Firstly, there are several theories as to whether on-site SEO can help boost your search engine rankings of your website on its own. Based on observation from case studies where websites went from brand new to hundreds of thousands of monthly organic visitors, it can be argued that with an excellent on-site SEO strategy, a website can in fact excel despite the absence of off-site SEO.
Many internet marketers argue about the validity of SEO and whether it no longer is applicable due to Google’s latest algorithm updates. Fact is, SEO is not dead, and neither is it going away anytime in the foreseeable future.
Based on a report conducted by Forrester Research, organic search results are still the top sources of traffic for websites as portrayed by the survey’s respondents. Further, the results of the study showed that the percentage of traffic coming from organic search results are growing at a steady rate with the expectation for further growth in the next few years.
With that in mind, you can now understand how important it is to have a good on-site SEO score in order to attract organic visitors to your website. Do take into consideration that although focusing on on-site SEO will prove to be extremely useful in boosting your online presence through search engines, competition may prove to be a problem if you are in a niche with massive authorities.
For example, if you run an eCommerce website that sells pretty much everything under the sun, you will find it hard to compete against companies like Woolworths or Coles seeing as they have the larger marketing budget including on-site and off-site SEO as well as PPC campaigns.
The purpose behind an on-site SEO plan is to help search engines understand what your website is about by gauging the content within the site in order to match it with interested people who make searches relating to your website’s information. Consideration should also be given as to user friendliness as search engines do take this into consideration when determining a website’s SEO score.
Here is a non-exhaustive list of the on-site SEO basic requirements every website owner should be aware of:
- Choosing the right keywords
As search engines heavily rely on repetitive keywords being used within a certain theme in order to identify what niche a website is in, choosing the right keywords is critical in your website’s success. In the event that the keywords chosen attracts an audience which is not interested in your website, in this case these keywords would be regarded as “wrong keywords”, the traffic being reached is untargeted and will not convert to customers.
In order to choose the right keywords, you must do some market research to find out what your targeted audience are searching for. For example, if you are in the parenting niche, an informative post you may be interested to target would surround the keyword “potty training” which retrieves a decent monthly traffic volume of 90,500 per month.
Not only do you have to know how to pick keywords that are relevant to your niche (ideally money keywords which would turn visitors into buyers), you also have to find keywords with minimal competition. These types of keywords are referred to as low competition keywords and are absolute gems to find if you come across them.
The lower the competition, the easier it is for your website to rank for that particular keyword. Generally, competition heavily relies on the popularity of the keyword. You can safely assume that a keyword which retrieves hundreds of thousands of searches a month would be a high competition keyword and can be tough to rank for.
- Checking your website’s content before publishing
If you want Google and other search engines to like your web content, you need to ensure that it is 100% plagiarism-free. Google and search engines hate rehashed and copied content for the main reason that it does not benefit the searcher as it doesn’t give a new perspective on the issue.
It is also just as important to check the titles of your pages and posts to ensure that they contain your targeted keyword, your headings to contain any LSI keywords and that they are in h2 title tags and h3 title tags, and the rest of your content to include your main keyword at no more than 5% keyword density.
As much as this process is critical for SEO purposes, checking your content to make sure it is accurate, grammatically error-free, and typographically error-free increases your customer trust and reliability. After all, you wouldn’t purchase via an affiliate link of a product review with painful typos throughout the review, would you?
- Optimising your meta data
On-site SEO does not only focus on the words on a page, but also the meta data such as title tags and meta descriptions.
Title tags can be referred to as text-based advertisements for a specific page on your website. It is what web searchers see in their browser before clicking on that page to load. You will want to create a title tag that acts as “click bait” to entice potential website visitors to visit your website. A general idea of the length of a title tag is around 4 to 8 words with no more than 70 characters.
Meta descriptions are the snippet of the content found in a specific page. These snippets appear on the search results below the title tag. By having an informative and attractive meta description that is unique and offers a fresh spin on the subject, you will find it easy to attract potential customers to your website. Avoid making the mistake of creating generic meta descriptions as this could make or break your website traffic.