Getting started with onsite optimisation
Onsite optimisation is an essential element of SEO. Here’s how you can make it work for you and your business.
You probably already know that search engine optimisation (SEO) is a crucial marketing tool for any online business, but how do you go about doing it?
It’s always best to start with online optimisation. Simply speaking, this includes everything that you can change or control on your website, and it accounts for around one quarter of your site’s SEO.
Here are some key steps to help get you started with online optimisation.
Find your keywords
Keywords are the foundation of SEO, so identifying your keywords is a vital first step in the optimisation process. Put simply, keywords are those words and phrases that people put into search engines to find your products and services. In order to identify the best keywords for your company you need to carry out some research and analysis on your industry, competitors and customer behaviour. But don’t worry if this seems a little daunting – there are some great online tools out there that will do most of the hard work for you.
A word of caution, however. While keywords are important for onsite optimisation, search engine bots prefer keywords that appear organically in relevant content, so avoid the bad practice of ‘keyword stuffing’ whereby you pack as many keywords into your pages as possible with little thought given to sense or relevance. It’s frowned upon by search engines and site visitors alike.
Use the metadata fields
Once you have your keywords lined up you can make a start on optimising your site. The first thing you should do is complete your pages’ meta-titles and meta-descriptions with relevant keywords. As well as helping people to instantly see what a page is about, optimised meta-data will also make it easier for search engines to rank your pages. And, while you’re at it, don’t forget to create unique titles for each of your pages. For best results, these should be a maximum of 65 characters, displaying your priority keyword first, followed by your company name.
If you have a large website, this can seem like an insurmountable task, so break it into bitesize chunks by starting with those pages which are most important to your business.
Don’t forget your images
As you’re optimising your pages, don’t forget about your images. Great images can make a huge difference to your website, supporting the rest of your content and making it a more engaging experience for visitors – but, for best results, you need to make sure your images are optimised. To do this, you simply have to complete the image’s alt-text field with keyword-rich content that is relevant to the web page and the image itself. As an additional pointer, try not to upload any images that are too large as these can slow down your site which, in turn, impacts negatively on your search engine position.
Content is king
When it comes to digital marketing, you’ve probably heard the phrase ‘content is king’. Search engines love good content, and your site’s content (or lack of) will have a big impact on where you sit in the search engine rankings. So, for effective onsite optimisation, you need to create a regular stream of unique, high-quality and, above all, relevant content for your site – from product descriptions and how-to-guides, to news articles and blogs.
Rich content in particular scores highly with search engines, so think about adding some engaging audio and video content to your website. As well as helping your SEO it will also give your visitors a more positive experience and encourage them to stay on your site for a greater length of time.
Include internal links
When creating your content, think about how you can include links that direct customers to other parts of your website. Strong internal linking enables search engine bots to easily jump from page to page, giving them a greater understanding of your website and which pages are relevant to each other. It also provides a more seamless experience for visitors and keeps them on your site for longer – so it’s a win-win all round. Just make sure that the links are included naturally within the text and are not disruptive to the reader.
These relatively simple steps should put you on the road towards SEO success, but if you need some extra help you might want to consider hiring an agency that provides onsite SEO services. With a little expert know-how you can take your onsite optimisation to the next level and see your company soar up the search engine rankings.