The following is an excerpt from IMPACT's ebook, "How an Inbound Marketing Agency Does SEO." For more insight on how professional agencies approach their search engine rankings, be sure to check out the full ebook.
For marketers and business owners, I know the following to be true:
With each new page, blog article, or redesigned website comes a ton of pom-pom waving.
Much like a Harlem Globetrotters pre-game, the room is usually seeping with confidence that these new pages will drive a "ton more traffic."
It's during this time of jubilation that many tasks are commonly overlooked that directly affect your ability to rank higher in search engines. Below we've compiled a six-point checklist to ensure you don't miss any on-page SEO opportunities before your new page goes live.
6 Tips to Ensure Stronger On-Page SEO
1. – Optimize Your Page Titles
When it comes to overall importance, nothing is more critical than your page title or title tags.
It’s the first thing search engines read when scanning your website. Page titles are critical because they’re basically telling the search engines what you’re trying to get found for.
Here is where many companies drop the ball with their SEO strategy.
It’s important to optimize your page titles with the appropriate keyword you’re trying to rank for. Simply titling your page, “Home”, or “Services” is going to severely impact the success of your campaign.
Instead, you should be titling your pages based on the keywords you’d like to get found for.
For instance, if you’re an ice cream shop located in Wallingford, Connecticut, you wouldn’t want your page title to be, “Bonini’s Ice Cream.” Instead, your page title should be something like, “Soft Serve Ice Cream in Wallingford.”
2. – Optimize for Local SEO
How important is optimizing for your location?
After typing in “soft serve ice cream” into Google, I received 5,530,000 search results.
When narrowed down to “soft serve ice cream in Wallingford, CT,” only 6,830 results.
Far less competition, which makes it much easier for your company to rank high. It also ensures that the right people are finding you.
As a local shop, you’re not likely to get any business from California; therefore it’s important you optimize your keywords and web pages with geographic locations, ensuring strong local SEO.
3. – Keep your URLs Clean
Simply put, your page URLs should reflect the page title.
All those URLs you see with an endless amount of numbers and symbols? Horrible for SEO.
Search engines like Google actually use URLs to understand the content for your pages. So choose a URL that’s simple, yet reflects the content for that specific web page.
4. – Optimize Your Images
Here at IMPACT, we’re big on creating content that’s very “readable,” meaning, we’d like our visitors to enjoy scanning through our website content.
This means including images, bullet points, headers, and anything else necessary to make our web pages visually appealing.
Obviously images go a long way here, as they’re an excellent way of making your content more appealing. However, if you use them correctly, they can also be more appealing to the search engines.
There are two ways of doing this; one is to give the image a relevant file name, preferable containing the keywords you’re trying to get the page to rank for.
For instance, any image contained in this Ebook should contain the file name, “how-an-inbound-marketing-agency-does-SEO.jpg.”
The second way to optimize your images is to include alt tags, allowing you to include keywords using a small piece of text to be included in the code of the image.
5. – Include Title Tags & Meta Descriptions Using Keywords
As discussed in #1, it’s important to give your page titles keyword-rich headers. The title shows up on the tab of the browser you have open as well as the title when listed in search engines like Google.
There’s a 75-character limit, so get creative and be sure to optimize with keywords.
The meta description of the page is the brief description displayed beneath the title of your page in search engines. This has a 150-character limit, and is important not only to optimize for keywords, but to also make attractive enough to entice users to click on your page in the search results.
6. – Create Internal Links
This is especially true for blog articles, but should also be applied to your other web pages as well.
When your creating content for your blog article or web page, link to some of the other blogs or pages on your website. This leads your visitors to even more content on your website, while also providing yet another SEO opportunity by including keywords in the anchor text of the link.