What’s the point of a lead generation website if no one can find it?
If your website is setup to capture leads, but you don’t have an effective SEO strategy to drive consistent organic traffic – your lead generation efforts are likely underutilised.
Search engines drive more visitors to websites than any other marketing channel, and they do it all on autopilot. They are your ticket to lead growth and consistency.
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is just as it sounds; the process of “tuning” your site for specific target keywords so you are more likely to rank in search engine results.
But SEO can by frustrating and confusing, so it may help to think of it this way:
SEO has two components. “On-page” and “Off-page” SEO.
Off-page SEO refers to a number of factors that are reasonably hard to influence, such as inbound links.
On-page SEO, on the other hand, refers to all the things you can change with just a few tweaks to your website.
Today I want to share seven on-page SEO tactics that will make it easier for search engines to recognise your website as an authority around your target keywords. These are tactics you can implement straight away and see some quick benefits.
1. Keywords are (still) integral
The title of your page, URL and H1 header should include relevant keywords at a bare minimum.
For example, if your page topic is about how to train a beagle puppy, call it “How to Train Your Beagle Puppy”.
This means that the URL for this page should be something like: puppytraining.com.au/how-to-train-your-beagle-puppy/.
Your H1 header and title tag should also contain this title.
Bonus tip: People are searching for answers to questions – make sure you’re answering their questions with your content.
Quora is one great example of where you can discover the types of questions your customers are asking.
Below I’ve done a search for “beagle puppy” to illustrate the type of questions people may be asking about this topic.
2. Long-tail keywords are even more important
The more specific you can be with your target keywords for a page, the more chance you have of ranking in a search result. These more specific terms are known as long-tail keywords.
For example, let’s take a look at a sunglass repair business based in Brisbane, Australia. Most people looking to get search traffic for this industry would try to optimise a page for “sunglass repair”. But what your customers are actually searching for is something like “Brisbane sunglass repair”, or “best sunglass repair business in Brisbane”.
A search for “sunglass repair” alone could return millions of results that aren’t relevant to the searchers intent, and are seriously hard for you to compete with. If you can first understand what your customers are typically searching for – the exact words they use – and then fine tune a page on your website specifically for these words, you will quickly see a shift in search traffic.
Someone who knows what they want is going to search for their needs using more detailed information. So you need to make sure their search motivation and your longtail keywords match.
If you’re looking for long-tail varieties for your target keywords you could use add-ons such as location. But if you want to take this to the next level and find out exactly what people are searching for in your industry, you may like to try out Keywordtool.io.
See below a search for “sunglass repair”.
3. Your site’s code can make a difference
You can better your on-page SEO by jumping into the code of your website and making a few tweaks.
But don’t let this idea scare you off! It’s really quite easy.
If you’re using the ol’ WYSIWYG menu (What You See Is What You Get) just hit the “source” or “text” button and double check that your headings are in the correct tags, so that Google can understand them.
If you have a look at the title of your page, it should be between title tags like this:
<title>How to Fix Your Broken IPhone</title>
Secondly, your meta description is also super important for on-page SEO.
How often do you click on a search result that doesn’t have a description, a bad description, or one that’s just crazy code? Don’t lie to yourself – it’s never.
For WordPress sites you can get an SEO Plugin (Like SEO Yoast) that will give all of your pages a place to fill in this information. Just remember to keep it relevant, snappy and below 160 characters.
This is what Yoast looks like underneath a blog post, you’ll see it replicates how your page will show up in a search result.
These are just two of the code-y things you can do to improve your website. But WordPress plugins will give you a heap of options to improve on-page SEO from a code perspective, and often even give you a score.
Bless you WordPress plugins!
4. Don’t forget internal linking
If you have an awesome article about SEO, a good strategy is to link it back to another great SEO article you wrote before – as long as it makes sense and is relevant. This is called internal linking.
If you’ve got a lot of great content on your website, you should make sure it’s working for you and not against you. So if you’ve got an article that’s telling people how awesome personal training is and how it will revolutionise the way you see fitness and the world, and this is the service you provide, why not link that article to your service? (This can also increase your conversion rates)
Google sees these links and thinks to itself “hmmm, there sure are a lot of links here, and they all seem relevant – I should put this a bit higher in search results because this page seems important.”
Here’s an example of how we do this at Marketing Results;
Warning: Not all links are good. Make sure you are only including links to pages that are relevant to the content you are linking from.
5. Ramp up social sharing
Social media exists for a number of reasons – but when it comes to search engine rankings, “number of social shares” is what you should care about. To ramp up the number of social shares your content gets, firstly it needs to answer the questions your core target audience is asking.
If you’ve got that covered, make sure your social icons are prominent and easy to find on all pages of your site. Even better, for Twitter you can get WordPress plugins or use a small amount of code to have in-text tweetable quotes! Remember to use these only for really key pieces of information or stats.
Here it is in action on our blog;
Warning: If you don’t use social media for your business make sure that your sharing buttons are JUST FOR SHARING. Don’t have the standard social icons that encourage people to visit your social accounts. A social media account that isn’t regularly updated will do more harm than good to your business.
6. Make it mobile responsive
Do you know what your website looks like on a mobile device?
People are spending more and more time on their smartphones and if your website isn’t responsive – they simply won’t stick around. And why should they?
Plus, Google now considers mobile responsiveness as a ranking factor.
To make sure your theme is responsive, or your web developer is aware of what’s happening on mobile, can be a little tricky. For example if you are going to make a change to your site, you’ll need to check every single page to make sure it’s responsive and makes sense.
Just because your site looks good on one device, doesn’t mean it will on another…
Check out how mobile responsive your website is by using this tool from Google.
Bonus tip: Use different devices to test! A Samsung Note 5 is a MUCH different size to an IPhone 5, or a tablet so things will look different.
7. Publish high quality content, regularly
Google reads your website regularly to make sure your content is high quality and helpful to its searchers. This means you need to make sure your content is up to date and relevant.
The content on your website needs to be the best that it can be. It needs to be up to date, it needs to answer questions that people have about your industry or product and it needs to make sense and be easy to understand.
BUT THAT’S NOT ENOUGH! It needs to be interesting and fed to your customers in a compelling way. No one’s going to read anything that’s boring. Content can be delivered in a million different ways – video, images, infographics, diagrams, GIFs, blog articles, tables and graphs, tweets, posts, vines… (I could go on but it’s just making me dizzy!).
At the end of the day – the more helpful and engaging your content, the better. Use bullet points, subheadings and images to keep readers interested. But don’t forget length…
Here’s a hint, on average the top 10 ranking search results are over 2,000 words.
Bonus tip: Google’s not a friend, Google is a big sister that expects you to do everything they want otherwise you won’t get any love (they’re also not going to tell you what they want).
Hopefully these tips will make a difference to your search traffic. If you have any other helpful on-page SEO tactics please share them in the comments.