This month, we're moving on through SEO month with a guest article on SEO powered by Innovaxis, a BC Partner with a solid experience in marketing services, email campaigns, PR, website development, social media, channel development and more.
When people talk about search engine optimization (SEO), most are really talking about link building. While building links is important to enhance the visibility and SEO for any given website, we’ve found that it’s becoming increasingly more important to implement on-page SEO with every new Google algorithm release.
For our clients, we’ve consistently increased their traffic, lead generation and e-commerce sales by 100-300% by implementing these 3 On-Page SEO Best Practices.
Step 1: Implement Custom Metadata
Custom metadata needs to be well written and implemented on every page on your site, through all four layers:
- Put a maximum of 70 characters in your title, to maintain the impact of each work
- The first few words have more weighting than the rest, so keep this in mind when creating your powerful one liner
- Use a maximum of 50 characters to describe your page. This will ensure that you only put the most relevant keywords in there.
- You want to have at least one image per page, and each image should have an alternative text. This ensures both that your content is visible and indexed by search engine, but also that visitors with disabilities will be able to read your site through their devices, even having a description of the images they normally cannot access.
- Put a maximum of 500 character to maintain efficiency
- The least important metadata field – it may not be indexed by Google at all but no one knows for sure, so we populate this field but don’t spend much time in doing so
Most of these items can be filled in the specially designed BC interfaces, as you can see from the screenshot above taken from this very blog post admin screen.
Though not metadata, you will also want to incorporate keywords into the URL for every page. This includes both page name and folder name(s) in addition to your domain.
Step 2: Utilize & Incorporate Keywords into Headers
Readers frequently scan headers first to see what part of the page is most relevant. In recognizing this, Google weighs keywords in headers more heavily than body text, starting with H1 headers and followed by H2:
- Use only one H1 header per page, to keep the relevance high
- As before, the first few words have more weighting than the rest so keep this in mind when creating the header
- Not weighted as heavily as H1
- Can be several per page along with H3, H4, H5 headers
Step 3: Utilize Google/Bing Webmaster Tools & Google Analytics
While Google Analytics is widely used, it seems that the vast majority of websites out there do not effectively utilize Google and Bing Webmaster Tools. You will also want to upload an XML sitemap to both of them as well as monitor them weekly to resolve whatever crawl errors and HTML improvements are listed.
Monitoring Google Analytics also gives you some incredibly important information:
- Unique Visitors: is this number going up or down?
- Content: what are the most popular pages on the site and how does this compare with what you want people to see?
- Traffic Sources: where are people coming from and where do you want them to come from
- Bounce Rate: should be <50% – you’ve got big problems if it’s above 70-75%
- Avg. Visit Duration: should be more than 1.5 minutes: <1 minute and your in trouble while over 2 minutes is great
- Pages / Visit: ideally 4 or more – 1 is a bounce and 2-3 is only marginally better
If your site has strong website traffic but weak bounce rate, time-on-site and page views, you’ve got a conversion problem…
Caution: Don’t Forget about Content
Just remember that, while on-page SEO is critical to your website’s keyword rankings, you can only do so much with it if your content is limited. It’s going to be difficult for a starter site with 5- 25 pages to rank well for anything even with on-page SEO best practices implemented and monitored.
The Adobe Business Catalyst Team