Search Engine Optimisation, or SEO, is a term that refers to the online tools that a company can implement to assist in increasing its organic (unpaid) ranking on search engines. The purpose of SEO is to help increase your website’s online visibility and attract customers.
SEO is divided into three categories:
- On-page SEO – what can be implemented on the website itself.
- Off-site SEO – other aspects that you (or others) can do online that link to a page/s on your website, in other words building your credibility.
- Technical SEO – the items that your hosting company, or website building platform, that can contribute to, i.e. site speed (hosting), mobile readiness and domain trust.
If you are using a website builder like Site Builder you need to do the on-site SEO of your website yourself.
Follow these 7 tips to correctly implement the basics for your on-site SEO:
1. Create high-quality, relevant content
Content covers all the text, video, images, and infographics on your website. Ensure your content is unique, interesting, informative, and relevant to your audience’s interests. Update and refresh your content regularly, so that search engines can crawl and re-index your website on an ongoing basis. Writing weekly blogs or publishing monthly video blogs (vlogs) can help you with this.
TIP: When creating your web pages, ensure that you add links or buttons that refer to other relevant pages on your website, such as category pages, sub-category pages, and the home/landing page.
2. Write significant title tags
The title tag, also known as the ‘meta title tag’, is the headline that you give a page and sits in the coding behind it. This script is very important for search engines, as it assists in displaying your website when it is applicable to answering a search request. Write a 50–60 character description that best describes, or summarises what is ‘happening’ on that particular page. Use a keyword or two that is in the webpage text itself, but do not overdo it.
3. Set up a sensible URL structure for your website
Make sure your site’s hierarchy is ‘intuitive and user-friendly and is displayed as such in the URL names given to each page. A URL that displays the subject/product/category of a webpage, e.g. https://www.domains.co.za/ssl/domain-validated-ssl-certificates is the most advisable route to go. A URL that only makes sense to the web designer e.g., www.domains.co.za/404/8490367/domains is not favourable for SEO.
4. Image Alt Text
Image alt text is important and should be used when uploading images to a website. The upload should have a window that allows you to provide more information about the image. Google and other search engines use this description as alternative text for the images on your website, usually in the case of people with impaired vision. The restriction is 125 characters, so write a descriptive, yet brief, a summary of what the image is about. Include a keyword and if there is text on the image include that too.
Keywords are the terms or phrases that best describe what a page is about, or what it is selling. These should also include terms that people will search for with their search engine to find your product or service. Identify 4-5 relevant keywords per product or service and use these where they will fit in naturally in your page’s content.
A good rule of thumb is to use the page’s top keyword in your URL, title tag, header, image alt text and a couple of times in the body copy of the page.
6. Headline and sub-headline tags
Headers should provide a hierarchy and structure to your page and summarise the information that will follow. Use a relevant keyword in your headlines and only make use of one HTML H1 headline.
7. Meta Description
The meta description is the short paragraph that displays with your meta title tag in search results. Write one that is relevant to the information on your page and highlights the best information and most relevant keyword/s.
Google and other search engines create algorithms in a way that it promotes authenticity and benefits the end user above all else. If your website creates a pleasurable environment where customers feel safe, are easily able to find good quality content, without confusion, then Google’s algorithms will pick up on this. Get the basic On-page SEO right first and build on other SEO factors from there.