6 Simple but Critical On-Page SEO Tips
:: By Travis Bliffen, Stellar SEO ::
Link building is critical to the process of obtaining higher rankings. Even so, failing to refine your on-page SEO will reduce the effectiveness of your hard earned links and can prevent your site from cracking the first page for your most valuable phrases.
Today, we are going to discuss some straightforward but effective steps you can take to improve your on-page SEO, maximizing your link value and creating the solid foundation your site needs to rank.
1. Mobile Friendly is a Must
I know many of you are thinking “duh, everybody knows that” but the truth is, a survey conducted by clutch.com indicated that 32 percent of small businesses did not have a mobile-friendly site or were uncertain as to whether or not their site was mobile friendly. As many of you know, Google has openly noted the benefit of having a mobile friendly site, so if your site isn’t mobile friendly, you need to address that. If you are not sure whether or not your site is, you can check with the free Google Mobile Friendly Testing Tool.
2. Dial in Page Speed
Again, this is not ground breaking information but, there are so many slow sites frustrating ’Net users. If you run a website that sells products, you should be even more concerned with page speed than your blogging counterpart as Neil Patel pointed out, “if you have an e-commerce site making $100,000 per day, a 1 second delay in loading time could cost you 2.5 million dollars in lost conversions over one year”. If you are not sure how well your site performs you can use the free Page Speed Insights tool or GT Metrix.
3. Killer Meta Descriptions
It is pretty well agreed upon that Meta descriptions do not directly impact SEO. That being said, Meta descriptions are possibly one of the most valuable parts of your on-page SEO strategy. A joint study between Iacquire and SurveyMonkey found that 43.2 percent of people click on a search result due to the Meta description. This is obviously helpful in maximizing traffic to your site and with recent murmurings about CTR and user engagement affecting rankings, this is one area that you do not want to speed through. Think of each Meta description as the elevator pitch for that page.
4. Topical Pages Trump Single Keywords
First, let me say the one exception to this is local SEO, in the case of local, having a specific page for a service and location can be very effective. If you are targeting organic rankings topical pages are the way to go. As Google continues to advance their understanding of relationships between words, we see that topical pages can rank for several related search phrases, even if they do not appear on the page. This is commonly referred to as using LSI keywords. Put simply, they are context clues for search engines. One popular example used to explain this is the term “apple.” If the article contains words like fruit, healthy, Granny Smith, it is apparent to Google that the article is referring to the food. If the article instead contained terms like iPod, iPhone, Steve Jobs, it would be apparent to Google the article is about the electronics powerhouse.
5. Understand Your Audience
There are countless articles about creating content but the one thing I see omitted often is audience research. Yes, there are several ways to find articles or topics that were popular on other websites but, that does not mean they will be popular on your site. As part of your most basic business planning, you should identify your target audience and create a persona for each segment. You could write the best article ever conceived about Bass fishing but if your audience is car enthusiasts, it will not go over well. Tightening your target up even more, if your audiences is packed with avid Crappie fisherman, your Bass article will also not perform as well as a Crappie article would have. If you cannot describe your idea customer, their knowledge, and interests, you are going to struggle to consistently create popular content. Resist the urge to speak to everyone and instead write for your perfect customer, then find sites with a similar audience and research content ideas.
6. Only Post When It’s Helpful
For the past few years, sites have been churning out post after post, not promoting any of them, and wondering why it hasn’t helped. Brian Dean was one of the first to take a stand against this theory and encourage people to instead focus on creating better content, even if it is less frequent. As you post less you will find you have more time to improve each article that you write and that often translates into better written and more informative articles. In many cases, the extended content length will naturally include more LSI keywords, meaning more search traffic potential and the ability to touch on a topic of interest to more people. You still have to promote your blog posts but, you will find yourself having more success the more helpful your articles are.
Test, Measure, Repeat
As you work to improve your site, you don’t have to do everything perfectly. What works great for one site may not work great for your site. As you make changes to your site keep tracking of how those changes influence your rankings and site traffic. Segment changes so you can identify the cause and effect from a specific edit. Also, don’t be afraid to change back to the original if it seems to have worked better. The only way to truly know what works best for your site is to continually monitor, test and improve.
Over to you…
What is one on page change that you have found to be especially helpful for yourself or your clients?
Travis Bliffen is the founder of Stellar SEO, a Web design and marketing firm located in Franklin, TN. Travis and his team are equipped to handle any size SEO project and have helped numerous businesses to date build a rock solid online presence. When you are ready for more leads and sales, it is time to get #stellarized. Connect on Facebook or Twitter @theseoproz