When it comes to SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) most small business owners have no idea where to start. In this blog I'm going to give you a list of 5 basic things you can do, to improve your 'on page SEO'.
Firstly, what am I on about? On Page SEO? What's that?
Well, there are three key types of SEO activity you can carry out to improve your search rankings, they are:
On Page SEO - The content on your website. In essence the content you write, keyword optimisation, meta titles & descriptions etc.
Technical SEO - The non content elements of your website. Things like your site speed, mobile usability, structure and sitemapping.
Off Site SEO - As suggested, things you can do that aren't on your website. It's basically your website's relationship with the rest of the internet, the most common strategies include back linking/link building to your site.
For the purpose of this blog, we're going to talk about your On Page SEO. Why? Because it's probably the easiest element of the three and you have full control over what is implemented.
So, here's 5 things you can do on your website today (or tomorrow, or next week) to improve your SEO...
1. Write Meta Titles & Meta Descriptions for all pages
Depending what CMS (Content Management System) platform you use to edit your website (e.g. Wix, WordPress etc), where you need to go to edit this information will vary but you should find it and edit the information. Why? Because if you don't it will default to something that might not contain your key search terms or worse, it will be blank.
When writing your Meta Titles and Descriptions think about what the page is about, what search terms people would be using to find your page and include a call to action in your description if you can.
2. Use H Tags
H tags work in a hierarchy, a H1 tag is the most important and H6 is the least important. You should use a H1 tag for the title of your page, H2 for subtitles and so on.
When Google crawls your website it looks for H1 tags on each page so it understands what that page is about. In all CMS systems I have used it is easy to set the styling for your titles (H1, H2) and paragraphs.
What you might not realise is that choosing H3 from the list because you like the font/size/colour of it, will allocate that text as a H3 title. Therefore you need to make sure that instead of doing this, you update the fonts, colours, sizes, formatting of each style to look as you want it to on the page.
3. Use your keywords in your content
Whenever you write content for your website you should consider its purpose. In almost all cases you should consider what keywords are relevant to the page and use them. Not a million times (that's spammy) but a few times throughout your page.
I personally find it comes across more naturally to write the content as it flows and then go back and add more keywords if I feel there aren't enough.
4. Use appropriate image sizes
One of the factors that Google considers when ranking your website is the load speed. Guess what one of the biggest causes of slow loading speeds are...images! When uploading images to your website you want to make sure you're using the appropriate size, resolution and format.
Size: For a banner style image that will be very large on your page I suggest using a width of 1080 pixels, in most cases this will be high enough to render the image without blurring. For smaller images that form part of a page, I often use a max width/height of 800 pixels.
Resolution: You should always use images that are 72 dpi as they are considered web resolution. Images typically (if you take them on a camera) are 300 dpi and this makes the files much larger and slower to load.
Format: In 90% of cases a JPEG file is the ideal format for web images. Sometimes, a PNG may be more appropriate, if for example you want something to be 'cut out' with a transparent background.
There are many free online tools you can use to help you resize images, change their DPI and format. One that I've come across is www.img2go.com/resize-image.
5. Use internal and external links
Where appropriate, on your pages you should include a mix of internal links (links to other pages on your website) and external links (links to other websites). Sometimes, this is easier and more natural to do than others but if you bear this in mind when writing your content, you will begin to see opportunities for adding links. Adding links doesn't have to look messy, you can simply hyperlink words within a sentence if you don't want to post the full URL or it doesn't make sense in the context to do that.
By providing links between your pages, it connects your website. From a user perspective it can also lead them on a journey you have chosen for them - using links in calls to action is a natural and useful thing to do. For example; at the end of this blog I will tell you that if you have any questions to contact me. I will link the words contact me to my contact page because if I don't, that's kind of annoying for you.
There are a few reasons experts say you should link to other websites from your own including; it creates a footprint for your own domain, it encourages linking back to you, it creates a useful community on your website if you provide links to other resources for example, it can enhance a user experience by making their lives easier and more...
So next time you're talking about something where an external link would be relevant - add one! I always suggest making them open in new tabs though, so people aren't lost from your website while they go off and explore other things.
So, that's it for today's blog, there are loads of other things you can do to improve your On-Page SEO but I'll save those for another day!
I hope you've found this blog useful, if you have any questions about how to make the most of these techniques, get in touch.