Increase Search Traffic with On Page SEO
Having a consistent stream of sales is the lifeblood of any local business. With the transition of modern communication being transferred to our smartphones; it’s easy to see why businesses that took early action online are now reaping the benefits.
By 2020, one-third of all advertising budgets will be spent on mobile advertising. That means companies are going to be focusing heavily on paid advertising on search and social.
But you’re a small, local business -- and blowing the rest of your ad budget on paid ads while trying to compete with everyone else is not something you’re interested in doing. What if there was a way to gain exposure for your brand on search without paying for it (with dollars)?
That’s why I’ve written this blog post today focusing on how you can increase your organic search traffic with on-page SEO.
For those that don’t know, SEO stands for “search engine optimization”. It’s an increasing skill set in the digital marketing world, as more and more people are searching for what they’re looking for online.
Google recently announced that a massive 45% of all searches are local. Out of the 3.5 billion searches/day on Google, over 1.5 billion of them have local Intent.
This is absolutely huge, and showing up on the top page of your intended search result could mean the difference between you getting the sale versus your competitor.
If you have a question or comment about this article or SEO in general, please feel free to comment on the post or tweet me @huronvalleymedi.
What is On-Page SEO?
On-page SEO is the practice of optimizing individual web pages in order to rank higher and earn more relevant traffic in search engines, primarily Google but also Bing and Yahoo.
On-page refers to both the content and HTML code of a page that can be optimized.
For the focus of this blog post, I will be talking more about the “easy-wins” you can do as a local business owner to optimize your website (without all the coding knowledge). This will require you to have backend access of your website.
*These are in no particular order*
#1 Make Your Site Secure with SSL
I need to address the elephant in the room: HTTPS.
Earlier this summer, Google officially announced that if you don't have an SSL certificate on your website, it will start showing your site as "not secure".
Google also announced that could also have an effect on your organic rankings.
TL;DR It Does.
We've seen a massive increase in this SSL trend in the SERPS from April 2017-April 2018 (30%-50% of websites).
It's now imperative that you purchase an SSL certificate which adds an extra layer of encryption to your website. This will only become the norm as domain registrars and hosting providers include it automatically.
If your website is hosted on Godaddy, make sure you purchase an SSL Certificate.
If you're not sure where your website is hosted, find out on Hosting Checker.
#2 Increase Website Loading Speed
This is absolutely huge. Google has been notorious over the years when it comes to what they consider an "organic" ranking signal.
But page loading speed is one ranking factor they have publicly confirmed!
The easiest and most accurate place to check your website's loading speed is by Google's own Pagespeed Insights.
Don't worry, I don't know how to fix all of my loading speed issues either.
But I do know where to find someone that does. Fiverr is a massive freelance marketplace where projects start at $5.
You do have to do your due-diligence when selecting a freelancer, but nonetheless it's a cheap, reliable source for hiring someone to fix your website speed.
#3 Title Tag Optimization
Ok. Apart from page speed and SSL, this is the first time I'm mentioning a specific on-page (on-site) recommendation that is absolutely essential to ranking locally.
Your title tag is the blue text website visitors first see when they find your site in Google.
It's also what pops up on the top of the tab in your browser, and it's different for every page on your website.
Your website title tags are just one of the main signals Google uses when figuring out what to rank your website for in Organic Search.
Also, a few more points on title tags:
Front-Load your title tags
Google puts more weight on keywords found in the beginning of your title tag.
This means if you're a local chiropractor in Ann Arbor, Michigan, you'd want your homepage title tag to look something like:
Ann Arbor Chiropractor -- [Your Name of Business]
Wrap Your Blog Post Titles in H1 Header Tags
It is important to have the title of your blog post wrapped in the H1 tag. This tag let's Google identify what the main subject of the blog post is about.
Most content management systems (CMS) like wordpress, do this automatically.
However, WordPress might override this setting depending on your website theme.
Below is one of my favorite SEO's Brian Dean and his explanation about On-Page SEO:
#4 Use SEO Friendly URLS
This is a big issue, as there are still a lot of people still using ugly link urls that are 50+ characters long.
Why does this matter for SEO? Google uses your URL (just like your title tag and content) as a clue to figure out the topic of your page.
If it makes it easier on Google to provide them with a simple URL, than you should do it.
You should also focus on adding the keyword into your URL. As an example, this blog post's URL is:
Short. Simple. Keyword Intent.
#5 Use Multimedia in your Blog Posts
It's always good practice to add more than just text to your blog posts. This includes images, video, screenshots and lists.
This doesn't directly affect your potential rankings, but it will improve your site's user experience (which Google does pay attention to).
#6 Internal & Outbound Linking
Linking is an underrated part of the internet. It allows you to share with your reader valuable information from other resources.
Here are the two different linking methods you can use for SEO:
Linking to relevant resources, articles or pages on your site helps Google understand the topic and intent of your pages.
Google does this by crawling page by page, and follows every link to understand more about your web page.
A great example of a website with amazing internal linking structure would be Wikipedia.
Tip: Add 2-3 internal links to every post.
Linking to external websites and resources that are relevant and helpful to your web visitors helps Google distinguish the relevancy or topic of your website.
Google wants to see that you're an active participant online, and linking to resources that add more value to your readers is a good thing for user experience (which Google loves).
Tip: Include 2-3 external links to related authority sites in every content piece you publish. These can be popular blogs in your industry, news sites and .edu or .gov websites.
#7 Publish Longer Content
Although it's been an established fact in the SEO scene, it might not be common knowledge to the average entrepreneur, webmaster or content creator.
There is absolutely no penalty for writing longer content, in fact, the opposite is more likely.
There have been several industry studies over the past few years, this one the most popular; that implies that the longer the content, the higher the rank.
It has been a method and seo strategy of mine personally to write content that is 1,500 words long. That is, if I'm going to purposely try to rank for the keywords organically.
As you can see in the graph above from the case study, the average content ranking for the #1 spot in Google is 1,950 words.
A few theories as to why Google likes longer content are:
- Longer content has a correlation with more social shares (ie. user-experience)
- Longer content enables Google to get a deeper understanding of your pages' topic.
In either case; Google favors longer content, and you won't be penalized for it.
As you can see, there is a lot of attention to detail when it comes to on page SEO.
Learning and implementing SEO optimizations can be a daunting, time consuming task.
That's where I come in. Being a professional SEO, I have generated over 7 million website visitors using SEO strategies.
Don't have time to do all this SEO?
An SEO Audit of your website can be one of the smartest investments you can spend money on for your business, especially if you rely on local leads to generate sales.
Right now, I'm offering a special deal on my SEO Audit.