Body Rockin' - Strength Training For Your Website:
Step-by-Step On-Page SEO, Part 1
June 1, 2015 • Scott Zeller
“"If you consciously let your body take care of you, it will become your greatest ally and trusted partner." ~ Deepak Chopra
At the core of your online marketing is your website. It is the body of the campaign, the epicenter of it all, and easily the most important tool in the digital marketing toolbox. And it can be your best friend, or your worst enemy when working to achieve your goals.
This week, we're covering on-page SEO as the next step to climbing our mountain to the top of the search engine rankings.
At this point, you should have a brief list of general keywords that people use on Google (and other search engines) when looking for your products and services. You should also have your basic Adwords campaign up and running (if your budget allows), so you're visible on the first page of Google using paid search while you're waiting for your SEO to kick in. If you need to review any of my earlier posts that discuss these strategies, click on the ARCHIVE links below as needed.
When you're first starting with your website, it's best to do a quick audit or snapshot to identify current strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. I use multiple sites to do this, such as:
• SEOptimer - http://www.seoptimer.com/
• Zadroweb - https://zadroweb.com/seo-auditor/
• SEO Copilot - http://www.seocopilot.com.au/seo-audit-tool/
• FOUND - https://www.found.co.uk/seo-tool/
There are many free SEO tools online in addition to the ones listed above, and the selection is always changing. So use Google to find more. And while you're at it, use Google to also find definitions and answers for any of the terms or phrases that you may not be familiar with in the audit results pages.
CLICK HERE for a glossary of basic SEO terms and jargon.
The number one variable you need to look at in the audit results is the domain authority. The higher the number (from 0-100), the more authority you have, and the higher you will rank for your keywords and phrases in the search engine results pages (SERPs). Much of your domain authority will come from people linking to your site, which we will cover in another post, but you want to at least find this number as a starting point to gauge the current strength of your site. Note: domain authority is not the same as page authority. Page authority refers to a single page, while domain authority refers to the entire website.
You also want to look at site speed, and optimize your images and code for maximum download speed. You want your image sizes to be small (find a balance between file size and image quality), and your code to be clean. Make your site structure and navigation easy to understand, so Google can effectively index your site in its database.
At any given moment, there are thousands of robots (spiders or bots, as they're often referred) crawling the web, looking for sites to index. Google's bot is the most influential in the world of SEO (because they own the search engine market over Bing, Yahoo, etc.), so we want their bot to crawl and index our site in their database as quickly and efficiently as possible. So keep your code and structure clean.
Register your site with Google Webmaster tools (https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools) for additional insights as to the health of your site.
Once that's complete, create and upload a robots.txt file. USE THIS TOOL. Upload it to your domain.
Also, you want to create a sitemap using THIS TOOL. Once you've created that, download the XML file and upload it to your domain. Then submit the sitemap to Google using the Webmaster Tools account that you created earlier.
That's a lot to do for now, and a lot of data to analyze. So get all of this completed, and I'll meet you right back here next week for the second half of the discussion, when we'll talk about title tags, meta descriptions, and ALT tags. In addition, we'll have a brief discussion on best practices as well as content, and how to treat keywords in regards to that content.
Also feel free to submit questions and comments on the social networks, and I'll get to them as soon as I can. Have a great week, and we'll talk again soon.
May 10, 2015 - The Wisdom of Dora the Explorer: Mapping Your SEO
April 29, 2015 - The Slow Climb to the Top, and Other Key SEO Strategies
April 20, 2015 - Mobile Mania, and Things Yet to Come - Google's New Mobile Algorithm