The Web is massive.
There are nearly 1.8 billion websites (and growing). We create quintillions of bytes of data every day. In all that are countless competitors popping up and fizzling out before most notice.
Getting your webpages found amongst all this data is a challenge.
On page SEO is one of several strategies webmasters use to get their pages (and site) found in search. If you can learn the basics, and apply it, then your site has a strong chance of thriving online.
Here's how to make it happen.
Search Engine Optimisation is the application of strategies to help a site rank in search results. Effective SEO leverages best practices proven and verified by the SEO community. SEO is a catch-all term for the various tactics of its whole.
The one we're focusing on is on-page SEO or what's done to your web pages.
- On-page involves:
- Keyword research
- Design and usability
- Content creation
- Speed and mobility
Those in charge of applying on-page SEO typically begin by researching relevant, high-value keywords and topics. The content then reflects the keywords and topics found through research. The result is a page both optimised for search and people.
Several elements support on-page efforts such as improving the page speed. Fine details like interlinking, alt tags, and dwell time play a role in helping a page do better in search. Mobile-first design and semantic markup are worthwhile endeavours, too.
Effective on-page SEO ensures every page is unique and holds value.
Search Engine Optimisation is fundamental for success because it's how you get found in search results. The efforts put into SEO also heavily influence your social media efforts.
SEO, if you could believe it, also affects the business's goals and culture.
Here's how it all goes together:
On-page SEO involves optimising items like:
- Meta descriptions
- Body content
- Media tags
These page elements are signals for Google and other search engines. It clarifies what the content is to search engines while connecting with a user's search interest and intent.
Delivering (optimised) value gets rewarded with higher search rankings.
What happens when your page(s) are on the 1st page of Google? Well, lots of traffic!
People want to feel assured they've found a reputable business in their search. A site that ranks well carries a value and reputation, and this reassures those landing on its pages. All this results in greater sales volume or page engagement.
How else does SEO play into the branding? Consider that it helps to:
Reach broad and narrow (niche) audiences
Build connections with relevant sites (and their owners)
Generate more interest and shares through recognition
SEO adds to the social signals people look for while on their customer journey. These individuals reward the brand with business and awareness/reach. You've now fostered brand awareness and SEO that propagates itself as time goes on!
A couple of well-received, high-ranking pages could redefine operations.
SEO can do things like:
- Change your marketing and advertising strategy
- Develop more/better resources for the community and team
- Trim low-performing items while bolstering those having high ROI
Imagine what could happen if your site ranked #1 for its primary keyword. This would change the very nature of its operations would it not? This, right here, is why on-page SEO should matter (greatly) for a business.
There will be a point where the on-page SEO starts to 'click'. It'll be a point where you have enough of an understanding that you're able to put theory into practice. This is a critical point where you need to decide to DIY or use the pros.
What are the benefits of doing SEO yourself or in-house?
Cost — Campaign expenses are minimal
Experience — Learning tactics build upon the skillset
Control — Being the decision-maker and leader
Learning SEO is great for lean operations and those without a lot of startup capital.
There are plenty of impactful SEO strategies anyone could do. It's all-around good because it'll qualify professionals if you decide to use them later on.
What are the drawbacks of DIYing the SEO?
Output -- Being limited by one's knowledge and resources
Commitment — Failing to stick with on-going campaigns that may take months/years
Distractions — Adding a new task to the already heavy workload
A lot of website designs, themes, and platforms have built-in SEO. This means you need to do more than the basics to get ahead of the competition these days. You may not have the resource to explore and apply advanced strategies when DIYing.
What advantages do you get from hiring an SEO agency?
Time to Market (TTM) — Day 1 application of SEO strategies means sooner results
Guidance — Industry insights and experience offer sound, data-driven decisions
Scale — Tap into an agency's full talent pool and those in their network
Hiring pros for SEO mean faster results. It also entails a big picture strategy built for growth. Plus, most agency's offer a la carte options so you only need to pay for what you want/need.
What are the downsides of using SEO pros?
Campaign length — Campaigns take time before showing results vs faster options like ads
Industry changes — Google tends to shake things up which could negate a lot of the work in an instant
Costs — Competition, site size, and campaign complexity can make service pricing quite hefty
Commitment to the unknown is the toughest part of hiring the pros. You're in it for the long haul and this can get costly. That's why it's crucial you qualify an SEO agency including who they are and their experience.