In today’s world of marketing, a website is a must, and to have a website today, you should be using proper onsite SEO. This way you have more opportunities in ranking in search engines.
My name is Justin Lewis and I’m going to go over 21 simple ways that you can improve your onsite optimization, this way you can have a better shot at ranking in the search engines (primarily Google and Bing).
I. Improve Content on Your Website for SEO
The content on your website is one of most important onsite factors in ranking. If you have unique and quality content, you’ll have a much higher chance of ranking for specific keywords.
1. Unique Content is Key
Your content should be unique. That means you should (or hire someone to) write content that is completely original and not stolen from other websites. Being one of the most important factors in ranking, unique content is going to give you a major advantage over the competition.
2. Create New Content
When you are looking for a cure for something, you want to know the latest details right? Well, the same goes for every niche online. If you are updating your website/blog regularly with new content, you’ll be given more credibility to the search engines. This is because many people toss up websites that are never updated, leaving the visitors with old information that can’t help them.
Another thing to consider is the fact that websites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube are constantly uploading new content all day long, since there are REAL people on these websites, and they are the largest websites on the internet, it’s obvious that people want updated information.
3. Keep Your Visitors Engaged with Your Content
Keeping your visitors interested in what you have to say can be tough. But this is a serious ranking factor. If someone goes to the search engines, visits your website, and immediately returns to the search engines, your rankings could fall. That’s because search engines want visitors to be engaged and help them find the right information. To do this you could add a YouTube video to your website, include images/charts, or just write really good content.
4. Use Keywords in Your Page Title
Want to rank for a specific term? Using the keyword in your actual page title is going to give you a big advantage over the competition. Just make sure that the content on the actual page is related to the title of your page.
5. Don’t Spam Your Keywords in Content
This should be obvious, but we see it all the time. Someone creates a site, tosses their keyword all over the place, and expects to rank.. it doesn’t work that way. You need to be natural in the way you include your keywords in the sites content. Don’t try to cheat your way to the top, that’s considered “black hat seo”.
6. Use Keywords in Image Alt Tags
Okay, we don’t want you to just toss random keywords into your images, but if they relate to the keyword, then it’s going to give you a fair advantage. Not only will you help your page rank, but you could also have the image rank. So include a simple “Alt tag” in your image. Don’t know how? Find out how to here.
7. Use Keyword in H1, H2, and H3+
H1, H2, and H3 (also known as Headings) help organize the content on your page. Giving priority to H1′s over H2′s. You can include your keyword in the H1 to help your visitors and the search engines better understand what your site is about. Many times using WordPress, the H1 is already included in the page title. Just remember not to spam the keyword all over the place and try to be natural. Maybe even use other iterations of the same keyword.
8. Keyword in Meta Title
When we setup pages, we keep the page title and meta title the same in most cases. By having your keyword in the meta title (which you can do with All in One SEO Pack) you are helping the search engines even more.
9. Use of Keyword in First 100 Words
You should be using your keywords in the first 100 words of the overall content on your websites pages. Obviously if your page is about something, you should talk about it, so keep everything natural and don’t spam. Also by using your keyword near the beginning of your content, you’re giving yourself an advantage.
10. Content Doesn’t Just Mean Words
It’s important that you understand that content doesn’t just mean words that you see on the screen. Content relates to everything on a site, including videos, images, audio, etc. But with other forms of content you’ll need to help the search engines understand what they mean. So instead of using ugly image URL’s like http://www.nicheoptimizer
11. Create Transcripts for Videos and Audio
Videos (and audio recordings) are great! They keep people entertained, helps those that are more visual and make your website come alive. But the search engines might not understand your video the same way, so by creating a transcript (writing what is said) you’re going to not only help the search engines, but also help foreign visitors find your site.
For example, with Halo 4 Fans, I discovered that the most popular city was Mexico City, Mexico. Originally, I only targeted US based visitors, but when I found out that many of the pages fans were speaking Spanish, I began to relate more closely by writing out some of what the videos I shared were about. I didn’t go heavy into detail or write a full transcript, but I did express what the overall idea behind the video was in English. This way, when Spanish visitors saw the content, they could easily translate it with tools like Spanish Dictionary.
II. Onsite Social Ranking Factors
In this section, I’ll express how Facebook, Twitter, G+, etc. can help you rank in the search engines and why they are important. I’ll also express a few offsite methods that are just as important.
