the title, and therefore a much better match than someone without it.
With your META header make sure you target your ideal keywords, and make it very clean and short to include everything that you would like to say about your brand. For pages that are not “Home,” such as “Contact,” or “About,” pages, make sure to include them in the header! Each page should be separate to include what’s important about that specific page.
META Header’s can be found under <title> in your HTML.
2. Improve your META description.
Your <meta description> is important for readers AND search engines. Readers scan this for information regarding their query. If your content is well written with user query in mind, then your click rate will be far higher. Think about it this way, if someone googles, “best ways to optimise on-page,” and in the meta description of your blog post it says “The best way to optimise on-page information is through query matching!” Your words become BOLD just like SEOSPIDRE is in the picture above. With a user scanning across the websites available, and a significant portion of your meta description being bold, clicking on your website is a much greater likelihood!
Secondly, for the reasons above Search Engines use it. The above is called query matching, and Google will match your meta description to queries and see the commonality. If you have exactly what they are requesting, then your rank is far higher because the results will be more relevant. This drives up ranking, from the Search Engine perspective, and also click rate.
3. The 2×100 Rule
Twice in the first 100 words, 2×100. Google’s Crawler (googlebot), through research done by SEOSPIDRE, only effectively uses the first 100 words on any page to determine it’s meaning. It uses pictures, tags, links, everything else separately, but only the first 100 words REALLY count. So in order to maximise your targeting, your keywords have to appear twice in the first one hundred words.
That way the googlebot really picks up on the fact that your website is about this or that. If you’re targeting “dogs,” “toys,” and “kids with long brown hair,” then make sure each of those appear twice somehow or other under the <p> or <h3>, <h4> or <h5> formats. <h1> and <h2> are analysed separately to the other text types!
4. URL Slugs
Query matching, and short URL’s. You have to be able to balance the amount of content you show a user, the length of the URL, and matching the query that the person will create. The slug is the part of information that comes at the END of the URL. It’s the final identifying indicator for that particular resource, as the name suggests (Uniform Resource Locator). For example a post about on-page SEO:
You want to inform users of the information present using as few words as possible. “SEO Basics,” vs. “SEO about on-page, off-page, technical, and reliable agencies.” The first is much simpler, doesn’t tell you as much, while the second is far more detailed. Of course the second will potentially, on paper draw a lot more attention for people looking for specific things, and that’s the idea behind short-tail and long-tail keywords.
However, Google hates long URL’s, and not just the slug. If your final indicator only appears after 40 characters, your website will be penalised dramatically. For example if you’ve got a great blog post about dogs and children: https://yourwebsite.com/archives/blog/2019-05-03/posts/dogs-and-children.
It’s way too long, and Google hates it. Instead try to keep it something short and sweet such as: https://yourwebsite.com/blog/dogs-and-children
5. Enabling AMP
Accelerated Mobile Pages – AMP is best for static pages, like media sites, news pages, and blogs!
The reason for this is AMP is good for SEO is Google employed AMP early 2019 with the intent of improving websites for Mobile users. Enabling AMP strips your website down to the bare bones in order to provide super fast load speeds, and basically converts everything to text or images.
6. Geolocation & local SEO
Make sure you target regions. When someone types in “shoes for sale,” you may not rank due to your low DA, external links, or whatever other SEO factors you consider. However, if you’re based in Madrid, and someone searches “shoes for sale Madrid,” your competition is reduced by millions of competitors.
Suddenly you are now the competition of a few thousand other local businesses that are all trying to rank for the keyword, but statistically speaking significantly improves your ability to rank. You can capitalise on this by:
- Including location details in your website <footer>.
- Stating locations and places within your website content.
- Providing Structured Data Markup that explicitly states your location.
- Having lots of linking text to a specific region!
You potentially may even rank better for terms that involve a city as a result, so instead of just ranking for “shoes for sale in Madrid,” you may start ranking for “shopping Madrid,” or other Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) terms.
7. Internal Links
Internal links provide a few things: Call to Actions (CTA’s), improved Time On Site, reduced Bounce Rate, and increased reliability in the eyes of Google.
Pages should be looking to reach 10 internal links per post / page, but with greater content volume its possible to go up to 15 internal links. Google does not seem to recognise additional links beyond 12 or 13 but it can’t hurt right? Call To Action’s primarily allow for better lead generation, conversions, reduced bounce rate, and greater Time on Site; how does all of that work?
By having inter linked content, if someone doesn’t know a term or phrase you’ve used, they will be looking for quick knowledge by clicking on the linking text to find out what it is. If you have a link to internal content that explains what you’ve just used, you can drive more traffic to other pages! More views = better SEO! Secondly, an improved Time on Site is super important for SEO. Let’s see this from Google’s viewpoint.
> A user clicks on a site and it loads up
> The user realises this site has none of the information that they wanted
> The user immediately leaves the site, staying on for 0.5 seconds
> Google recognises they’ve gone back to the SERP! Hm! That must mean that site did not satisfy their request
> Your site gets sunk lower into the SERP until it is able to satisfy user quieries
The key “user timings” are 3 seconds, 5 seconds, and 15 seconds. Having users stay on your site for more than 15 seconds is extremely powerful, building massive SEO credibility with Google!
8. Built for a User
Google is very much aware of black hat strategies being employed to build black-hat SEO. It pays off, but only in the very short term, and if Google doesn’t recognise before you get to reap the rewards.
Play it clean, keep it white-hat. Websites should be built around user experience and be easy to read, clear, with simple navigation! Just having a clean site will already be a step in the right direction for your websites SEO, as very much with internal links, it will improve ToS and Bounce Rate.
9. Web Load Time
The first of the many aspects of technical SEO. Web Load Time is important for users and Search Engines. Having a short load time is a guaranteed method to improving your ranking.
At SEOSPIDRE, we actually tested this by having two sites of near identical DA, PA, and niche, post the exact same article. What we found is that the one page, which loaded in 1.2 seconds was ranked 17 places higher than the site which loaded in at 2.7 seconds. A 2.7 second load time is actually not very slow, but the difference of 1.5 seconds between Site 1 and Site 2 reflected a tremendous difference in terms of ranking.
10. Long-tail vs. Short-tail
Long Tail keywords are directed towards niche, low competition, low volume searches. For example, you run a blog about gym equipment! A long tail keyword example would be something along the lines of: “The Toughest Workouts on an OEM Machine.”
Short Tail keywords are high search volume, high competition, and usually very general. For example, building on the above example, a short tail keyword would include something like: “Best Gym Equipment 2019.” Very high competition keywords, large search volume, and likely very difficult to capitalise on without the proper DA!
For cornerstone content it’s very important to primarily some short-tail keywords. This is because as Cornerstone Content, it will become your greatest traffic driver. Long-tail keywords are best for nailing top SERP results, and creating good inbound SEO content. Long-tail keywords are also great for building quick exposure in low search volume niches. While there is low volume, some traffic is better than none!