Today I’m going to get a little more technical and talk about on page SEO as it relates to small businesses and important factors to have on your page.
Here is the video from our live hangout for those that just want to sit back and listen
Search Engine Optimization or SEO for short contains 2 major factors.
- On Page SEO: This is the process of optimizing your website for search engines to make it as simple as possible for the search engines such as Google and Bing to understand what your page is about.
- Off Page SEO: With Off Page SEO you are connecting with other sites to establish your authority and social proof to re-enforce your onpage SEO. In it’s simplest form this is link building but really it’s so much more.
It’s important to note that I see service based websites ranking locally all day long with little to no off page SEO being done. This is normally because they took the time to get things done right on page.
Another disclaimer I will make is that no single SEO company will do things the exact same way. At marketingplaybook.co we take a more holistic approach to SEO and focus on several different methods to help drive traffic to websites with both paid and organic search traffic.
Choosing your CMS
Content Management system or CMS is the backend software you use to build your website. It’s still common to see websites built from scratch but if your current website needs a make over or you need to upgrade your current website then you should choose WordPress.
WordPress allows you to quickly build your website and customize the look and feel with thousands of templates freely available online.
You can find some great paid templates from places like studiopress.com and elegantthemes.com.
Some other clear benefits of using WordPress are
- 1 Click updates to keep your website code secure from hackers
- Millions of developers are familiar with WordPress so you can get help for relatively cheap
- Thousands of plugins available for WordPress that let you easily do all kinds of fancy things with your website
- Mostly Search Engine Friendly Out of the Box. Mostly…
Major On Page Factors
The Meta Title of the page is the first line you see in Google
Here you will see we just have “Developing a Content Strategy For Your Small Business” as the meta tile or our article.
What you do not want to do is Keyword stuff your title tag. Think of an accurate way of describing your company or the article and just make it sound natural while possibly putting in your main keyword.
“Ricks Auto Repair and Service in Saint Paul”
Google Typically shows the first 50-60 Characters so try not to go over that and be as relevant as possible.
A great little article that is more in-depth on this matter can be found at https://moz.com/learn/seo/title-tag
Depreciated: It’s worth mentioning that there are two meta tags that no longer hold value for Google. These are Meta Descriptions and Meta Keywords. Older SEO content may refer to you optimizing these two sections but the value of doing so is no longer there.
You will still optimize the Meta Description but not really for Google. More on that a little later.
This will normally be the Name of the post. It can be the Exact same as the title of the page. You only want 1 H1 tag on your page. This is so the search engines know the main focus of what your page is about. This is also why it’s fairly common to have the H1 be the same as the Title.
Generally When I write Content I may switch up the H1 tag and title tag if I think I may be over optimizing or if I want to focus on a separate main keyword. When in any doubt just write a natural sounding title that is readable and accurate.
Name of URL string
The Actual name of your URL plays a major factor in ranking. Google assign high weight to the name of urls so having an accurate url that describes what your page is about is important.
The idea is not to stuff your URL string with keywords. Be natural, short and to the point.
Content plays one of the most important roles for on page ranking. Google is now smart enough to know what your page is about and what to rank it for without you having to jam in keywords trying to optimize your page.
My biggest advice here is to once again be 100% natural and focus on educating your client on the product or service that you have to offer. I would make zero effort to include keywords you want to rank for because it’s just not needed when combined with a solid content marketing strategy.
To determine the length of content I recommend you simply search online for the keywords your wish to rank for and take a look at the top 3 web pages that are ranking for each keyword term. You can copy and paste the main text of a page into word to see how many words are on the page.
In most cases I strive to have 600-1200 words on a page but again you just want to be straight and to the point and focus on the customer. You do not want to write filler content that nobody wants to read.
List Your Address and Phone Number
The last item ultra high on my list to focus on is having your address clear and present on your entire site as well as your phone number present on your website. This should be the same address and phone number used to claim all your business listings.
What’s that? You have not claimed your business listings online? Be sure to read our Content Strategy Guide for small businesses located at http://marketingplaybook.co/hangouts/developing-content-strategy-small-business/
Site architecture is simply how your site is laid out.
