Google can be picky at times, well, most times. Here are the first things to consider when wanting to get your page ranked at the top!
What is On-Site Optimization?
On-Site SEO, or on-page optimization, is the practice of making sure the hundreds of elements on your site are the way search engines prefer. Some of the elements are minor, some are major, but taking care of them all will ensure that engines like Google will be able to easily scan and index your website. on-page optimization is a mixture of content and code and keeping these things in check will help earn you a high rank.
The benefits of optimizing your website extend beyond ranking high, most of the guidelines laid out by Google also help users interact with your website. All of these components come together to make you site easily accessible by both users and indexes.
Plan Your Keyword Before you Begin
Research your competitors, often times they’ve already researched the market for you!
Use tools like SEMrush to gain SEO insights on your industry, and select the keywords and phrases you should be competing for.
Also remember that simply spamming your website with keywords won’t get you the same results it used to! Google and Bing have gotten very advanced and are wise to such tricks. It may be even better to look at your keywords as key topics. Consider a topic and make content about the topic that’s better than anyone else!
The longer a user is on a page with the content you’re wanting to rank for, the more valuable the keywords on-page are to Google. That’s right, not all Keywords are equal.
After learning about the keywords and topics you want to pursue, it’s time to get back to business.
Choose a URL and a Good Structure moving Forward
URL structure plays a massive role in Search Engine Optimization. An ideal URL is simple and doesn’t contain many numbers or symbols. Google wants users to be able to look at a URL and know where they’re going with ease.
See the difference?
Looking at the two URLs you can see that one is https:// which means it’s a secure site. Google punishes sites that aren’t secure, it’s a lot harder to rank if you don’t have that S. Here’s a guide on how to secure your site!
Next let’s look at the actual site, TulsaStable is good, clearly it’s a Stable here in Tulsa, Oklahoma, but, the bottom one is much easier for a user to understand that they are on a page to reserve a carriage ride. Google like clear and concise URLs that are easy to understand from a general user’s perspective. Try to use as few words and keep numbers out of your URL.
Checking your Headers and Content
The Headers, especially your <h1>, are one of the first things google scans on your page! So make sure you place your keywords there.
Use smaller headers throughout your content with words related to the topic. This helps keep readers engaged and also let’s Google know that the content is consistently on topic. For example this section has the header “Checking your Headers and Content”, those aren’t exactly words I want to rank for, but they are words related to SEO and on On-Site optimization.
You may think you have a brilliant idea, just use phrases that have keywords you want to rank for over and over again throughout your content. Well, Google will actually give you a slap on the wrist for that, that’s called keyword stuffing. In fact, if you’re writing enough content about your topic you may find it hard not to overuse the words you want to rank for!
What exactly is Page Speed
Believe it or not Page Speed isn’t quite as simple as it sounds, you might think that Page Speed is how long it takes a page to load, but that’s actually Page Load Speed, or maybe you think it’s how fast your website is, nope, that’s Site Speed. Now all three of these speeds are important for your ranking, but we should start with Page Speed.
Page Speed is how long it takes the first byte of data from the web server to reach the browser, and it’s something you have the least control over. Check your Page Speed here, if it’s slow you may need to contact your web host, or move hosts all together. Page Load Speed and Site Speed can be optimized by changing you site layout and code, but the speed of your server is dependent on the company hosting your website. If you’re big on upcoming technologies, you might check out cloud hosting, there’s even some speculation that using Google’s Cloud Platform to host your website will give you a boost in the rankings.
This is just the start of your journey to the top, Keywords, URL structure, and Page Speed are the first things to consider, but there’s a whole world of SEO ahead of you, if you want a more in depth guide to Local SEO, we already made one!
Growing cities [like Tulsa] can be tough to rank in, the best thing you can do is keep in mind what SEO does for you and continue to learn, but we know not everyone has time to stay up on the latest trends. We’ll keep making in depth posts on best practices for you, and if you decide you’d like some help feel free to reach out to us, we’re currently accepting new clients.
Do you have any local SEO tips?
Leave a comment down below and let me know if this guide was helpful.