The first thing that most people do when they have a question nowadays is to “Google” it. In fact, that is the way many people research the product or service that they are buying.
It’s the dream of many small businesses to appear on the 1st page of a competitive search term or “keyword” ahead of their competitors. So pay attention to know how to optimize your website for search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo to find your business.
Generally speaking there is off-page and on-page optimization. Off-page optimization essentially relates to having more back-links to your website. On-page optimization refers to what you can do on your own website.
Here are 4 things you must do to improve your On-Page Optimization:
1. Have different landing pages for keyword themes
If you have keyword themes for your online search strategy, create landing pages such as: one for the main theme (keyword), one for competitor terms, one for each pain point you are trying to solve, etc. By breaking them up into different pages, you not only keep the page uncluttered, concise and easy-to-read, but also potentially be able to rank well on each of those terms.
Having more optimized pages, also means that more of your pages could end up on 1st page. One of my SEO expert partners dominated the first page of search results with high-quality pages containing the main keyword term as well as the other keyword themes, effectively “blocking” out their competition.
Remember to use hyperlinks to link pages within your website (internal links) with relevant terms to improve search results as well. Google robots will navigate from one page to the other and index your pages, checking the quality of content. This will boost the quality of your central pages (mostly the main navigation bar items: Home, Contact Us, About, Services, etc). The choice of anchor texts (what text is seen by the viewer as they click on the hyperlink) can also give you an additional boost.
2. Improve the performance & experience of your website
Google has listed performance and experience as one of the factors in your page ranking. Your website will be heavily disadvantaged if it is not responsive to different devices and screen sizes. You will also be penalized for poor loading speeds and poor site navigation (leads to high bounce rates too).
So add to your to-do-list to make your site mobile-friendly, check your hosting for speed and get a WebMaster account on Google and Bing, to submit your sitemap.
In fact, the performance and experience of your website also controls the quality score when you are doing paid advertisements, so it is worthwhile to invest into improving the performance and experience of your site. <Read about: What is Google Quality Score? What is Bing Ads Quality Score?>
If you like most small businesses use WordPress as your CMS, a very useful plugin is SEO Yoast, which helps you to optimize pages and posts. It gives you a “green” light if your post or page is optimized.
There are a few factors:
- Starting with the URL Permalink: the keyword should ideally be part of the URL.
- Put the keyword in the Title of the page if it appears should be natural and not forced.
- The use of <h1>, <h2> … sub-header tags is a minor advantage, and should be used logically. The keyword should not appear unnaturally in all sub-headers.
- While the Keywords should appear in the article, there is no fixed rule for how many times it should appear a.k.a. “Keyword Density.” In fact over-using the keyword may lead to penalties. According to an expert I consulted, Google may also compare it with “similar” businesses to check for a usual ratio of keywords.
- Lastly, while the meta Description does not affect ranking, it does affect conversion (meaning higher chance someone would click your search result than others). For example, we recently discovered that our welcome gate which gives away an ebook became our default website description. This would not help in converting someone searching for “Infusionsoft Singapore” our targeted keyword.
Instead we resubmitted the sitemap, and now it is:
which gives a clearer call to action: our telephone number and the relevant information, the prospect may be searching for.
4. Focus on good quality content not quantity
Google is moving towards quality content instead of quantity when determining page ranking. Spending more time to write good quality stuff that your potential customers want to know about, reduces the bounce rate (increasing experience), increases retention, as well as attracts more people to SHARE your articles.
Since you invested so much into content, you should then create different versions of it: podcasts, videos, transcriptions, infographics, PDFs, slides etc, and then post it on SlideShare, Scribd, Podcasting sites, Video-sharing sites, Infographics Directories (10 places to submit your infographics) and social sites (Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest, Instagram etc). Remember to point it back to your site (backlinks).
Other good (off-page) strategies to distribute your content are guest blogging (like this one), forums that are relevant (example: commenting in personal style magazines forums for hair-care professionals), and selected article directories.
Brendan Yong is a Duct Tape Marketing Consultant specialized in marketing automation based in Singapore. His company Empathi Solutions helps Asia-based clients build Marketing Systems to Grow Predictable Revenue using Infusionsoft CRM as the primary marketing automation tool.