SEO can seem overwhelming, what with all the articles, experts, feeds, etc. constantly flooding the SERPs. But don’t fret. In a broad sense, there are three major areas of consideration when first starting your SEO project list: 1. What Google does 2. What your competition does 3. What you do. As you can see, you only have control over 1/3 of the organic search ecosystem. Taking that into account, there are some simple steps you can take to impact your site, that have and always will be tried and true.
While your site is a single entity, it is made up of individual pages, all of which reside on unique URLs (or should!) Each of these pages have elements that you have complete control over, and doing so properly will help the way each is crawled, indexed and ranked. After all, the goal of SEO is to get more eyes on your site.
The primary elements of your page are as follows:
- Page title
- Header tags
- Internal linking
- Meta descriptions (not technically on the page, but helpful nonetheless!)
The backbone of any page is the URL. Ensure your URLs follow the overall subfolder structure of your site, and include the primary keywords relevant to your page.
The page title is a primary factor when Google crawls your site and displays it in the SERPs. Again, ensure the keywords used are relevant to the page. With Google’s constant updates and more and more advanced AI, creating an understanding is imperative to getting your page accurately indexed and ranked.
The header tags reside in the code, and support the page title and the content on the page. The primary focus of the page should be marked with an H1 tag, followed by H2 tags on supporting points or subheadings. These, working in conjunction with your page title and URL, give search engines a robust understanding of your page’s purpose and flow.
You’ve heard it a million times: “Content is king.” You have to have a reason for a page to exist; a reason for someone to not only visit your site but stay. Creating relevant, timely content is the key to making both users and search engines happy. Write for the customer, using keywords that are relevant to the page in question.
Images are a form of content, that can be optimized just like text, to help build a page’s strength, thus setting it up for success in the SERPs. Each image should have a unique file name, with alt text describing exactly what the image is.
Internal linking is more on the technical side of things, but each page should have navigational elements, from the global navigation through to the anchor text, that makes sense for search engines while also providing a good user experience. Good internal linking helps users seamlessly navigate your site without feeling the need to leave, and assists search engines when crawling your site.
While meta descriptions are not a scoring factor for a page’s strength, they are one of the first points of contact for users, as they show up in the SERPs. A well written meta description can aid in Click Through Rate, which IS a scoring factor. Keep it specific to the page, with a call to action, enticing the user to click through to your site. Given this is the entry point for users, make sure the expectation you set in the SERPs is delivered on once they visit your page. Another bonus for meta descriptions: they take up real estate in the SERPs. With Google constantly changing the SERP layout, organic listings are getting pushed further down the page. Your meta description can carve out valuable space in the SERPs.
Wrapping it Up
As you can see, there are a handful of items you and your team can actively be working on to beef up your pages and increase their strength. The result should be an increase in SERP presence and traffic. We’d love to hear your success stories should you choose to follow any of these guidelines. Check out our full range of SEO services. We love SEO, so don’t hesitate to reach out in the comments section below! You can also check out our introductory micro-lesson on SEO and Content Marketing.