Search engine optimization can be a complicated beast, and is without a doubt an investment of time, expertise, and your finances (if you are working with an SEO Agency, or hiring an in-house SEO specialist). Google is constantly changing and updating the algorithm they use to determine which websites show up for any particular search query. Being aware of the most effective and impactful on-site SEO techniques is essential to the success of the SEO of your website. This information will allow you to determine if you can manage your own SEO or if choosing a reputable SEO agency will be most effective for your long-term SEO strategy. Read on for the best on-site SEO techniques that still work today, and if you’re still interested in more search engine optimization tips, check out our SEO Resources page, which is a great list of external websites focusing on SEO.
Effective On-Site Search Engine Optimization
While on-site search engine optimization can seem fairly basic and straight forward, there are definitely improvements that can always be made to a website, from technical SEO to site speed improvements to metadata updates, and these changes seem to get results the fastest in regards to increasing a website’s placement in organic Google rankings. To see quicker improvements with any of the below implementations, I recommend using the Fetch and Render tool that is available in Google Search Console.
Have Unique Meta Titles & Descriptions For Every Page
To start, make sure each page on your website has a unique meta title (H1) and meta description, which if you have a WordPress website, the Yoast SEO Plugin is great for checking and managing this. In doing this, try to have a gameplan for each page on your website that you think would be a potential landing page for someone to organically find when searching on. For example, if you offer HVAC and Plumbing Services in Kansas City, it can be a good idea to have a unique and individual service page for air conditioning repair, heater repair, and plumbing repair. When writing a meta title for your webpage, try to include your keyword phrase in natural way and stay within about 60-70 characters, otherwise it will be cut-off in search engine results. The meta description is a little different, as it does not directly affect search engine rankings, so you want to write it to entice people to click on your listing when they see it on Google, and including the keyword phrase you are targeted for the page often makes sense, but is not necessary.
Related Read: Why Should A Business Invest in SEO?
Image Alt Text, Outbound Links & Inbound Links
Some other on-site SEO techniques are making sure all of the images on your website have a unique, and when relevant, keyword phrase-related alt text and title. Similar to the meta title and description, the image alt text should be related to what the image is and the page that it is on, and usually no more than 7 words. The next item to look at for on-site SEO is inbound and outbound links within the content of your website, this means if you mention something that can be explained more on another web-page within your website or outside of your website, use an anchor text link so that a user can click-through to the page, for example if someone wanted to find out more about search engine optimization, they can simply click the words “search engine optimization” and it will take them to our SEO service page for more details and descriptions. If you quote Wikipedia, mention a city, or an association or another company, these are great chances for you to link out to their website, this shows Google that your website is “a river, not a reservoir” and it will see your website as a more trustworthy and credible resource.
Technical SEO- For Both Rankings & User Experience
Of all the on-site SEO tips, technical SEO can be the easiest, and the most complicated to implement. In best practice, you want to make sure you have no broken links or broken images on your website, and you also want to make sure your pages load around or under 2 seconds. Broken Links and images can be easily found using a website like brokenlinkcheck.com or any of the dozens of similar tools throughout the web. Optimizing for site-speed is a confirmed Google ranking factor, and if your website takes over 3 seconds to load, it has been shown in multiple case studies that users will back out of your website and your bounce rate will increase (not a good thing). Once of the biggest things that slows site speed down are unnecessarily large images (often as a header image), these can be scaled down with the right tools, but it may be worthwhile to hire the site speed optimization work out to a developer, as technical SEO can be, well… technical. The Pingdom Website Speed Test is a great place to start to see where your website speed is currently at, at what can be done to speed it up.
Just Starting to Learn About SEO? See “What Is Search Engine Optimization?“