Once you’ve created quality content for your website and blog, one of the biggest challenges is driving traffic to your new content. While there are many ways to achieve this (social media, backlinks, etc.), one of the most important inbound marketing vehicles is organic search engine results. This is because a significant percentage of your website visitors should arrive on your website via search engines. So how do you make sure your content is showing up in the right results for the right users?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of maximizing the number of visitors to your site by appearing high on the list of search results. While much of SEO requires in-depth knowledge and skill, there are a few things that every website owner can do to optimize their websites for search engine success.
5 On-Page SEO Tactics
1. Focus Keywords are the foundation of your on-page search engine optimization. Your focus keywords tell Google the topic of your content so Google can properly match your content with searches.
Your title tag should be at least 35 and no more than 51 characters long. A title tag that is too short might make it appear as if the content on the page isn’t substantial, and a title tag that is too long might make it appear as if the content isn’t concise. Falling on either end of the spectrum could negatively affect your SEO, so make sure you get the length and substance of your title tags into the sweet spot.
Meta-descriptions should be between 121 and 156 characters. Just like with a title tag, there is a sweet spot regarding the length of meta-descriptions that tells users and Google that your content is well thought out, polished, and concise. A proper title and meta-description produces a search result that is neatly formatted, informative, and enticing.
4. Headings, also known as H1 Tags or H1 headers, are emphasized text. They are crucial in SEO because H1 tags tell Google that the words in the H1 tag are important. The H1 tag is meant to stand out on the page and inform the reader and Google on what the content is about. While the H1 is the primary and most prominent heading on a page of digital content, the H’s range downward (h2, h3, h4, and so on) and often vary in font, size, and color.
5. Image Alt-tags are very often overlooked, but can add SEO value to your content. This is the text that shows up if for any reason the image cannot be displayed. If you use pictures in your content (and you really should), specifying an alternate tag for the picture will help Google understand what that image is, how it relates to your content, and how best to match your content with searches.
The appropriate level of repetition of your focus keywords is a crucial balance you must strike for search engine success. If you use keywords too often, search engines will deem your content as spam due to keyword stuffing. If you don’t use your keywords often enough, your website pages will not rank for your target keyword phrases.
Your keywords should be used in your content, title tag, meta-description, H1 tag, and image alt-tags. When you utilize your focus keywords in these instances, it confirms for Google that your page is very relevant to the focus keyword topic, and is a good search engine result to serve up when users search for it.
While the world of search engine optimization is often complicated and illusive, using these on-page SEO tactics is a great way to start building your website’s credibility with search engines easily and efficiently.