1. Official Social Pages
The following social (and related) pages can help your website rank, by leading people into the site which can effect the other factors I’ll express right after this tip.
- Google+ Page (example)
- Facebook Page (example)
- Twitter Page (example)
- LinkedIn Page
- YouTube Channel (example)
The reason behind having these pages is to show that you are serious about your website/blog/business and relate to the following social ranking factors.
2. Google +’s
If your page has Google +’s your page is likely to show up much higher to friends of those who +’d something. So by adding a Google+ button to your site, you are helping others find your content via search results.
3. Facebook Shares, Comments, and Likes
Not only can this help your site rank, but by having Facebook shares, comments, and likes, friends of those who shared, commented, or liked your content will then see the link to your website in their newsfeed.
4. Twitter Tweets
You’ll notice at the footer of nicheoptimizer.com we show the amount of tweets that the main domain (nicheoptimizer.com) has had. By having this button at the bottom, someone can easily click on it and tweet to their friends that our website is helpful or offers some sense of value.
5. Other Social Ranking Factors
By having your site mentioned on sites like Digg, StumbleUpon, Reddit, etc. you can have your site not only rank in websites like Google, but also in the search engines for the individual websites (like how Reddit has a search bar of it’s own). To help you add these buttons to a WordPress website, you can use a WordPress plugin like Digg Digg.
III. The Domain Itself and How it Impacts Ranking
The domain name is highly important and is considered an onsite optimization factor because it’s the actual site you’re doing all the work on. I’ll go over a few tips to help your website rank in the search engines, but remember, Google’s Algorithm is changing regularly and certain factors could have a negative impact in the future (but aren’t the end of the world).
1. Exact Match Domains
Using your keywords in the domain name can have a positive impact if you are doing RCS and using white hat SEO methods. However, it can have a negative impact if you are simply throwing up a spammy website and using black hat SEO methods.
Don’t know what these are? Do your research on EMD’s.
2. Creating a Brand
Creating a brand is much different than just tossing up a website. By creating a brand (like Niche Optimizer) you will likely rank for the brand name (especially if it’s your domain name) and when people mention your brand to their friends/family they may search for it via Google or Bing. Brands can also acquire more trust because they are looked up to more than just another website. Trust is huge on the internet and is highly important to rankings.
3. Using .com, .net, .org
When you are trying to rank on a world-wide level, using a .com, .net, .org, .co, .info, etc. are usually more trusted on the internet. It doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world if you use a different TLD, because the main priority of a website is the value it offers to the visitors and search engines. It’s just common practice to use .com, .net, or .org.
Tip: Just because something is common, doesn’t mean it’s right. Take websites like bit.ly (who switched to .com but still use .ly for shortened URL’s), justin.tv, and other sites that have used .me in order to make for a more unique an interesting domain name.
4. Using Keywords in URL (permalink) and Length of URL
The URL is important for ranking and also helps visitors. You’ll notice this page is http://www.nicheoptimizer.com/improve-onsite-seo/ which is actually a shortened version of the original URL which was http://www.nicheoptimizer.com/21-simple-ways-to-improve-your-onsite-seo/ this makes it easier for the users to understand what the page is about and also helps the search engines narrow down the specifics of what the page is related to. The main keywords I wanted to target with this page were “Improve Onsite SEO”.
In WordPress you can easily change the URL by using permalinks.
IV. Everything is Content
I know I talked about this only a few steps back, but it’s important that you understand that everything is content.
And content is key.
So stop just tossing up pages with words and try adding a little bit of flavor to your site by adding images, videos, and audio recordings.
1. Make Your Content Pop
Use alt tags and proper image names, create great descriptions for your videos, and instead of just talking in an audio recording, share the written transcripts as well. These are all going to benefit you greatly and since the future of search is going to be even more interactive, people want to see video and also want to hear what’s going on.
With Siri you can say something and a result will pop up on your iPhone. And with Google’s image search, you can drag and drop images to find other related images. Try it out by searching for a term like “Master Chief” and dragging and dropping the results into the search bar.
I’d also like to pay respect to SEOMoz for sharing such amazing data with their Search Ranking Factors.
Tip: By linking to SEOMoz’s search ranking factors page with the “anchor text” above, we are telling the search engines that they know their stuff and have good content relative to the keywords. These are called backlinks and are apart of offsite optimization (I’ll have a post coming soon related to offsite optimization and how it can help you rank in search engines as well).