Best Practices for On-Page SEOKaren Axelton
Want to improve your on-page SEO? Try these tips
Start with good keywords. It’s important to pinpoint your keywords precisely. Start by taking keywords from your existing marketing materials. You can also use tools like Google’s Adwords Keyword Planner to generate suggestions for keywords to use.
Once you have a list of potential keywords, assess them carefully. Which ones are most relevant to what you sell? Which terms are people really most likely to use when looking for what you sell? Will adding modifiers like “best,” “cheapest,” “popular,” or “new” help get better results?
It’s also important to examine how popular keywords are and how much competition there is for them. The goal is to find keywords that are in the middle ground—i.e., they are relatively popular search terms, but not a lot of your competitors are using them. If everyone is using the same keywords, you’ll have trouble ranking high for them. (Speaking of competitors, it’s a good idea to check out which keywords your competitors’ website are using and how well they rank for them.)
In the past, companies often “stuffed” their websites with keywords dozens of times on each page. Search engines are wise to this tactic, however, and it will now backfire on you. It also creates websites that sound like they were written by robots, not humans. For best results, focus on creating website copy that is actually interesting and relevant to humans, and using your keywords in key places such as title tags, headers, subheads, image alt text and the first paragraph of each piece of content. One useful trick is to place the keyword at the beginning of each header/subhead/title tag/alt text, rather than in the middle or at the end.
Choosing and using specific keywords for specific pages of your website can help direct users to the right pages on your site to take the action you want them to take. In other words, if you sell women’s clothing, hats and purses, you could optimize the main page of your hat section using keywords “women’s hats,” then optimize sub-pages with keywords such as “women’s visors,” “women’s caps,” etc.
Last, but not least, be sure to use your website analytics tools to assess how your keywords are performing. The great thing about SEO is that it’s easy to modify your keywords and get better and better results over time. Track how many visitors you get based on different keywords, how many leads are generated and how many leads convert into a sale.
Karen Axelton is Chief Content Officer of GrowBiz Media, a media company that helps entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses.