Do you want your website to rank at the top of the search engines?
It is not only possible to get a high search engine rank, it is very doable.
It all starts with optimizing each web page on your website.
You must optimize each web page for three reasons:
- Your website won’t get any traffic for any real competitive keywords. There is simply too much competition. If you want organic search traffic, you must have a highly optimized website.
- You have to optimize your website for the search engines.
- Optimization is also for your potential customers.
If your website was a car, SEO would be the engine. Without optimization, your website won’t get anywhere.
Here are the steps for onsite SEO (Search Engine Optimization):
#1 – Know Your Keywords
You can’t even begin optimizing your web pages until you have a long list of target keywords. For example, if you are a web designer who is located in San Diego, CA, you would need to start building your target keyword list.
Your list of keywords could easily contain 100 or more phrases.
Here are few examples:
- San Diego web designer
- Web designer in San Diego
- San Diego website designer
- San Diego web design company
- San Diego web design firm
#2 – Great Content
You have to have your content optimized for the right keywords. Of course, that doesn’t mean keyword stuffing. Repeating keywords throughout a web page will have a negative impact on your search rankings.
Your content should be optimized for your target keyword. When you write a web page try to use several variations of your target keyword. For example, “San Diego web designer,” need a San Diego based web designer,” or “looking for website design company in San Diego.”
Longer content tends to rank higher than short generic content. There is no hard rule on the word count, but try to keep word count above 1000.
Only create content with a purpose. What are you writing the content for? Do you want to increase leads? Do you want people to subscribe to your email list? Who are you writing the content for?
The best website content speaks to your buyer persona.
#3 – Optimize Web Page URL
Avoid dynamic URLs such as http://topofy.com/?p=65778. Dynamic URLs are less optimized and uglier than static URLs. Below is an example of a static URL.
Make your target keyword part of the URL (i.e. http://topofy.com/2016/09/15/san-diego-web-designer)
Use hyphens – instead of _ underscores. When words are connected with hyphens Google treats it as one word. You want to use web-designer instead of web_designer.
Keep each URL unique. Also, the shorter the URL the better. But, that has more to do with aesthetics than SEO.
#4 – Optimize Page Titles
Most page website page titles lack optimization. This is so simple yet so many businesses ignore it. Each page title should be unique. Don’t use duplicate page titles.
Each page title must be unique. If you have a page with a title “San Diego web designer,” resist the temptation to reuse the same title. Use a variation of the page title such as “San Diego website designer.”
Make each page title long enough but not too long. If the page title includes your target keyword, it is long enough. If your page title is over 60 characters, it is too long.
#5 – Optimize Meta Description
The meta description gives search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo a brief summary of what the web page is about.
The meta description should be a catchy summary of your page content. It helps if you start the meta description with the target keyword.
The meta description should be longer than the page title. A great meta description is one or two sentences, focusing on the theme of the page.
Google might also use the meta description on the results page.
#6 – Include Keywords in Headers
There is very limited space in headlines. Don’t waste space with “Welcome to …” Get to the point. Don’t make people think.
An optimized header is important for humans and search engines. The right header will contain the target keyword. As a result, you increase the chance of a higher search engine result.
A good header will also attract the attention of a site visitor. Good headers push people to read the page. When people spend more time on a web page, it helps to improve its ranking.
#7 – Place Keyword Early
It is best if your focus keyword is within the first sentence of the first paragraph. If that is not possible, at least make sure that the keyword is part of the first paragraph.
#8 – Optimize Images
When you upload an image make sure that:
- The focus keyword is part of the filename such as san-diego-web-designer.jpg.
- The alt tag contains the focus keyword.
- It is best to use outstanding images. A stunning image will increase the time a visitor spends on the site.
- Keep the image size small. The slow page load will hurt your search rankings.
#9 – Repeat Keywords
It is true that your focus keyword is in the page title, header and first paragraph of the page. But, you need to have the keywords on the page multiple times. Your focus keyword should be present 3-5 times on the page. If the content is longer than 1000 words, you should have your keyword present even more frequently.
Don’t confuse this with keyword stuffing. It makes no sense to repeat your target keyword too frequently. Actually, it could get your website penalized.
#10 – Inner Links
Backlinks are important to SEO, and so are inner links. Link inner pages together with the focus keyword as the anchor text.
Inner links are important for three reasons:
- The increase ranking power within your website.
- Makes it easier for visitors to navigation your website.
- Inner links improve information hierarchy.
#11 – Address and Directions
Include your address in the footer area of each page. Also, include your phone number in the header area.
Including your address with a map and driving directions will also help with local search engine optimization.
If you want top search engine rankings, you must carefully optimize each web page. Everything about each web page should be done with optimization in mind. Even before you create the web page you should think about the ways you are going to optimize the page.
The above information provides you with the system you can use for each web page. If you build your website on optimized web pages you create the best opportunity to rank highly in Google, Yahoo, and Bing.
photo credit: Yosr works as a consultant