Many of our clients are ones who typically have enough money to pay for back linking services, and that’s about it. And, this is understandable for the typical small business, which may be struggling just to stay afloat. While back linking is the primary factor in driving your ranking up the search engines, it’s far from the only factor. In fact, there are scores of techniques you can use, each providing varying levels of value, to help search engines find and rank your site for the keywords you are targeting. In addition to back-linking (also called “off-page SEO”), there is also “on-page SEO.” On-page SEO is just as it sounds – there are certain things you can do to increase your rankings by making changes on your website’s pages.
The challenge Devenia often runs into is that small company marketing budgets typically can only handle back linking costs. When we start talking about on-page SEO, most clients just about fall over. But, every little thing you can do makes a difference, so if you can’t afford on-page SEO, here are a few things you can do on your own:
Make sure your keyword appears in your URL. If you haven’t designed your site, or if you are willing to make a move, ensure your primary keyword appears in your site’s URL. Ideally, it is the only words in your URL, but that’s not always possible.
All titles should be keyword rich, but they have to make sense. Don’t just stuff your title full of keywords. Not only do people not click on such titles, but Google does not reward keyword-stuffing at any level. Additionally, your title should use the language of your customer and highlight the benefits they will find on that page. And, it must be no longer than 70 characters.
Ensure the primary keyword appears in the META description. Putting your primary keyword in your META description tag doesn’t increase your ranking. So, why do it? When people search Google, the results displayed bold the keyword they searched. If they don’t see their term in bold letters in your META description, they’re much more likely not to click on your link. Make sure your META description tags also tell the user what benefits they can find on the page, and ensure each one is unique. The META description and META title tags are particularly important for e-commerce sites.
Target at least 1-3 key phrases per page. Don’t worry too much about where you place the phrase. Don’t bold it on your own site. Make sure your total density is less than 1.0%. Also, ensure each key phrase makes as much sense as possible where it’s used. As is the case everywhere else on your site, Google hates kiteyword-stuffing and so do internet searchers.
Good content. Whatever you write on each page, make sure it provides value to your visitors. You can add in a little bit about your business, but make sure most of it focuses on what you can do for the customer. Value-added content inspires people to trust you, which builds long-term sales. In addition, people may like it so much they link to it, giving you free off-page SEO.
Make your images’ ALT attribute the targeted keyword on the page. Google also values diverse content types on various pages. You can tell Google what that content is by modifying your images’ ALT attribute to be your targeted keyword. For your information, the text in ALT tags is what is displayed if the browser viewing the page cannot display the image.
If you follow these tips, you are on the right track to maximizing your on-page SEO value. You can do them yourself, but the trouble most people run into is time. It just takes a ton of time that many don’t have.
If you liked this article, you might also enjoy Performing Keyword Research 101: The Basics.