SEO has become an indispensable tool for promoting your small business online and getting your products or services in front of your target audience. However, without the right SEO strategies in place, you may as well forget about getting organic traffic to your website.
For one thing, Google wants users to have a positive experience when they visit your website. Fortunately for you, various elements on your web pages can help you garner more search traffic and higher rankings. But are you optimizing these elements for SEO correctly?
That’s precisely why any forward-thinking small business needs to up its on-page SEO game.
This short guide will walk you through the most crucial on-page SEO essentials that require attention from every small business. These handy tips will help improve your search rankings, increase your organic traffic, and make other SEO strategies a lot easier to execute.
First Things First – What’s On-Page SEO and Why Does It Matter?
On-page SEO is an important segment of search engine optimization and an essential aspect of digital marketing, which is the lifeblood of any modern business. SEO entails all the tactics you can use to boost your search rankings. The objective is to improve your web traffic quality and quantity.
At its core, however, on-page SEO focuses on optimizing some aspects of your web pages for better rankings on search engines. Therefore, it’s an umbrella term for the combination of content and technical SEO revolving around optimizing individual web pages rather than the entire website.
In addition to crafting compelling content, it also involves optimizing anchor text, links, headlines, images, HTML tags, and much more. So if something on the web page can rank it higher on Google or help the user have a better experience, it calls for a sprinkle of some on-page SEO magic.
Why should small businesses care about on-site SEO? Whether you run a small hotel, corner shop, or an online start-up, your website’s content must exude a high level of trustworthiness, reliability, and expertise, says Marina Turea with Digital Authority Partners. For that reason, on-page SEO is vital for your small business. It helps search engines (a.k.a. Google) better understand your web pages and their content and determine if they’re relevant to a user’s search query.
If you do a bang-up job on your on-page strategies, you will ultimately earn more web traffic and see an increase in your search presence.
Essential On-Page SEO Tips for Small Businesses
Getting started with on-site search engine optimization doesn’t have to be complicated. Your web pages will quickly rise through the search rankings with proper strategies in place. Keep the following things in mind, and you’ll take your on-page SEO game to the next level in next to no time.
1. It All Starts with Keywords
Much has changed in terms of keywords, partly fueled by the recent updates Google made to its core search engine algorithm. However, certain basic principles of keyword optimization are still relevant.
For instance, focusing on specific keywords to increase your organic ranking no longer applies with Google but selecting the right keywords can still make a massive difference. Take advantage of keywords by ensuring that you have geared your web pages and content towards your target audience.
Not only that, but keywords can also tell you a lot about your target users, their pain points, and what makes them tick. That can go a very long way in enhancing your content strategy.
Be that as it may, you ought to be careful with your choice of keywords to avoid the dreaded keyword cannibalization, which can hurt your overall SEO performance. After all, if you’ve got several web pages optimized for the same keyword, you’ll be competing with yourself and wasting your market efforts.
Instead, you must do regular keyword audits and ensure there’s no cannibalization amongst your various web pages. Either way, rectify any case of keyword cannibalization sooner rather than later.
2. Content Writing and Auditing
Publishing top-quality, relevant content is a core SEO practice and a great way to build rapport and establish authority with your target users. Therefore, your content must be engaging yet authoritative. So that your audience can deem you the ultimate source of insights and answers on a particular subject, niche, or problem they need to solve.
You must create your content with user experience (UX) and search engines. Remember, SEO writing is much more than getting a bunch of keywords and crafting content around them. So, it must be relevant, substantial, and high-quality.
But that shouldn’t be the end of it. Most small businesses are so focused on generating new content that existing content ends up on the back-burner. Huge mistake! Auditing your current articles, blog posts, images, and other pieces of content is necessary because:
- It helps you determine whether the data and information in your content are still relevant and accurate or have become outdated.
- It helps you figure out if your existing content is performing according to your goals and whether it’s delivering the desired return on investment.
- It helps you identify which types of content and formats get you the results you want.
As you can see, content audits can work wonders for your on-page and overall SEO strategy. Therefore, it should be conducted regularly (preferably every three to six months).
