Simple On-Site SEO Tips for Small Business Owners
SEO is often made out to be a very confusing process, making it a very intimidating subject matter for many business owners. The thing is, search engine optimization doesn’t have to be overwhelming. You just have to know what it entails.
One component, on-site optimization, is something that while technical, can be learned by those with very little previous experience. There are many online resources and even WordPress plugins, like Yoast SEO, that can help.
Here are seven simple on-site SEO tips, as told by business owners, that you can learn and implement on your own website. These tips can help improve your rankings and drive more traffic to your website.
Edit your page descriptions to make you stand out.
The page descriptions are what shows in Google under your page title, and it gives you a lot of room to write descriptions that draw attention and focus to your website in the search results, even if you are not the top listing.
“The page descriptions don’t directly impact your SEO but they do help draw more attention and clicks and click-through rate is considered a very strong signal, telling Google that your page is highly sought after and full of information users want,” explains Jeannie Hill of Hill Web Marketing, an agency that helps local business owners understand the intent behind a search. “One little hack that works well is to incorporate an emoji into the description to really draw attention.”
Use your keyword in page titles.
Since each page should be optimized for a specific target keyword, it’s a good idea to work your keyword into the title, placing it towards the beginning if possible and only if it makes sense. Before people would just spam the titles and place the keyword first even if it didn’t make sense.
A blog like Vital has such intense competition in the organic search results that it makes every little effort, such as title optimization so important. It can mean the difference of being on the bottom of page four to pushing towards the first page. You have to pay attention to every little on-page optimization detail if you want to experience success with SEO.
You can also use a similar or long-tail version of the keyword if it makes more sense. A local company that provides services for Brisbane would naturally want to include a location-based keyword in the page tite. It needs to read naturally for users and also Google. Their AI has human reading capability, so you can’t game it like before.
Speed up your page load times.
A slow website will hurt your ranking because Google will not show it if they feel it offers poor user experience. Visitors will leave if it loads slow as well. There are two ways to speed up your site.
The first and easiest way is to use high quality hosting. There are plenty of cheap 99 cent hosting, but that is the worst thing you can do. There is the risk of down time and over all they have low performance.
“A dedicated server is a great option but at $200 or so it’s not in the budget for most. There are a lot of VPS options that can be had for as little as $25 a month and if you are serious about your website this is a great choice,” advises April Gillmore of ClickFirst Marketing.
You can also use a CDN (content delivery network) to help speed it up if you have high traffic numbers. If you are just starting out you likely don’t need to use a CDN.
Format your content using multiple headings.
If you are going to take the time to publish quality content make sure it’s formatted using heading text, like H1 and H2, as well as bullet points, etc. This not only helps Google understand what is important on the page, but it also makes it more eye appealing.
“You want the people reading your content to be able to skim
it and understand what it is about,” suggests Andrew Tran who is the Founder of
Therapy Blanket, an anxiety blanket
retailer. Very few people will read every word on your website. Using heading
formatting allows you to deliver your messaging without someone having to read
the entire page.
Internally link to other relevant pages.
Internally linking your content is good for two reasons. First, it helps to pass authority throughout your website but it also helps to tell Google what the pages are about because of what pages you are linking to.
“Internal linking also helps to keep visitors on your website,” says Chris Moberg, whose website reviews the best mattress for side sleepers, and uses internal linking to keep visitors on the review site longer. “When they click over to another page it just means they will spend more time reading your content. The longer they are on your site the higher the chance of them converting.” Internally linking pages helps to reduce bounce rate and increases average visit time, both great for SEO.
Link out to authority references and websites.
Just like interlinking benefits SEO, linking out does as well. You can’t have a website and expect Google to think it’s an authority resource if you don’t link out to reference any other information within your niche.
“Linking out to trustworthy sites helps Google to identify your website as a solid source of information as well,” says Ignacio Soria, who founded this company, which uses external authority linking as a main SEO strategy. “Make sure you only link to websites you want to be compared to. Linking out to sites like Forbes, Wikipedia, etc. are good.”
Write in-depth page content beyond just your main keyword.
The days of low-quality content are over. Instead of just trying to rank for one keyword, target dozens of alternate versions. This will not only help you get more traffic, but it also helps Google understand what type of topics and questions your content can be a good resource for.
“Long-form content gives you the ability to pack your pages full of information that you can craft in a way that addresses and targets several keywords,” explains Irene McConnell of Arielle Executive. “For example, if we were to create a page on our website about writing an executive resume, we might include the long-tail “rules for writing an executive resume” in the copy.” When you over deliver value you are often rewarded in the SERPs.