If you manage a website or blog, you should watch your traffic closely. Pay attention to when it increases or decreases and look for patterns. Chances are, you want more traffic. And one of the best ways to attract more is to rank as high as possible in Google and other search engines. So one indispensable area of focus should be on-page SEO (search engine ranking). The term refers to changes you can make within your site itself to help it rise in the rankings.
Yoast says, “We believe on-page issues should all be tackled as they’re in your own hands.” And we here at Site Bloggers agree! Learn how to improve your on-page SEO with these tactics.
Write For On-Page SEO
Before you can write any content, you have to know what keywords you want to rank for. Don’t just scratch your head and guess what terms your potential customers might type into Google. Research it. Use research tools like Google Trends or Google Adwords. Review your analytics to learn what terms people are already using to find you. Or, go straight to the source. Consider conducting a survey or focus group of your potential target market to learn how they find companies like yours.
Next, write well but stick to an eighth or ninth grade reading level. Install a plugin that reviews your readability and/or Flesch reading ease and Flesch-Kincaid grade level. Stay on topic, but cover the topic thoroughly. Google views longer articles as more authoritative, assuming they’re well done. A blog is a great place to dive deep into a topic.
Code For On-Page SEO
Google reads your code, so make sure it can “understand” what your company offers. Hire excellent coders. Your code should be free of clutter and should not unintentionally block search engines from finding it. Then, install an SEO plugin such as Yoast to keep tabs on things as you go.
Certain pieces of code relate specifically to how search engines crawl your site. For example, a robots.txt file, explained in more depth here by Yoast, tells the engine where to go. If used well, it can help, but it can also backfire. Make sure you or your developer knows how to use tools like this correctly.
Keep your content fresh. Google reviews sites frequently and gives priority to those with the freshest content. A blog is a great way to supply your visitors with a steady stream of new content. Also, a visitor will tend to leave right away if they see only the same old material they’ve already read.
Keep adding new content to maintain freshness but also increase the number of pages a search engine can find. The more pages you have out there, the better the chances people can find you.
Links affect SEO. You may often think about inbound links–links to you from other sites–which fall under off-page SEO. Don’t neglect the use of links on your own site. Link to other authoritative sites, but only when the destination adds value for your reader. Too many links will distract or even drive your reader away! Then, keep an eye on those links to make sure they don’t break. If the business on the other end takes down the content, you now have a broken link–not something you want. Make sure those links open in a new browser tab, so the reader doesn’t leave your page. They might want to refer to the secondary content later, but should continue with you in the meantime.
Link internally, too. As you blog and increase your breadth of content, you will find more and more opportunities. Expand upon your own thoughts and ideas in new posts, then link between the posts. Direct people to other pages of your site when it makes sense, too. If you mention a product or service, send the reader to the relevant page.
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