This is the 4th instalment of our 10 part series expanding on my recent article 10 Killer Techniques to Quadruple your Internet Marketing Success.
Today I’ll explain exactly what you can do on your web pages to help your on-page search engine optimization.
For basic SEO, you need to first choose your keywords. The easiest way to select keywords is to use Google’s Keyword Tool. It’s not the most advanced keyword research method but for a Do-It-Yourself SEO job it will give you a good enough analysis of keywords that make sense to your industry and product.
In this example I have entered the phrase “landscaping” and Google is suggesting 100 keyword ideas and shows how much competition there is for these keywords and how many Global and local (Canada) searches there are for each phrase in an average month.
You will notice that the first keyword suggested is “landscaping ideas”. Most landscaping contractors would probably consider this a poor keyword to choose since it is probably more likely to attract tire kickers who aren’t really ready to buy.
We’re going to talk more about that when we discuss Inbound Marketing, but for now lets just keep in mind that 80% or so of the visitors who come to your website are in the research phase and if you can start nurturing a relationship with them at this early stage, you have a higher likelihood to earn their business when they are ready to buy than you do if they only discover your business late in their buying process.
Once you have chosen your keywords, you are ready to begin the process of optimizing your website content so that Google will notice you and you will be in a position to rise to the #1 spot on Google.
Let’s assume your website has a Content Management System (CMS) and you can create or update pages easily. Unless you are skilled with HTML and basic website design, it may be more difficult to optimize your website yourself without a CMS.
If you don’t have a CMS and want to give it a try, you will need to purchase software for managing your content. Dreamweaver is your best choice and is part of the Adobe Creative Suite.
For this exercise I will assume you are using a WordPress CMS since it is the most popular and the one I would recommend you use for your website or blog. WordPress has a plugin called the “All in One SEO Pack“. You will need to add this plugin to your site.
In the field of your All in One SEO Pack that says “Title” you should include your keyword phrase. It is best not to try and stuff extra keywords here. You should keep the title of your page specific and ensure that it is shorter than 60 characters.
The Title tag is not actually visible on your webpage but it is shown as the title of your article when it appears in Googles Search Results.
You should only target one primary keyword or phrase per page of content. So for example, the keyword “front yard landscaping” can include variations in the content such as “front yard landscape” and “front yard landscaping ideas” but it is best to reserve “backyard landscaping” for another content page.
Using headings on your page helps to break up the content, introduce different font sizes and also plays a very important role in your web page optimization. The most important heading on your web page is the H1 or Heading 1 Tag. Usually this is the largest font text on the page
Ensure you use your primary keyword phrase in the H1 Tag. Usually this is the title of your article and should match the SEO Title tag you used.
Google’s algorithm for ranking web pages in the search engine results is very sophisticated and if you try and overuse your keyword to boost your ranking, you are very likely to get penalized in the ranking.
The best idea to optimize your site for your target keyword is to use it once or twice in the content but try using different variations, synonyms or other references that are not exactly the same.
When you read your content back it should seem conversational rather than repetitive.
In the All in One SEO Pack, the second field is the Description Tag. Like the SEO Title Tag, the Description Tag is not shown in your web content. It is shown in the search engine results beneath the Title Tag, as shown above.
This is your opportunity to pitch the page content in 160 characters or less. Tell the reader what the page is about and how it will benefit them. This is a mini-sales pitch that tells the reader why they should visit your page.
Ensure to use your target keyword in the description tag. It doesn’t necessarily have to exactly match the target phrase but it should include all the words you are targeting.
Using the previous example, a page titled “Front Yard Landscaping Ideas”, could have an SEO Description Tag “Landscaping ideas that will turn your front yard into a neighbourhood centrepiece for your neighbours to adore”.
In case you’re wondering, that’s 110 characters.
Linking to your Text
Links have two critical purposes in website optimization for search engines. First, links are how search engines find content on your website. Google and other search engines send web crawlers known as bots or spiders to crawl around the web by following links and then copying all the pages found into their results pages.
If you change the content on your pages you will notice that Google doesn’t immediately show the changes. That is because they are actually only displaying a copy of your page and until the crawl the new content and update their index, the new content will not show up.
The only way that Google will find your content is if you link to it. So be sure that your new web page is listed on your menu and in your site map.
Additionally it is a good idea to link certain words in your web content to other pages of your website. When Google crawls your new website page, it will follow those links and look for changes to the content on those pages as well.
Perhaps more important is the words you use to link your content. You should include keywords in your link text as well. Link words that are relevant to the target page content and this will help get those other pages optimized for your target keywords.