On-page SEO is the first step to creating an effective strategy to reach your target customers
Basic on-page search engine optimization (SEO) is fundamental. On-page SEO will help you position your website properly to be found at the most critical points in the buying process or when people need your site.
What are search engines looking for? How can you build your website in a way that will please both your visitors/customers, as well as Google, Bing, and other search engines? Most importantly, how can on-page SEO help your web presence become more profitable?
Protect yourself from getting burned in the rankings by avoiding these organic search offenses:
Terrible title tags – Title tags are one of the most important on-page SEO factors so it is essential that they be written using best practices. Title tags should contain relevant, targeted keyword(s) and be fewer than 60 characters long to avoid being truncated. Use pipes to separate keyword phrases and if there is room at the end of the tag, you can include the name of your company for branding purposes.
Keyword stuffing – This black hat tactic has been around since the beginning of SEO time. While cramming dozens of keywords into page copy may have worked years ago, Google got smarter and penalizes sites that do this. Your copy should include your targeted keyword but the page should be well written and read naturally.
Spammy backlinks – Backlinks from link exchanges, blog networks, article directories, advertorials, and foreign language websites are considered low-quality. As a result of the Google Penguin update, websites with these types of backlinks are considered to be spamming the search engines and are penalized. If your site has bad links pointing to it, remove them as soon as possible. You can do this using Google’s disavow links tool.
Focusing on broad keywords – Broad keywords are highly searched, but are also highly competitive. Targeting keywords that are too general can lead to disappointing results, as well as unqualified traffic. Consider focusing on long-tail keywords and phrases directed toward searchers who are looking for exactly what you have to offer on a specific page of your website. These highly targeted keywords are easier to rank well for and will likely generate a better conversion rate.
Forgetting about local search – If you serve a specific region, leaving local search out of your SEO strategy is a mistake that can cost you customers. Create individual landing pages for each of your locations that include the city and state in the title tag and the body copy. Make sure to also normalize your name, address and phone number (NAP) listing data to help the search engines determine how to rank results in geo-targeted searches.
Using ugly dynamic URLs – While search engines have become smarter in their ability to understand dynamic URLs, there are still significant advantages to creating cleaner, shorter, static URLs. This includes a higher click-through rate in search results since users have a better understanding of what content they might find on the page. You also have the ability to include keywords in the URL’s path, which can boost ranking. Plus, static URLs are simpler and easier to remember, which makes them a more user-friendly choice for including in branding and offline media.