Something no business can ignore is SEO or search engine optimization. SEO could be incorporated into a strong marketing strategy to support both online and offline marketing efforts. The challenge with SEO is that it’s constantly changing, sometimes those changes have a huge impact on the way you operate.
Google could drop a new algorithm update at any time and it can send even the top-performing websites into a downward spiral of confusion. It can feel a bit like trying to fix a house after a hurricane. On top of this, everyone seems to have a slightly different understanding of what they need to do to increase optimization and what they shouldn’t be doing.
SEO can be broken down into two main parts. The first part is ‘on-page SEO’ and the second part (you guessed it) is off-page SEO. You need to do both of these well, to stand any chance of ranking. Some SEO beliefs are just so outdated that now they are merely a myth. Other things you once considered not that important, are having the biggest impact on your rankings. What’s the latest in on-page SEO for 2019? Where does it stand today?
What is On-Page SEO?
On-Page SEO is all about how your website is built, from user-experience down to how search engines find and locate your web pages. Search engines use bots to crawl your website. If your website isn’t allowing this to happen, Google can’t crawl it correctly. This gets a little bit techy, so ask your web developer to handle this part. The most important thing to remember is that bots don’t have eyes. You will first need to identify the keywords that you want to rank well for and then design keyword rich text for your pages. When it comes to keywords, just write it first for user-experience. A keyword rich page still needs to read well and ‘stuffing’ to try and please Google will just result in penalties.
A pretty website just won’t cut it. You could have the best branding and the most appealing visual content ever, but if the actual usability of your website doesn’t flow well, it’s game over. When we talk about user-experience we’re referring to these areas:
Do you have clear call-to-action across your website for customers?
Is your content accessible? Does it meet the web content accessibility guidelines?
Is the mobile version of your website fully responsive? Does the mobile version work just as well if not better than the desktop version? Google index mobile-first and have done so since 2018. The page load speed of your mobile website should, therefore, be top notch.
Is your website secured with an SSL certificate?
Do you offer a range of content types on your website? Video, images, and text.
Is your content sharable? Add social sharing buttons to make this easier.
Is your content really good? If it’s just ‘average’ this is where you’re going wrong. Make your website the most valuable source of information in your niche.
Title tags and meta descriptions are still important. It’s the first thing someone will see on Google.
Ultimately you need to think about what a user is searching and what answer they are actually looking for. How can you answer their search query in the simplest way? This doesn’t always mean having visitors land straight on a sales page. You might offer advice, tips and other support on your website which are equally valuable when it comes to ranking content.