Helping your site to be visible in search engine result pages (serps) is a combination of on-site and off-site elements to aid in optimising of your website.
Here we will go through some of the methods that can be used to enhance your on-site SEO and help your website to be found organically, for terms that are appropriate and related to your website.
The biggest factor to keep in mind with working on-site for your website, is that what you are working on has a high level of quality, and is relevant to your site’s products and services.
For example, if you sell ice-cream, you wouldn’t suddenly start talking about kittens in top hats… unless of course it was about them eating the ice-cream.
On-site SEO begins with your keywords
When working on-site, the first step is to start with the Keywords and Keyphrases you want to target for your website. Even if you have done the research recently, it’s good to revisit this before looking at the methods below to make sure you have your site focused, and you will get the best results possible
With recent Google Panda (content quality) updates, it is important to keep in mind that the items you talk about are related to the key terms you have researched, and the information you provide shows you to be an authority in your field. You can get further details about how people currently get to your site through Google Analytics data, and looking at Search Engine Optimisation Queries, as well as Keywords that have brought people to your site. Combining this information with Keyword research gives a more thorough view of what other terms could be relevant for your current audience, as well as extra research options for future purposes.
Be sure to look at both exact match and semantic search, as the Googlebot is capable of looking at the knowledge graph database which has over 1.6 billion related facts to draw from in order to provide search query results. E.g. hats = beanies = caps.
By doing this you have the greatest opportunity to give your site strength from the start.
What are the main On-site SEO elements?
With the research you have done, go through the pages of your website to assess that the content on each page is of a high quality and answers people’s questions. If you have a very large site, it is best to start with either pages that currently get the most traffic, or pages you want to get the most traffic. When a single page is enhanced, it helps the strength of the site overall, and of course the home page generally has the most site strength, so is best to be addressed early on.
Go back to your research of the Search Engine Optimisation queries, and include answers for some of the questions from there, then aim to increase your content over 1,000 words on each of the main pages. An easy way of making this happen is to address 5 relevant topics and write 200 words (or so) for each one. Some of the 5 topics could be to do with a specific service you offer, a star product or information about the company.
Armed with information from your Keyword research, and checking that the content on the site is appropriate and relevant to the words and phrases you have chosen for that page, you can then move into crafting your Title for the page.
Check to make sure it fits with the current guidelines of 512 pixels, and that you are giving the user an idea of what to expect when they come to the page.
Here is where you can give further detail about what will be seen on the page. A Meta Description has no ranking benefits, and often people miss filling them out for that purpose. However a search engine will still show the results in the page it displays, and choosing what you want shown by filling out the description is better than letting the search engine choose what it can find.
Sometimes it will show data from your navigation, from your address details or from a review about your site. Meta descriptions can be used as a marketing tool, to entice people to come to your site over others.
Image Alt Tags
You can enhance images to help your website to be found in Google searches through adding information to the Alt tag. Adding details of what the image is, gives a better expectation of what the website is about for both users and for robots. These results will get shown in image searches, and people will still get an idea of what your website is about even if the image may not be able to be shown for some reason. While this may not be a high ranking factor, by using these tags you can help your website gain authority and move up in the ranking results.
Putting it all together
There are also other items you can do on your site to help increase visibility and traction through promotion, including blogging, video and infographics.
On-site SEO is one part of optimising your website, as off-site SEO is also highly important to help your website gain position and organic rankings.