As I begin this blog, I’m reminded of my days teaching high school English. Addressing my sophomore composition class. Desperately trying to remember all the “tips” I learned in college education classes. A memorable theory comes to mind: “Assume they know nothing!”
Pretty good advice, actually. Advice I’ll take to heart as I begin this little tutorial on Perfecting Your On-Page Search Engine Optimization (SEO). (Whew! A real mouthful!) This subject can be overwhelming and complicated, so I’m going to start at the beginning with the simplest of concepts—keywords—and hope you’re not offended by the elementary approach.
What are keywords?
When you sit down at your computer to find information on a topic of interest, you go to one of the many search engines—Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.—and type into a search box words or phrases you hope will connect you to the information you want. You receive particular results because they’re related to the words you typed in the box. These keywords triggered the information you were looking for.
OK. You already knew this! Let’s move on . . .
Why are keywords important to your business?
Now, we’re going to switch hats. You’re no longer searching for information online. You—or your company—are the one being searched for. It’s very important to the success of your business that searchers can find you. By using the right keywords within the content on your website, you ensure that potential customers can find you when they start looking.
To optimize means to improve, enhance, elevate or boost.
I’ll bet you can guess what Search Engine Optimization means now—or you might already know. It’s using the BEST keywords in all the RIGHT PLACES so search engines will automatically move your site to the top of the list when an online user is looking for you.
Search engines play a primary role in this whole process as they rank your websites. In addition, they are always working to improve site-ranking RULES they use in order to improve their user experience. With an all-out effort, you can learn these site-ranking rules and USE them to optimize your website.
Here are the on-page SEO rules that search engines and their users love.
- Choose a rich, target keyword.
- Use a shorter URL, one that includes your target keyword.
- Start your title with your keyword.
- Ensure meta tags for pages are completed and contain keywords.
- Add modifiers—best, valuable, top—to your target keyword.
- Use header tags and include your target keyword in at least one of your subheads.
- Be sure images contain alt tags—be sure to include keywords.
- Use outbound links to related pages on other websites.
- Insert two to three internal links to other areas of your website.
- Increase your page speed – visitors won’t wait more than four seconds for your site to load.
- Include the social share signals for Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest etc.
- Post long content—“length is strength” for a higher ranking.
- Engaging content—not only long content, but engaging content keeps people reading.
- Use video, great images, infographics on your website to engage the visitor and increase the time they spend on your site.
Want to read more about this topic and others related to growing your business online? Download our free e-book about growing your agribusiness with a hard-working website. Give VistaComm a call to discuss elevating your presence online today.