Also read: Business Website Design Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
3. Construct Compelling Headlines
Do you want your web content to shine on search? It’s simple to do; start crafting compelling and eye-catching headlines. Not only does a good headline give a great first impression, but it can also help your web page rank highly on search engine results pages (SERPs).
Producing a title for an article or blog post may seem too trivial. Still, an excellent headline can be the difference between an impression and a click. For this particular reason, you need to have a clear, well-defined strategy for creating headlines.
Your headlines have to trigger interest for them to rank above the fold on search. As a result, encouraging users to click through and proceed to the rest of the content. Forbes has laid out a few tricks that can help you create awe-inspiring headlines.
4. Use Alt Tags to Optimize Your Images
Optimizing the text in your content for better search ranking is a no-brainer. Still, you also want to ensure the non-text components are taken care of, as well. That’s why alt tags are a critical factor in on-page SEO, especially when it comes to image optimization.
Incorporating imagery into your content makes your web page more fun and appealing to your target users. However, some images may be so big that they slow down your site. Optimizing them with alt tags will help you make the most of such a prized SEO asset.
Alt-text is a short description that tells the user and the search engines about the image. Ensure these tags are correctly descriptive, relevant, and optimized with the right keywords.
Images optimized with alt tags offer small businesses a variety of advantages, including:
- Your web pages will load faster
- Improved user experience on webpages
- Additional opportunities for search ranking, such as your images showing up on Google Image Search or News Search
Image optimization should not be a second thought; make sure to infuse images to complement your content and use descriptive, relevant alt text and titles.
5. Don’t Forget About HTML Tags
Headers tags have the same if not more impact than creating a compelling headline. These HTML elements, from H1 through H6, help search engines and users identify and differentiate headings and subheadings from other forms of text within your content.
Header tags may not be as critically important as alt tags for search rankings. However, they can improve your SEO and user experience. As for improving search ranking, they can provide keyword-based context about your web page and its content for Google. HTML tags also break down your content into more enjoyable and easier-to-read sections.
6. Take Care of Meta Titles and Descriptions
Since the early days of search engine optimization, meta titles and descriptions have been valuable SEO assets. These meta tags are typically shown in the search engine results pages and give a concise web page description.
Just like the text and images, it’s a wise idea to optimize them with relevant keywords. And there’s circumstantial evidence that meta description and titles contribute to better search rankings.
That’s because optimizing your meta titles and meta descriptions can improve search CTR (click-through rate). Also, the perception of both your web pages offer and the quality of the content.
7. Pay Attention to Your Page Speed
Page speed has become one of the most significant SEO factors since Google announced in 2018 that desktop and mobile load times would affect its rankings. No wonder improving your page speed is the easiest and most effective way to get a handle on your on-page SEO.
A slot web page doesn’t just frustrate visitors. Still, it can also lead to disgruntled customers, increased abandonment, and reduced conversion. In addition, a slot website loses credibility and trust in the mind of users. According to Google, as much as 53 percent of mobile users quit a website if it takes more than three seconds to load.
Forbes states that page speed is essential to users and search engines. It can also give your small business a marketing edge. Fast-loading web pages can help you take advantage of people abandoning your competitors’ websites due to page speed problems.
8. Boost Your Website’s User Engagement
Improving the on-page SEO elements of your website is only one piece of the puzzle. The other overarching piece encompasses ensuring that your visitors won’t bounce the second they land on your website. Instead, you want them to continue reading your content, interacting with it, and visiting your site long after the initial click.
Engaging online users is a massive challenge in and of itself, but it’s undoubtedly not an impossible mission. To stay on top of user engagement, you need to focus more on UX, website load speed, and content optimization.
Also read: What Is Off-Page SEO? Your Guide to Why It’s So Important
You can transform your small business and become competitive in an increasingly globalized marketplace with proper on-page SEO. It’s undoubtedly vital if you want to boost your website’s odds of showing up higher on page one of SERPs. Regularly optimizing for on-page SEO factors can also help boost your search rankings, increase web traffic, optimize user experience, and lead to more conversions.