In yesterday's Daily Golden Nugget, I began a discussion about the differences between Technical SEO, On-Site SEO, and Off-Site SEO
, and I detailed several very important, but sometimes boring aspects of what I refer to as the technical side of SEO.
Technical SEO is certainly something that computer scientists and programmers do best. Even though the technical SEO procedures are important, I don't often notice a spike in visitor traffic or a high return on investment for technical SEO work like I do with On-Site SEO or Off-Site SEO.
Technical SEO provides long term stability for your SERP ranking, and sometimes it's difficult for website owners to see the real benefit of this. Honestly, that technical stability is important for the On-Site and Off-Site SEO to flourish. Unless your website is broken, the benefits of the technical side of SEO are difficult to observe.
I'm moving now to something with benefits that are much more obvious to notice: On-Site SEO.
This category of search engine optimization work began years ago with the mystique of being technically oriented, but it has always been a simple set of tactics that work together to increase your ranking.
The mystery of those tactics is long gone since so much has been written about them. There are so many content management systems available today make it very easy to manage all of your on-site needs; all that's left is the creative talent to do the work.
And it does take some creativity, some marketing know-how, and a keen awareness of what your customer react to.
Here now are the top On-Site SEO
tactics you should employ:Page Title Tags
Perhaps I could never write enough
about the importance of the Page Titles of your web pages. Some content management systems will auto-generate them for you, but they are never perfect. You really should write the page titles yourself, and they should be unique for every page.
The page title should be the title or overall topic of the page in a few words as possible, preferably less than 67 characters long with the first 2 or 3 words being the most important.Meta Description
This is another topic I frequently write about
. Like the Page Titles above, some content management systems will also auto-generate them for you by pulling information from the page. Those auto-generated descriptions are usually pretty robotic sounding.
This is where a little creative marketing talent can come in handy. Google usually only displays 150 characters of the meta description on the search results so strive for that maximum character count. The best tactic here is to write a sales message that convinces someone to click the link to your website.Image ALT and TITLE Attributes
Earlier in 2014, I started noticing a real organic traffic benefit for those jewelry sites which use the alt and title attributes
for images. Most of the time the websites are getting a boost in Google Image Search results when using the ALT attribute without the TITLE attribute.
Your SEO professional will usually only advise you to add the ALT attribute, but I like to also include the TITLE attribute because that's what some browsers, screen readers, and visual disability apps look for. If you take the time to add the ALT attribute it only takes a few more seconds to copy and paste the same information into a TITLE attribute.
Keep the information you write in the ALT attribute short and descriptive. In fact, it should describe the image.Content
Listing content as one of my on-page optimization methods is really a broad statement. Content includes blogging, photography
, product catalogs
, educational information
, or anything else you can think of that adds extra pages to your website.
The best people to create this content are your own employees, or yourself. Although you can outsource
the creation of some of your content, you'll have the best impact on your SEO if you control what is created.
As for blogging, the best alternative to doing it yourself is to find an agency that specializes in writing for your industry, or hiring someone who already has a passion, perhaps even some experience working in your industry.Topic Focus
In the past, I would have called this "keyword focus" but I want to make sure we pull further away from the idea that you need to write for specific keywords. Keywords are still important, and if you want to rank for "engagement rings" and "jewelry stores" then you occasionally have to use those words on your website. In fact, every page of your website, every blog, and every educational article should include at least one of the most important keywords that attracts paying customers to your site.
However, it's not the keywords that are important as much as making sure that every page of your website has a specific focus
When focused on a single topic, it's easier to write a 2 or 3 word page title and a simple meta description that explains exactly what they will find on that page.Header Tags
Like the main headline of a newspaper, the main "Header" of each individual web page should be an appropriate headline for all the information found on that page. Writing a headline is also easier when you have a single topic focus for that page.
There are six header types that are referred to as H1, H2, H3, H4, H5, and H6.
The header 1, or <h1>, is the most important one to have on your page. You should only have one H1
, and it should be similar to the page title for that page.
The H2 can be used a few times to indicate sub-headings of your page, and the H3 as highlights under the sub headings. The H4 to H6 are used by advanced SEOs when they are trying to squeeze every possible drop of SEO from their site.Product Catalogs
Not many people would classify an online product catalog as an SEO strategy, but I've seen many retail jewelers jump up very high in ranking after they implemented a large online jewelry product catalog
Online catalogs include all the positive ingredients that help content building: photos, pages, keywordsDesigner Pages
If you can't add a product catalog to your website then you can settle for a dozen or so designer line pages
. You might not consider these as part of an On-Site SEO strategy, but this also adds a lot of content to a website.
Typically, this content includes a write-up about the designer, their logo, and a few product photos. If your website suffers from a paltry 20 visitors per day, then you can easily double your traffic by adding some designer line pages.
All of these On-Site SEO suggestions require forward thinking, long term planning, commitment, even a sharing of responsibilities. There's too much work here for a single person unless it was their full time ongoing job.
I still have to cover the topic of Off-Site SEO, but I'll do that tomorrow. Until then...