The estimated spend on SEO in the United States for 2016 was close to $65 billion. That’s a lot of money to spend on something many people called a ‘passing fad’. It makes us ask the question, why spend money towards onsite SEO?
Some say to this day that SEO is dying, but it’s quite the opposite.
SEO is thriving.
With growth expected to hit $72 billion by 2018, you might be wondering where the best place to spend your money might be.
Whilst many companies will go on the outbound campaign, many people forget that without the correct onsite SEO in place, the money you spend will be worthless.
With that in mind, I’ll take you through 10 onsite SEO hacks you can use to take control of your onsite SEO, right now.
1. Keyword Stuffing Is a Thing of the past for Onsite SEO
Search engines nowadays are smarter than your average bear. Since the introduction of the ‘Panda’ Google algorithm in early 2011, keyword stuffing has been a technique which has more often than not damaged a site’s SEO.
This is a hard thing to explain to a business, you’d imagine if you had 10 keywords you wanted to rank for, you’d want those on your site as much as possible, right? Wrong.
Panda introduced a quality score to web pages; this is then used as a ranking factor for your page. Simply put, if the keywords you’re using aren’t relevant to your page, they can harm your site.
2. Avoid Double Targeting with Long-Tail Keywords
You might be wondering what’s the best way to add extra keywords if you can’t repeat them over multiple pages. When you’re planning your keyword strategy, you can target some long-tail keyword terms to avoid double targeting.
Double targeting is simply when you have multiple pages on your site, targeting the same keyword. This actually confuses search engines as it doesn’t know which content is the most relevant.
It’s important to choose the right business keywords for your site, long-tail keywords are the three to four keyword phrases which are very specific to what you’re selling.
Combined with core keywords these are great for onsite SEO, as users who use long-tail keywords tend to be looking for the exact thing they want to buy.
3. Optimize SEO and User Experience for Mobile
So often, website owners and businesses are looking at their website from a desktop or a laptop and we forget about how it’ll look on mobile. With a whopping 51% of media consumed by mobile, website owners need to optimize their onsite SEO for mobile.
You should also be thinking about user experience, you don’t want to settle for a design which just looks good on mobile. Focus areas for optimizing for mobile should be in areas such as:
- Faster load times
- Reduced text
- Decluttered design
- Drop-down usability
These are just a few of the things that go a long way in providing a great mobile-browsing experience. Making changes like these can improve load times, leading to improved search rankings.
4. Improve Your Page Speed
Nobody likes a sluggish website, but many of us have parts of our site that drag down performance levels, affecting onsite SEO. From oversized/high-resolution images to server settings hiding in the background.
It’s something important that usually requires collaboration between the SEO and development team. The best way to see how your site is performing is a free site audit to see where your site is right now.
5. Trim Down Your Websites Index Bloat
Just like most American’s after a heavy Thanksgiving, websites can feel the effects of bloating too. It’s not unusual for E-commerce sites with lots of products to have their URLs index in a mess.
To solve this issue, you can perform a full indexable URL inventory. This will give you all the data you need to know which 80% of URLs are giving you 99% of your traffic from search results.
With that data, you can begin trimming unneeded URLs out of your index reducing the bloat.
6. Switching to Secure – HTTPS
With the upcoming changes Google is implementing very soon, it’s crucial to get ahead of the trend and make your site secure. Google Chrome, in the near future, will be marking all unsecured websites with a red ‘x’ on top of a padlock in the URL bar.
With Analytics USA listing Chrome as the most popular web browser of all time, this could be one of the most important changes you make. With 44.4% of users browsing through Chrome, you’d better pay attention.
7. Setup a Sitemap
Some web developers might scoff. ‘A sitemap? Obviously, that’s important!’ However, many of us let this simple and easy step slip.
A sitemap is simply an XML file that helps Google’s bots crawl your website more efficiently. It also points out your most recent updates and page ranking in accordance with relevance.
It might not be as much of a game-changer as some of the above options, but it’s a quick, easy win.
8. Use Header Tags Correctly
Header tags are the backbone of your content. They are what guide search engines and help pick out the most important parts of your website.
However, many websites don’t have enough header tags or sometimes use too many. Make sure that your main header tags are unique, and is relevant to your topic, and includes relevant keywords.
Try and make sure subheadings are also tagged appropriately, and remember — only one H1 header tag.
9. Fill Your Image Descriptions
Search engines cannot see your images. They understand your images based on the description you give them in your image’s Alt attribute. This description helps the search engine to understand your image and gives you an opportunity to make your page more keyword rich.
Try not to be too vague when describing your images, you can always elaborate ‘a dog on a lead’ to ‘a white border collie with a tennis ball on a lead.’
10. Name Your Links – Keyword Rich Anchor Text Rocks
Your anchor text is the name you give to the clickable text links on your page. Search engines use anchor text to verify content and to see how relevant the linked page is.
Using plain anchor text like ‘click here’ when linking internally or externally is a missed chance for you to improve your onsite SEO. Try to use relevant keywords that you want your page to rank for, but remember to pay attention to point #1 and don’t push it too far.
Time to Make Some Changes
With so many changes happening in the near future, and the growth of SEO throughout the internet, it’s never been more important to take hold and make some changes.
For support and more help getting your onsite SEO improved, reach out to us today for a free onsite review to help you understand where to focus first.