SEO Decoded: Part One
SEO always seems like a bad game that you could never win, Seriously! SEO has so many factors how can anybody win? Well, let me be the first to say that you can win at SEO you just need the right strategy. There are over 200 factors of SEO, 200 factors that tell visitors you are trustworthy, reliable and secure. SEO or Search engine optimization is an organic way to get traffic from the search engines to your website. Organic traffic is your free traffic, you can only target a specific keyword or keyword phrase instead of paid traffic where you target a specific audience.
How SEO Works
With website SEO a website visitor searches “Life coaches in Illinois”, Google crawls first website indexes that have the keyword phrase “Life Coach” and then local listings in Illinois. As Google crawls the listings each one is ranked based on the 200 factors within the algorithm and displays the listings in the order of accuracy.
Now your job as a business owner is to hit as many of the positive factors without spamming your website. Sounds easy right? It will be after we finish breaking it down I promise.
For each of the 200 factors, they are broken down into 2 main groups: On-page SEO + Off-page SEO.
On-page SEO is where you need to first direct your attention, with on-page SEO you need to ensure your website showcases your intended keyword and keyword phrases. Here is a list of on-page SEO factors to focus on:
- Page titles
- Page descriptions
- Website structure
- Page Headers
- Mobile responsiveness
- Website crawls
- Website security
- Website speed
- Website permalinks
- Content quality
- Content length
With 13 factors to focus on for your on-page SEO, the first place to start is with your keyword research you want to make sure that based on your business type and your intended audience are targeting the correct keyword and keyword phrase. Most visitors use a phase to search for information today instead of a specific keyword so you want to be sure you're not missing out by placing just a keyword.
Each page of your website should target a specific keyword and keyword phrase, on most website platforms you can add this in the page settings. Each page should be keyword rich (not spammy) meaning that it should include the keyword or keyword phrase throughout the page. Make sure your keywords are in your page title, page description, and in your quality, properly structured content. Use your headings when you are separating your content, especially your h1 and h2 tags or headings. One thing to keep in mind is to craft your content with your audience and the search engine in mind, you can’t just write for the search engines and vice versa.
Next, you want to update your blog posts, give your blog post updated keyword rich title and descriptions. Keeping your blog posts SEO up to date and posting regularly helps build your ranking and helps keep your website updated. It tells search engines that your website is still active.
Once you have updated your page title and descriptions completed, you want to have google crawl your website. This means you send a request to Google via your Google Search console if you haven’t set up your website on the Google Search Console, you only need a Gmail account and about 25 minutes to get set up. I usually connect my google search console to my Gsuite account, if you need a branded email address get started with a 14-day trial and only $5/ month. Get started here
Watch this quick video on getting started with the Google search console from my SEO Essentials course.
Having Google crawl your website helps keep your information updated and reliable. You always want to have your best foot forward!
Next is your website structure, Google ranks your website based on its mobile responsiveness, speed, security and your permalinks or URLs. Every website should have an SSL certificate and regular malware scanning in place, this helps your ranking and protects your visitors and your business. If you have a malware infected website and google crawls it will display that your website is unsafe. The last thing a small business needs is for its visitors to get a warning that their website is unsafe, having malware scanners will prevent this from happening. Having an SSL certificate protects your visitors and your business by securing and encrypting your customer's credit card details and banking information.
Testing for website responsiveness can easily be done by resizing your browser and seeing how your website adapts to the screen size or you can use an online tool such as ami.responsivedesign.is that instantly shows you how your website looks on a tablet, phone, laptop and desktop screen sizes? If your website doesn’t adapt then you know your website is not mobile responsive.
Checking your website speed can be done by visiting Google Page Insights. This is a free tool to check your website speed.
So! That's part one of SEO Decoded! It was a lot of information, I wanted to make sure I broke it down in a manageable way. Be sure to check out Part two later this week, when I break down Off-page SEO, negative SEO factors and a free checklist for completing your DIY SEO.
Have any questions about on-Page SEO? Let me know in the comments!