Basics of SEO: Onsite
There are over 1 billion people that use Google on a monthly basis. What other platform on earth gives you an opportunity to reach so many people? There isn’t one, and that is why SEO is never going away.
We know Search Engine Optimization (SEO for short) is not a subject people want to talk about. It seems this subject has been talked to death, and people are just over it.
But, being at the top of Search Engine Results Pages is the holy grail of marketing.
The reason is obvious. There are 63,000 Google searches per second, 3.8 million searches per minute, 228 million searches per hour and 5.6 billion searches every single day.
We are going to be releasing a series of articles related to SEO to help people understand the fundamentals of this subject. Hopefully to help small and local businesses use this information to expand their digital marketing.
This article we are going to cover the subject of Onsite Optimization.
First, what is onsite optimization? The actions you take to ensure that search engines can find your site for the keywords a company is looking to rank on.
There are 6 main aspects to this:
- Content of Page
- Crawler/Bot Accessible
- User Experience
- Keyword Targeted
- Built to Share on Social Media
- Multi-Device Ready
The above can seem overwhelming, but we are going to do our best to not use technical terms to explain a very technical subject.
Content of Page
If you think about the purpose of search engines you will understand this aspect much better.
Search engines exist to assist a user. When a person types a search query into a search engine, that search engine is looking to pull up the most relevant results that have been requested by the user.
Thus when working on the content for a page of your website, you need to be thinking how this will be relevant to the keywords you will be looking to show up for.
Also realize that people are coming to the internet to solve a problem or satisfy a need. Thus when a person is coming to your website or landing page, etc you need to help them address that problem or need.
It should not be a sales pitch or all about your company. It should be unique content that is memorable and assist the person on your site. The last thing you want is a person coming to your page to leave and go to another search results to find a more appealing page that better solves their problem or satisfies their need.
Every search engine has a crawler/bot. They might be called by different names depending on which search engine you use, but they essentially all do the same thing.
A crawler/bot spends its time surfing the internet over and over again continuously looking for new content. That is its entire job.
It does this by jumping from one link to the next scanning all information that it finds and feeds this to the indexing component of a search engine.
Therefore if a website blocks a crawler/bot from viewing your website or pages on your website and you add new content…it won’t be seen. You will have a stagnant website that nevers moves on the search engine rankings.
New and engaging content is essential to search engine optimization. Understanding how search engines find this information is important as well.
The robots.txt file tells search engine crawlers which pages or files the crawler can or can’t request from your site. Ensure your IT director understands this information and ensures that the pages you want to show up do.
Since every search engine’s main goal is to have as many people using their platform as possible, the fact that User Experience is important for on-page SEO shouldn’t come as a surprise.
User Experience can be looked upon as a very broad subject and open to a wide amount of interpretations…and you would be right, but there are certain expectations that must be met to fulfill this requirement.
There are some key factors that need to be taken into consideration:
Bounce Rate – What is the percentage of people landing on a page of your website and just leaving. Meaning they didn’t go anywhere else.
Pages Per Session – When a person does visit your website, how many different pages are they going through.
Dwell Time – It is the amount of time a user spends on a webpage they have clicked on from a Search Engine Results Page, before they go back to the Search Engine Results page.
Speed – The amount of time it takes a page to load for a user.
As you can see each of these points have to do with User Experience. Each one of these is a metric regarding engagement.
There are two things you need to concentrate on regarding your website.
Is the architecture easy to use so people can locate the information they are looking for easily
Is the content provided solving problems, handling needs and engaging the users.
If these two factors are not occurring on your website, you will have a high bounce rate, you will have a low pages per session and your dwell time will be almost non-existent.
Speed will also affect each of the above. If they can’t reach any of the above fast enough they will just leave.
This should also be easily explained. You are a business. You have specific deliverables or products. These have names and based on those names you can have keyword phrases.
If this is not incorporated into your website content, it will be very hard for search engines to understand that your company could solve a searchers problem or handle their needs.
SEO it’s rocket science. It is based on understanding your Customer Persona’s, creating content for them, targeting their problems and needs and ensuring that search engines see that you do this, in enough quantity to out compete your competitors.
Built to Share on Social Media
Over the years Social Media has exploded! And despite popular belief…it covers every major demographic you can think off. Between Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn, there is not a single demographic you can’t target.
Thus being able to integrate into social media platforms is a must. As said many times in this article it is all about engagement. Search Engines want it and they are going to use every possible avenue to achieve it and social media platforms have a ridiculous amount of engagement and the search engines want to take advantage of that.
Too many businesses and companies spur social media. They don’t think it will bring them business or they won’t reach their ideal clientele and a million other reasons I have heard over the years.
So I will just give it to you straight. It doesn’t matter what you think. The search engines want it and your business needs to comply with it.
Mobile devices account for half of all internet usage worldwide. Plan and simple. If your website is not built with responsive design (meaning it will automatically change, based on the device you are using) then you will receive negative rankings from search engines.
This should not be hard. Almost every CMS is built with responsive technology now and have been for over 5 years. Therefore if you have a website built more than 5 years ago, it is past time to build a new one.
I can’t stress this point enough. In this day and age, if a user comes to a website on their phone or tablet and that website is not built with responsive design so that they can get the information they are looking for easily, they will leave. No questions asked.
The morale of this story is to build your website for your ideal audience. I don’t care if you think it’s great, because your opinion literally doesn’t matter. If your audience isn’t using, bouncing, not exploring and actually interacting with your website…you will not move up the search engine rankings.
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