Intro to SEO 03: On-Page Optimization
In the third and fourth installments of our Introduction to SEO series, we’re going to go over two primary aspects of Search Engine Optimization — On Page & Off Page Optimization. Series installments number 8 and 9 will expound upon these concepts, so check back regularly for updates!
What is On Page Optimization?
You own a website, you have the ability to add content to your website, you control how your visitors interact with your website, you control what content your visitors see first. You are in charge of optimizing the presentation of content for your visitors.
Search engines play a role in this by determining if your presentation of content is worthy to share with the world in its directory. Using complex algorithms and many hundreds-of-thousands of lines of code, search engines will effectively assess how well you are benefiting your visitors.
How can I increase On Page Optimization?
There’s a common phrase in the world of optimization — “Content Is King.” While we entirely agree with that sentiment, we’re going to save that topic for when we can focus on it more in-depth in a later post. Here are several quick-and-easy tips to increase your optimization.
1. Use Catchy, Informative Meta Descriptions
<meta name="description" content="You can write up to 160 characters of content here.">
Ensure that every primary page on your website has a meta description that catches the eye and provides a general overview on what that page offers. It will be the very first piece of content your visitors read before they choose to click on your site in the search directories – make it strong. Here’s an example, using our own listing:
“Get Found Online!” summarizes how we best benefit our clients. Those three words, other than our phone number, are the most eye-popping and attention-grabbing. We deliver a promise in our description, and we expound on that promise in our website. Someone who clicks on us expects to “get found”, so that is the content we present.
Google likes clicks, too. Your page shows more or less relevance in your market depending on how many people click on your website from the search engine. A catchy meta description will encourage more people to check out your site before the others, which in turn increases your relevance for that market. If nobody ever clicked on your website when they searched for how to get found online, what would that say to the search engine — your site doesn’t look promising enough to help them meet that need.
2. Captivate Your Readers’ Attentions With The First Paragraph
Like point #1, relevance shows when people not only click on a link to your site but also stay on your site longer. Let’s say you are the owner of a carpet cleaning business, and you have an article of 500 words about carpet cleaning. How many people will truly sit through 500 words? In today’s fast-paced digital world, not many people have that patience. That’s why you need to engage your reader with informative and entertaining content. This is a heavily undervalued concept. While other SEO companies stress so much about word-length, keyword-count, title tag optimization, etc. the true value gained from content is how it captivates a reader. Those other things matter to an extent – but the ability for a piece of writing to hold attention for a few minutes is quite rare these days. Remember, search engines do have the ability to detect if someone spends time reading an article, and they do indeed use that in their algorithms to determine ranking!
3. Control the Flow of Traffic Throughout Your Site
So your reader just got done reading that carpet cleaning article from point #2. What does that person do now? It’s a great idea to direct the reader to another article. End your article in a cliffhanger of sorts, where the resolution is promised in another article. Using carpet cleaning as an example, here’s how you could end the article:
So now you know how to remove red wine stains from carpet, but do you realize that removing wine stains from a rug is completely different? Click here to read all that you need to know!
What this does is encourage a click-through to another page of your site. In point #1, you convinced your reader to click on your site. In point #2 you captivated your reader throughout your article. Now we want to control their movement throughout your site. Going back to the search engine perspective, when a user navigates throughout your website that says “Hey, this content is not only informative and entertaining, but it’s also relevant to what the site is about. This site must know a thing or two about carpet cleaning.” As emphasized before, the primary goal of a search engine is to deliver what it believes are the best resources for a particular search. These reader behaviors tell search engines that your site meets the qualifications for best possible resource.
That’s Not All, There’s More!
We’ve left point #4 for last, but we’re going to share it in an upcoming post (most likely #9 in this series). However, if you can’t wait to see what it is, check out our Online Marketing Crash Course where you’ll get valuable information just like this delivered straight to your inbox every week. This course supplements this Intro to SEO Series quite nicely, and provides you the tools you need to achieve top results for whatever business you represent.