When it comes to optimizing your website, there are two main areas to worry about: your on-page SEO and your off-page SEO. Both of these efforts will be factored into your final search engine rankings, and they should work together to cohesively show search engines what sort of information you deliver and what type of customer your site is aimed at.
To start, you’ll need to do some comprehensive keyword research. Find the terms and phrases that are most applicable to your brand, your customers and your geographic area. Be sure to consider competition and search volume, and select 10 or 15 that really make sense for your site. Then, you’ll need to work those keywords into both your on-page and off-page efforts. Here’s how each area breaks down:
On-page SEO can be…
Meta tags – This means your H1, title, ALT, Meta Description, and Keyword tags on each page (and image) of your site. For best results, you’ll want to be sure to include your main keywords and phrases here, as this will help boost your rankings.
URL structure/web design – Be sure your URLs each use descriptive, human-readable terms that give searchers an idea of what’s on the page. They should also include one of your site’s keywords – one that fits the content included on that specific page. (Preferably one actually used on the page.) A good example would be (http://www.zappos.com/womens-shoes.) Not only does the page content contain the same keyword “womens shoes,” the URL is also easy to read and understand.
Blogging – Creating regular blogs can also be a great on-page SEO effort. Make sure to include a keyword in your title, Meta Description and throughout the content, and add in an image to up the ante even more.
Content optimization – This simply refers to your regular web content – the copy and images on your home page, your subpages, your service pages and more. Seamlessly try to work a keyword or two into each of these, so search engines will have an idea of what sort of information you’re serving up to visitors.
Posts on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and other social media – Any outside source you used to link to or promote your website is an off-page SEO effort. A Facebook post, a Tweet, a Google+ update … it all counts. If you want it to help your rankings, be sure to naturally include a keyword, and make sure the copy is easy to read and understand. If you can include an image, even better!
Links from other sites – Sites that link to you are also great off-page SEO boosters. Maybe you’re listed in someone’s “resources” section? That’s off-page SEO. Maybe someone linked to your blog post in their own? That’s another. These links all tell search engines that your site is valuable – that it has useful, important information that people are looking for. It will help your SEO efforts tremendously.
PPC ads – Though PPC will cost you more than other on- and off-page SEO efforts, it’s usually worth the price. PPC is highly effective at bringing in the most qualified, ready-to-buy leads. It lets you select and choose the keywords you want to get found for, and guarantee your site gets seen by the right searchers.
Are you utilizing both on-page and off-page efforts to boost your site’s search engine rankings? If not, you’re probably not seeing the results you want. Contact Steadfast Creative today to learn more about SEO and how to get your site found!