If I were to build a flow chart for an automotive companies the top level categories might look something like
- AC Service and Repair
- Brake Service and Repair
- Check Engine Light
- Cooling System
- Engine Repair
- Oil Change
- Starting and Charging Systems
- Steering and Suspension Service
- Transmission Service and Repair
- Tune Up Service
- Wheel Alignment Service
Under each of these categories I might have other articles of interest to my readers as well that all link back up to the parent category.
For instance let’s look at “Engine Repair”
Under this I might have other articles like
- Piston Rings
- Connecting Rods
- Timing Gears
- Timing Belt
- Oil Pan
- Oil Pump
Each of these pages would both link back to the parent category as well as back to the home page.
This kind of site architecture is known as a Silo.
The end goal is to help build up internal links on your site that then point back to your more important main level pages that you want to rank for.
When combined with an of page SEO strategy and paid marketing this can be a really strong winning combination
Staying Relevant and Fresh
Google Loves New. Part of on page SEO is having your content strategy in place where you are writing fresh content for your website.
How much fresh and new content you need really depends on your industry and how competitive your niche is online.
At the end of the day you need to create new content that shows you are an expert in your field and content that helps to build trust with your readers.
Important Landing Page Factors for Marketing
While on page SEO is important, you need to have a clear focus on generating leads or sales.
For service based individuals this more commonly means getting people to just call you. In order for them to do this you need to have your phone number front and center and be inviting.
Talking on the phone about a subject matter that someone is unfamiliar with to a stranger can be very hard for plenty of people. Many experience anxiety when calling.
whenever I look over a website, the first thing I normally suggest for service based customers is to have a really big phone number and a prompt to have potentials clients call in.
Call Us To Talk About Your Car Problem
To go a step further you should now be linking your phone number via html code so those on their mobile phones can just press the phone number and call without having to dial. See http://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/mobile-web-quick-tip-phone-number-links–mobile-7667
I already talked about site architecture but the visual layout of your site is important. This is another reason why I really like WordPress because it’s rather easy to find a website template that works well for you without having to mess around.
Your layout of the site should be very easy to navigate and give clients an easy way to research and find the information they are looking for.
The Actionable information should be very prominent on the page such as your phone number or where you want the user to click.
If your potential customer cannot find the information they need there is a high chance they will simply leave your site and go elsewhere.
Other Relevant items you need to consider
Unique Titles and Descriptions
It’s important that all your pages have different titles and descriptions so Adwords understands what each page is about.
If you have existing content on your website that does not provide useful information or extremely short in length then you may want to remove those pages and combine the content on another page.
How fast your website loads plays a factor in your rankings. With WordPress there are a number of free programs that can help speed up your sites load time. One of my favorite is Jetpack which comes with some other cool features as well.
This is information that allows you to tell the search engines extra information that may or may not be visible to people. For instance you can tell Google your business location so they know exactly where you are located and even enter in the kind of service you perform.
This is yet another reason why I love WordPress because there are plugins that allow you to enter in this kind of information.
Add Social Share Buttons
Adding shareable buttons on your website is a way for others to like your content and share it with their friends. It’s also a great way to get people to post reviews about your business to help build social proof. For this I use a paid plugin called Monarch
Google Webmasters and Bing Webmasters
Google Webmasters and Bing Webmasters allow you to see how each of the search engines see your website and you can also provide Google with more information about your business.
You will also be able to see where you rank and how much traffic Google and Bing are sending your way.
Setup Google Analytics Account
This allows you to easily track those coming into your website and the flow of the user throughout your website.
Create and Submit XML Sitemap
A sitemap is simple an index of your entire site with all the pages. It’s a sure fire way to tell Google and Bing about your content and let’s them know when new content is added or changed.
In today’s world of SEO it’s not as important but you might as well dot the eyes and cross the t’s and get this done.
You submit your sitemap inside Google and Bing Webmasters
Your WordPress sitemap can be generated many different ways. I personally Use the free Yoast SEO plugin found at https://wordpress.org/plugins/wordpress-seo/