In today’s world, everyone goes to one area of the web to find any service they need – that place is, Google. It’s one thing to have a beautiful, conversion-focused website. However, that’s only half the battle. If no one sees your site, or if no one is going to your site, then what’s the point? You’ll have no traffic to convert in actual paying customers.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) comes into play here. The ability to optimize your website correctly, to attempt to show up high in Google for the keywords that your customers are searching you for, is very important. This allows the visibility of your website to be very high, and of course with that, comes traffic and bringing in many more customers into your website.
Now there’s a lot of covers in terms of the world of SEO, but one of the most important baseline factors is optimizing your on-page SEO. This means to properly optimize your on-page items first (so, the website pages themselves), and the off-page items come second.
Finding the right keyword phrase
Before any sort of website optimization takes place, whether it be off on-page or off-page optimization, you must do your keyword research first, to find out exactly which specific keywords your target market is searching you for. Or rather, searching for your specific services for.
For the purposes of this blog post, let’s say that we’re a plumbing company. Now, if I’m looking to learn about plumbing, but not looking to get any plumbing done, I’ll probably Google something like, “plumbing”. Very, very broad, as you can see. That’s generally not something that a customer of yours would Google, if that’s a service that they are looking to immediately buy.
Now, if my plumbing went hay-wire in my home, my line of thinking would probably be, “I need my plumbing fixed immediately”. I’d probably be a lot more specific in terms what I’m searching for, if that were the case.
I’d probably also include my location, in terms of finding a plumber at least in my immediate area.
So, my Google search instead, may be:
- Plumber Toronto
- Toronto plumber
- Plumbing in Toronto
- Toronto plumbing company
- Plumbers in Toronto
These are referred to as long-tail keywords. Long-tail essentially means that they are phrases that have more words in them. The great thing about long-tail keywords compared to short-tail keywords, is that people are ready to buy at this point. That’s the sweet-spot – that’s where you want to be in terms of finding a keyword phrase.
On Page SEO
So lets say we pick, “Toronto Plumbing Company” to be our long-tail keyword. The next step is to optimize the home page of our website for that long-tail keyword – so when people search for “Toronto Plumbing Company”, your website has a chance to actually show up in Google for that keyword. This helps let Google know exactly what our website is about.
In a nutshell, we must carefully place this keyword throughout different areas in your website. But not too much, as it would be spammy – and Google will penalize your website if your current doesn’t sound natural.
Here’s a run-down check-list of specifics, in terms of optimizing your home page:
- Your keyword is in the <title> tag of your website, ideally (or at least close to the front of the title tag)
- Your keyword is in the very first <h1> tag on the page (very important)
- If your web page has other headlines (h2, h3, etc), your keyword phrase is in most of them
- If your web page has any images on it at all, that the keyword is located within the Alt tags of those images
- Your keyword is located in the meta description of the page
- At the very least, there are 300 words on the page
- Ideally, your keyword appears in the URL
- Your keyword appears in the very first paragraph of the copy
- Your keyword is used throughout the actual content of the page
- The amount of times that your keyword is used throughout the page (keyword density), is 0.5% to 2.5%
- The page is completely original content, and not copied from another source
If you have all this in place, you should be pretty well set from a standpoint of optimizing the home page of your website from an on-page perspective.
In terms of ranking your website for the specific keyword you’ve chosen, that’s a much harder task. It requires monthly, on going search engine efforts for, at the very least, 6 months to see any sort of results. On-page SEO optimization is simply a foundation necessity that is needed for virtually any and every website online.