Optimizing Your Website Content With On-Page SEO – Traffic Travis
Now that you know how to mine the Internet for the perfect keywords that will send floods of interested and highly targeted visitors to your site, it’s time to put them into play by creating optimized content.
This is what is known as on-page SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and it’s the next brick on your road to online success.
On-page SEO is just a fancy way of saying that you have designed the content (words, pictures, videos, code) of the website in a way that search engines will easily understand what search terms it should rank for (ideally, your keywords).
In this newsletter, we’ll show you exactly how to do that!
- How to use title and image “alt” tags.
- Why writing a good meta description is important.
- How you should be optimizing your written content for SEO.
- Why internal linking is important.
- Why you should keep your content fresh and updated.
Pre-Optimization: Proper Setup and Tracking
Before you start doing anything with your actual website, you need to make sure to set up Traffic Travis so you can keep track of your progress.
- Adding Your SiteAdding your site to the Traffic Travis Dashboard is easy.Use the “Create new project” setting from the Active Project drop box on the top right corner of the screen.
Then simply add the details of your website like in the example below.
Remember to import the pages from your website to the “My Site” portion of Traffic Travis as well, so you can check which pages are indexed, and whether there are any SEO warnings.
Use the “Import Pages” function to do this. Or, you can import an XML sitemap into Traffic Travis and have all your pages added automatically.
If Traffic Travis does not detect your site map properly, make sure you are using the standard sitemap.xml format.
Start Your On-Page SEO
Now that your site is all setup in Traffic Travis, it’s time to optimize your content.
With on-page SEO a few simple changes to your website can sometimes result in better rankings. This can happen almost overnight, especially for lower-competition keywords.
However, if you blow by these critical on-page settings, you can be handicapping your SEO campaign before it even starts. It’s vital to not rush through these first parts to make sure you’re giving yourself the best chance for SEO success.
Here are the areas of your site that need to be optimized and how to do achieve that:
- Title TagsTitle tags are one of the most important on-page SEO factors and will have a big influence on your SEO success.Here is what a title tag looks like in the search engine results:
It’s the first thing the search engine algorithms look at when trying to rank your site and it’s the first thing actual human searchers will see as well.
Therefore, you should be using your main keyword in the title tags of your web pages. You can also include your brand name to help boost your profile.
Be careful not to make your title tag longer than 70 characters, or it will be cut off in browser windows.
Title tags can be edited through the HTML editor of your web design software or blogging platform.
Here is an example of a title tag written in HTML:
In this example you can see that “Dog Training Secrets” is the brand name of the website, and “how to train your dog” is the primary keyword being targeted.
- Meta DescriptionsThe meta description is a short block of text that is often displayed in search engine results underneath the title of the page.
Your meta description should contain the main keywords you are targeting, yet also be written in such a way that it compels the reader to visit your site. Around 155 characters is the best length for a good meta description.
Here’s an example of what the meta description should look like for our hypothetical dog training site.
Don’t focus solely on jamming your keywords in your meta description in an attempt to please the search engines. You want to write a description that is going to be easy for real people to read and make them want to click through and learn more about what you got going on.
While a good meta description isn’t going to magically send your page to number one, it will help increase your click-through rate. We know that Google and the other search engines look at click-through rates as one of their ranking factors.
Write an intriguing meta description and you’ll get more clicks. More clicks will get you higher rankings.
- Tweaking Your Written ContentMost web pages are made up of written content along with pictures, and video. Putting this content together the right way can help seriously boost your search engine rankings.There are a few things to consider:First, make sure you are using the keywords you want to target in your content. You can also use variations on the same keywords to create a more natural feel and help the flow of your writing.Use Traffic Travis to help you find keyword ideas that slot nicely into your page. Here is an example of this in action:
Let’s say you are writing an article about dog training collars. Using the Traffic Travis keyword tool you can uncover related keywords (like “remote dog training collar”) that you can add to your article.
Avoid stuffing your page with keywords to try and boost its ranking (this will actually be bad for your site) — a good rule of thumb is to make sure it reads naturally. Or if you want to be more scientific, your targeted keyword shouldn’t show up more than 2-3 times per 100 words.
Second, you want to mention your keyword in the h1 heading tag of your page. This will indicate to the search engines that the keyword you are targeting is important to the page. With most website creators, this naturally occurs when you name a post or page.
- Image “alt” TagsMany of the algorithms that rank websites don’t have a way to “see” images that you use in your content. In order to help them understand what the picture is about, there is the “alt” tag.It is important to add good “alt” tags to your images. Rather than trying to stuff your image alt tags with a whole list of keywords to boost your search engine rankings (this is an old trick that no longer works) you should be adding tags that are relevant to the image.Create an alt tag that first describes the image accurately, and try to include a keyword or two if it looks natural and relevant.For example, if you have an image of a dog training eBook, don’t make the alt tag something like “dog training eBook, dog training manual, dog training guide.” Instead, create a relevant and descriptive alt tag like “my dog training eBook cover.”
Here is what an alt tag should look like:
For a more detailed guide to using alt tags for your images, read the Alt Attributes page on About.com.
- Keeping Your Content FreshSearch engines love fresh and new content, so a key component of optimizing your site is to update it regularly. You can create new pages or blog posts, as well as update your existing pages to reflect changes.A good rule to apply here is to write for your readers first, and search engines second. Create articles, pages and posts that people will want to read. Then, tweak them based on the strategies mentioned above and you will reap the rewards.Content is king on the Internet, especially after recent updates to Google that have placed even more emphasis on rewarding quality content. For an in-depth analysis of this subject read Joe Brockmeier’s guide to the importance of content for SEO.
- Creating Links Within Your SiteCreating anchor text links within your website to and from relevant pages is another useful on page SEO method. A good internal linking structure will help get your pages indexed in the search engines.Because you have complete control over the anchor text used, make sure to use descriptive keywords for your internal links that also match the keywords you are trying to rank for.Using internal links within your site will also help to reduce your bounce rate, which is another metric search engines use in their ranking algorithms. Bounce rate measures the percentage of visitors that click through to your site and view only one page before leaving.Giving visitors more options to click on will help them stay on your site for longer and view additional pages. And that lower bounce rate will help boost your search engine rankings.
- Checking Your On-Page SEOYou can also use Traffic Travis to analyze your on page SEO and check for “Page Warnings” where your website might not be properly optimized.The easiest way to do this is to use the My Site tool (where you imported your pages before) and look out for “Page Warnings.” Click on the “Page Warnings” number to see a comprehensive list of what on-page SEO you are doing well, and what things you need to improve.Here is an example:
Pay close attention to the warnings, and then fix as many of them as you can.
Optimizing your pages for your target keywords using the techniques you have learned today will help you blow past competitors who haven’t taken the time to set up their sites as well as you have.
To recap, today we have covered:
- How to use title tags.
- How to increase click-through using meta descriptions.
- How to optimize your written content for your chosen keywords.
- The importance of proper “alt” tags for images.
- Why you should keep your sites content fresh.
- Why you should build a good internal link structure for your site.
In the next newsletter, we’ll take a look at off-page SEO factors. In the meantime, check over your site and see whether you can improve its on page SEO using the tips above.
Wishing you every success, till next time,