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There are many misconceptions about SEO, but probably the most significant is that it is difficult. Although optimizing your site does require time and effort, anyone can do it. The easiest way to think about SEO is to divide it into on-site and off-site. You need to utilize both to maximize your impact.

On-Site SEO

On-site SEO, as the name suggests, refers to all the efforts that take place on your website.

Keywords

Keywords are the most important aspect of on-site SEO. Each page of content should contain several keywords, whereas your homepage should rank for just a single keyword that is neither your brand name nor your company name. To determine which keywords to use, you need to conduct research.

Research starts with you and your team developing a list of ideas that represent what your business does. Focus on long-tail keywords, as these are easier to rank for than short-tail keywords. If you are struggling to come up with ideas, use a free tool. Try to generate at least 500 but aim for 1500.

Once you have your list of keywords, you need to determine which are worth using for your content. Again, turn to one of the free tools available to you. View how each compares according to ranking, competition, and performance. Make a note of the best — you will be able to use these for various pages of content — but select just five as potential options for your homepage.

You will need to run the five top keywords through a couple additional tests. First, look at Google Trends to compare keyword volume and trajectory. Once you have found the top two or three options, you will need to determine the difficulty of ranking for them.

Simplify the process by downloading the SEOQuake Chrome extension, turning on the parameters for Google index, Alexa rank, Webarchive age, SEMrush SE Traffic, SEMrush links, and SEMrush linkdomain. This will enable you to find out the Google index, page links, URL links, age, and traffic for pages currently ranking for the keywords.

Run a search for each of your keywords to see where it would be easiest to take the top ranking. You have the greatest opportunity with a keyword where the current top results are reasonably low-authority sites with low traffic, a recent age, and few links and index pages. It is even better if you find pages where the keyword does not even appear.

HTML Tags

Another way to develop on-site SEO is with your HTML tags. These ensures Google knows what your page is about.

Your keyword should be in the <title> tag, near the beginning, best of all in the first words. Your <title> tag will ideally contain no more than 65 characters, as this will allow it to be completely viewable. Keywords should also be in the first <h1> tag of the page, any other header tags (or at least as synonyms), <alt> tags for images, the meta description, the URL, and the first paragraph of copy.

Finally, ensure that the text on your homepage is at least 300 words, containing both the keyword and its synonyms, leading to a total keyword density of between 0.5 percent and 2.5 percent. The content should be completely original, with no similarities to other pages on your site, and should contain dofollow links to other pages.

Off-Site SEO

Off-site SEO is all about links. Every link to your website is an indication to Google that others will find value in your site.

Link Juice

You receive link juice every time an authoritative site links to you. Even links on your own homepage can pass link juice to other pages, provided your homepage is authoritative. You can check your current link juice in Google Search Console.

For SEO purposes, you need to maximize link juice, which you can achieve through link building. It may sound illogical but the amount of manual link building you carry out yourself should be minimal. This is because Google notices manually built links and will flag your site as spam. Instead, you should use some of the following methods.

Blogging

The top way to build links it to create great content that others want to share. You can also try ego baiting — mentioning reputable businesses and professionals in your own blog posts to encourage shares by those named. A third option is to guest blog for an authority site and insert a few links within the content leading to your own website.

Web 2.0s

Web 2.0 is SEO jargon for a social site. By posting a link to your website in your social media profile, status updates, and video descriptions, you improve link juice, especially when these links originate from popular domains. Avoid reposting links, as this will hurt your SEO.

Expired Domains

By purchasing expired domains and restoring them close to the original, you can include links to your website and pass yourself link juice. This does require ample effort, but it will pay off.

Broken Links

One final tactic is to find a high-authority site that has links to external pages that have since been deleted. Contact the owner of the website and offer your own content to replace these links.

About The Author

Laura Holton

Utilizing her knowledge of SEO and inbound marketing practices, Laura has gained significant attention for her articles and blog posts. Writing on a range of B2B topics, she helps entrepreneurs take their businesses to the next level, provides inspiration, and solves the most pressing problems small businesses face.


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