You’ve heard about something called on-page SEO, but you don’t know what it is, or if you should even care. Here, you’ll learn just what on-page SEO is, and why the entire future of your business could be at stake if you try to ignore it.
What is On-Page SEO?
Imagine if you opened a sensational amusement park in the middle of the desert. You find out that you’re going to be visited by a big entertainment magazine writer who is going to tell the world all about your park in their next issue, which will bring thousands of visitors to your gates every day.
You’d want the writer to be able to find your park, right? Maybe you’d pay for advertising space on a giant billboard next to the nearest highway. That will direct them to the correct exit.
However, when the writer arrives, how will they know where all the attractions are? You’d hand them a map, wouldn’t you? And if you’re a smart amusement park owner (as we all know you would be), your park map would be very detailed and descriptive. Everything would be described in an organized manner, so the writer would leave knowing exactly how your park is laid out, and what visitors can expect to see when they get there.
Since you are a clever virtual amusement park owner, you’ve probably already figured out that the amusement park is your website, and the park map is your on-page SEO. Of course, the writer represents all the major search engines whose mission it is to find out all they can about your park, er, website – so they can tell the whole world about it.
What are the chief elements of on-page SEO?
Optimal on-page SEO consists of all the elements listed below. Make sure you read through every one because to get the “optimal” in on-page SEO, you need them all.
1. Unique Content
Unique content starts with content that passes Copyscape, but it doesn’t end there. Too many site owners confuse unique with “passable.” Think of it like a merry-go-round. After a while of watching a merry-go-round, all the horses kind of blend in together and end up looking the same. That’s what boring content does to readers.
If your website merry-go-round of content is just a re-hash of what everyone else is doing, your site will not stand out for search engine bot crawlers, and it certainly won’t keep readers’ interest.
But what if you filled your merry-go-round with animatronic jungle animals, robots or an assortment of comfortable lounge furniture? The effect would be unexpected, surprising and enticing to visitors. Heck, they might just stick around long enough to find out what else you’ve got goin’ on.
To translate that into real world application, why not add some of the following unique content to your site? These rich content elements are proven to engage and retain your site visitors, as well as the search engine bots you’re out to woo.
- Chat forums
- Peripheral “did you knows”
(By the way, if you want to learn more specific details about what each of these content rich elements entails, or how to integrate them into your site, click on that “Download” link at the end of this article.)
By now, you’ve seen the word “keywords” so many times that it no longer even looks like a word. In the past (the distant past, thank goodness), keyword stuffing was all the rage in the land of SEO.
HVAC site owners believed that that more times they could stuff the word “plumber in Pawnee” into their blog articles, the more those search engine bots would come ‘acrawlin’. For awhile, it was common to find passages like this:
“Finding a plumber in Pawnee can be a daunting task. When you can’t find a plumber in Pawnee, you might be wondering what you can do to find a plumber in Pawnee.”
No more. Say it with me now. No more. (Frankly, I can’t believe either of us even made it through that passage in time alive. But here we are.)
Keyword integration is still with us, because keywords are the key to finding information on the Internet. You know how it works.
People type in a few keywords like fun family activities, the computer does its thing and up pops your amusement park website. Just make sure you don’t overuse your keywords, or the search engine overlords will ignore your site and instead of the laughter of a thousand gleeful children, you’ll hear crickets congregating in your park.
Tags represent major signs that search engines use to navigate your site and extract information about your site’s purpose and content. Tags help bots understand what information your site offers to visitors. There are at least two tags that you need to be concerned with:
The title tag is the tag that you give your page. Your page title will show up in the browser window when visitors come to your site. It should accurately describe what the page is about, so that search engine bots can understand what your site does and why it exists.
The title tag remains an important part of SEO for one basic reason – it is the overall label for the content of a page, and because the number of characters is limited,there isn’t much room to do that much with it. – Eric Enge, Stone Temple Consulting
I bet you can guess what the heading tag is, based on the title tag. If not, though, the heading tag does the same thing for article headers and sub headers as your title tags do for your page titles.
4. Image Alt Text
Image alt text is the text that shows up in place of an image while the page is still loading, or when the cursor is hovering over the image. It’s not as important for your site’s visitors as it is for the web crawlers.
Obviously, web crawlers do not have eyes, and they cannot see the images on your site pages. But if you add some descriptive image alt text, they will understand that there is an image there, and that is fabulous. They wish they could see it; they really do.
5. Meta Description
The meta description is your elevator pitch. You’re in an elevator with Walt Disney. The year is 1960, and you’ve heard whispers of a new park in Florida. You want to get in on the deal. You’ve got exactly 30 seconds to pitch your park idea.
That’s how a meta description works. It’s a shorthand version of your site. For example “One-of-a-kind amusement park with thrilling rides.” That about sums it up.
If all on-page SEO stuff seems complicated and labor-intensive, that’s because it can be. By the time you finish curating unique content, brainstorming title tags and meta descriptions and trying to come up with a decent list of keywords, you may be too exhausted to even think about how to acquire new customers. However, it’s a necessary marketing component to the success of your business.
We can help. Let us do the heavy lifting for you. We’ve got a good handle on all the SEO techniques out there because it’s our business to know. We’ll help bring the writers, the bots, and the visitors to the gates of your future empire.
Contact us with a call or an email. We’d love to learn what you think about this article, and to see how we can help you and your business grow.