Search Engine Optimization, or SEO for short, is comprised of dozens of factors —website age, structure, size, content, meta descriptions and more. All of these factors are at the mercy of Google Algorithm updates, so keeping up with your SEO may seem like a daunting task. The best way to keep up with your SEO is to stick to the basics: optimizing your site with specific keywords relevant to your business through on-page SEO. On-page SEO determines how your website “talks” to a search engine, so to speak, and nailing your on-page SEO will help you rank higher in search engine results. So, where should you start?

Choose Your Keywords

Let’s say you’re craving some pizza one night but unsure where the closest pizza place is. The first thing you’ll do is hop on your computer or smartphone to google something like “pizza delivery in knoxville tn.” Voila! Google gives you a robust list of pizza places in your proximity.

When developing a keyword strategy for your business, identify the products or services you offer, then think about what keywords people use to search for that product or service.

For example, if someone is searching for pizza delivery near them, they won’t simply search “pizza” or “pizza delivery.” The search will likely specify something like “pizza delivery in knoxville tennessee.”

Still not sure what keywords you should place on your site? Check out this blog.

Audit Your Site

Whether you’re optimizing a current site or a brand new site, the first step is to perform an SEO audit. Our friends at Hubspot put together a free video series to walk you through an SEO audit. Essentially, it will look something like this:

  1. Arrange all your site pages in an Excel document
  2. Categorize each page
  3. Select specific, long-tail keywords based on the page content

(Naturally) Place Your Keywords

When you’re optimizing existing pages, ensure your keyword appears naturally—don’t force it! Search engine optimization is as much about human users as it is about crawl bots. Keep the humans and the bots happy by focusing each page around one, specific, long-tailed keyword.

This same rule applies when you’re creating new pages. Pick your keyword before you begin to write content around it.

Where Should I Place Keywords?

For your optimization efforts to be effective, place your keywords in the right places:

Placing keywords in these specific locations will boost your SEO, as well as your click-through rate.

Ok. I’ve updated my site pages. What’s next?

To stay on top of your on-page SEO, always add metadata when you add new pages, and regularly update your blog with content optimized around your keywords. It may take some time before you see the fruits of your labor. There are many factors that contribute to SEO, and many take time to accumulate. We recommend checking in with your keyword rankings and other basic SEO stats around once per quarter.

Were my efforts successful?

If you start seeing your site moving up the search engine rankings, you are on the right track. Results-wise, aim to be on the first page—ideally, in the top five. If you’re not seeing movement, try researching better, more targeted keywords or increasing the amount of content you write around that keyword.

Need help optimizing your site for search? Contact us today!