SEO best practices have proven to improve websites ability to rank well. Business owners gain from having their small business websites appear at the top of search results. SEO Best Practices when implemented properly can have major influence in the outcome of your business website ranking successfully on search engines.
SEO Best Practices – Introduction
There are two types of SEO best practice strategies: On Page SEO Best Practices and Off Page SEO Best Practices. On Page SEO Best Practices utilize techniques applied on your website to increase your website’s search ranking. Off Page SEO Best Practices uses tactics applied externally to increase your site’s search ranking. For almost instant results, on page SEO best practices will help immediately boost your site’s rankings. We call this going after the “low hanging fruit”. These small changes can have a dramatic impact on your rankings. This post is an introduction to On Page SEO Best Practices that small and medium business owners can implement on their own.
SEO Best Practices – On Page
Keyword research is the first step to creating a successful SEO campaign. Keyword research will determine the core keywords to rank for on search engines. Keyword research is an activity that requires a significant amount of time, so budget accordingly.
Plan to use keywords that represent your business and services with a secondary goal to find the best opportunities to rank. If you are in a competitive industry and/or market, then avoid highly trafficked keywords. Your better bet would be on the “long tail keywords”.
For example. A mover: Instead of focusing on “Toronto Movers”, you might want to choose one of your services such as: “Toronto Apartment Movers”. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking solely of your core business, think of the other areas of your business that also bring in customers.
“Metadata” is what everyone thinks of when they think of SEO. Metadata essentially describes your page to the search engines. Use unique metadata for each page of your website. Your metadata should accurately describe the content of the page. Relevant metadata should be applied to these two key meta tags:
- Title Tags: A well written title tag looks like this: <title>Core Keywords | Brand </title>. Place your keywords at the front of the title tag and leave brands or business names to the back or tail. Remember title tags should have a maximum of 56 characters, after that Google will truncate your message. It’s also not advisable to place duplicate title tags on other pages of your website.
- Meta Description: A description tag should look like this: <meta name=”description” content=”Description of the page in sentence one. Call to action in sentence two”/> A meta description does not have an impact on rankings. Google has been known to craft descriptions from search queries and content found on the page if the description is not accurate. However, with an optimized meta description you have better control over what Google displays and this can have an impact on click-through-rates (CTR). CTR is an important component of the SEO algorithm ranking process. Currently, description tags should be maximized at 155 characters. As with title tags, it’s important each page have a unique description tag so try to avoid duplicating the description tags on other pages of your website.
- Meta Keywords: Meta keywords are a waste of your time. Around 2010 Google announced because of keyword stuffing, they no longer use meta keywords as a ranking factor. So despite what your neighbour who read an article about SEO in 2005 thinks, keywords as a ranking factor are indeed dead.
Content is essential to SEO success. Without content, it’s challenging for search engines to determine how to rank your page.
- Text Content: While indexing pages of your website, search engines read textual content, not media such as images or videos. So your page should have a decent amount of text to be considered relevant. The recommended minimum is 300 words.
- Keywords: While the keyword tag is irrelevant, having keywords in your body copy is an important part of On Page SEO Best Practices. Avoid using too many keywords within the copy as this is known as keyword stuffing and is considered a penalizing action by search engines.
- Header Tags: Header tags have a major influence on rankings. Use keywords in your header tags (H1, H2, H3, etc.) to help structure your content.
Nice to Haves:
- Alt Attributes: Images are visually appealing to your visitors. Problem is search engines can’t read images, but they can read file names and alt attributes. Name your image files using keywords and always use ALT attributes.
- Google Analytics. Google Analytics tell you the story of the performance of your website. Learning Google Analytics will help you learn more about your website’s strengths, weaknesses, and SEO opportunities. Don’t forget to incorporate Google Analytics little brother Google Webmaster Tools for additional information such as search queries.
- Active Blog: Adding content to your website is a great way of being active. And one of the best ways is with an active onsite blog. In addition to having a blog to implement fresh content, updating your content regularly is always a good practice.
By implementing these SEO On Page Best Practices you will improve your chances of an increased ranking on the search engines which will lead to an increase in traffic which in turn should lead to an increase in leads or sales.
How Well is YOUR site performing?
If you would like to find out more about how to apply these SEO Best Practices to your website, SEO Services Toronto will perform a best practices evaluation on your site and create a step by step plan to bring your site up to best practices. We can then walk you through the process as part of our DIY SEO Course or our experienced consultants will perform the work.
Don’t let a poorly optimized site prevent you from online success. Get your SEO Best Practices evaluation today!