In part 3 of our SEO For Beginners series, we’ll be looking at On Page SEO (and how important it is to get it right).
So for on page SEO, here are four really important tips that you can use on every web page you optimise.
The first thing to do is optimise your title tags and meta descriptions.
When you look at Google’s search results, you’ll see this part in blue and the text below.
The top part in the larger text is called your title tag and the lower part is the meta description.
The purpose of these is to entice someone to click through to your web page.
And if people are actually clicking through to your page, then that’s telling Google that your page is most likely relevant to the reason why they had searched for the query in the first place.
And you’ll see that Google even bolds these keywords and similar keywords within the search results making them stand out.
With that in mind, I might create a title like, “Award-Winning Plymouth Wedding Photographer,” and then my business name.
Obviously, you need to be an award-winning photographer, but you get my point 🙂
Then for the meta description, you can explain in a couple of brief sentences what the page is about.
But rather than putting a generic description that everyone else is doing and calling yourself the ‘best’, you could put something like: “Pete was rated the Herald’s Best Plymouth Wedding Photographer. He combines creativity with science to capture life’s happiest moment in a million pixels.”
Now, this should make a consumer want to find out who this awesome photographer is.
The last part of our on page SEO for beginners post is the most important and that’s the actual content on the page.
For a typical wedding photography home page, I would have some awesome images, a short “about me” section (which still talks about what I can do for them!), the services I provide, and some testimonials from happy brides and grooms.
Without over-complicating things, you’ll likely want to use your main keyword phrase in the main headline, often referred to as the H1 tag.
If you look at the top-ranking pages on Google, you’ll see the websites do that.
An example of what you DON’T want to be doing is something like this:
The H1 or heading tag saying “hello there”, which doesn’t help anyone understand what the page is about.
Remember, your job is to help Google best identify your page as being relevant to the user’s search query.
Then pop back to the organic keywords report we did earlier to see what other keywords my competitors are using that might help Google better understand what my page is about.
Some other relevant keywords could be bridal, photos, and Devon, which is the county Plymouth is in.
So as you’re writing the copy for your page, you might want to keep these in mind and sprinkle them in where it makes sense and reads naturally to visitors.
OK, so let’s take this Pete’s Photography example one step further.
Let’s say that my business was growing, I got a lot more experience under my belt and I found out that I have some amazing skills in areas like landscape, portrait, travel and product photography.
So I decide I’m going to offer those services as well, but rather than trying to rank my homepage for keywords that aren’t exactly related, I would create new services pages.
So I’d do the same thing I did for the home page by first going to your keywords tool.
I’d enter something like “plymouth product photographer,” and I’ll look at the search volume and see it has 60 or so monthly searches in the UK.
Here’s a quick but interesting side note. Looking at the keyword report, it seems with wedding photographers, people seem to be searching for “plymouth wedding photographer” the most.
While people looking for product photographers in Plymouth are searching for “product photography plymouth”.
So you can see this step is vital to ensure you’re targeting keywords that will provide you with the most eyeballs for your pages.
So let’s look at some other on page SEO factors. For our services page, we would do the exact same thing as we did before with the title tag, meta description and the content on the page.
And the final thing you should do is to include your primary keyword phrase in the URL of the page.
So for a product photography services page, your final URL might look like this: yourwebsite.com/product-photography-plymouth
A really quick hack you can do is to look at the top 10 rankings and see how they’ve optimised those pages to rank there.
So if we look at the Google search results for, “plymouth product photography,” you’ll find some of the pages are keyword stuffing in the title tags and that the meta descriptions are poorly written and truncated.
Another example would be that they included their keyword phrase in the heading and title tags, but then there’s pretty much no content on the rest of the page.
And then other websites will be over-optimised for their keywords. You can check this by simply doing a ‘find’ on the page for the main keyword.
The one I looked at had over 110 instances of it on the page, which will do more harm than good in the long run.
When you see this, you know there is an opportunity to overtake these search results, as Google has sometimes no choice but to choose the best options from a bad batch of pages.
So up to now, we’ve optimised our main pages for our different services, and we’ve covered the basics of on-page SEO.
And if you’ve done this for all of your key pages, then I can assure you that you are miles ahead of most of your competitors.
In Part 4 of our SEO for Beginners series, and arguably the most important SEO factor for ranking high on Google is Off Page SEO For Beginners and link building.
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Pete Skuse (The SEO Guy)
Plymouth SEO Services – Let’s put your website to work for your business