The number one rule when it comes to search engine optimisation is to offer value. The main objective should always be to look to answer the searchers needs as thoroughly and accurately as possible – while still providing a good user experience.
While the above is 100% true, we also need to understand that the results in the search engines aren’t picked manually – but rather by an algorithm. As such, there are plenty of technical aspects that you are able to tweak which have an impact on your rankings. These can be broken down as follows:
- Keyword Research
- Website Structure
- Website Speed & Security
- Titles & Headings
- Optimizing Your Content
- Internal & External Links
Before starting any on-page optimisation it is vital that you have done thorough keyword research. As the topic is so broad and requires in-depth discussion, we’ve put together a separate guide on the topic. Within it, we explain how to find the best keywords in your niche and then how to analyse your competitors for those keywords. Be sure to check it out before implementing any of the changes mentioned below.
FREE SEO AUDIT ON YOUR WEBSITE
After completing your keyword research, you should have your content groups ready for production. When planning your website structure, be sure to use these content groups to decide categories and which articles are going to be parent or child pages. This will ensure that your website gains both trust and topical relevancy.
Further to this, you want to ensure that you have a great user experience of the website. It won’t matter how good your content is if people don’t like the look of your site. If you have a high bounce rate and low dwell time then Google will often lower your rankings for those keywords.
In addition to a great user experience, it is important that your website has quick load times and is https (SSL) secured. Be sure to run regular page speed tests and mark the date when your SSL certificates are up for renewal. If you use Gorilla Marketing for your web hosting then follow the instructions on this page to install your security certificate.
Be sure to leverage an SEO friendly permalink structure for your website. Be sure to make them short, with use of your main keyword within. Also, when building child pages for purposes of long tail keywords or to boost the authority of the parent page – consider the permalink of the parent page as to avoid keyword stuffing on your child page.
Ideally, you want to start your title tag with your main keyword – as the title of the page is probably the most important on-page factor. Be sure to also add modifiers to your title such as ‘best’ or ‘award-winning’ in order to increase your CTR (click through rate).
Be sure to have an <H1> heading at the top of your webpage that explains what the page is about and makes use of your keyword and/or LSI variations of that keyword. After the title, experiments have shown that this is the second most important on-page ranking factor.
Be sure to make use of a variety of multimedia such as pictures, videos, animations and interactive widgets which will further answer the searchers’ needs and add to their overall user experience. When uploading, be sure to use keywords in the file names, ALT text and titles to further increase topical relevancy in the eyes of the search engines.
Be sure to use your keyword and as many variations of it that you can. This will not only help search engines further understand what your page is about but may also help you rank higher for those terms. To find phrases and keywords to add to your content that even the best SEO tools won’t find – try using TF-IDF.
Be sure to post long content that covers the topic comprehensively and adequately answers the needs of the searcher you are looking to target. Neil Patel of QuickSprout has a great copywriting guide that we recommend you read.
Be sure to link to high authority related websites in your content and at the bottom as references. This will help give search engines a better indication of what your webpage is about. Furthermore, on your main content pieces, you want to link internally to child pages that you create which expand further on the topic that the main page (parent page) has touched on.
While social signals have been shown to not directly impact search results – they are especially important to have before you start backlinking to your content. Be sure to have clear ways for users to share your content to maximise your social signal opportunities.