On-Page SEO Tactics for Small Business – What You Should Know

On-page SEO is a crucial part of Search Engine Optimization.

Ignoring on-page SEO tactics means limiting your ability to reach targeted customers in search engine results.

In this blog post, we will summarize the three essential tactics of Search Engine Optimization:

Technical SEO, Offsite SEO and On-Page SEO 

AND we will go through the 4 on-page SEO tactics that you can incorporate to help boost search engine rankings:

  1. High-Quality Content is King (Don’t Forget It)
  2. Proper Page Title & Meta Description Optimization
  3. Page Content Optimization
  4. Formatting Headings & Content

First, let’s begin with a bit of background information…

What is Technical SEO?

Technical Search Engine Optimization focuses on improving the structure of your website and optimizing servers to help search engine spiders crawl and index your site effectively. In layman’s terms – it helps to build a solid foundation so that search engines like Google can quickly scan your website and categorize it.

Elements of technical SEO:

  • Website speed
  • Image sizes and load speed
  • Mobile responsiveness
  • Redirects
  • Site architecture
  • Templates and layouts
  • Plugins and widgets
  • Tracking codes
  • Browser cache
  • Breadcrumbs
  • URL structure
  • Clean code
  • Structured data markup

When your website is in development, you have to ensure that your developer keeps all of these factors in mind so that your site won’t get penalized by search engines.

Usually, you perform a technical SEO audit once, but if you add new web pages or products to your site, you’ll have to redo the inspection.

 

What is Offsite SEO?

Offsite Search Engine Optimization, also called ‘off-page SEO,’ involves link building to help your site reach a higher search ranking, more traffic and authority.

Even though search algorithms and ranking factors are frequently evolving, the universal consensus is that relevance, credibility, and authority still play a huge role in a page’s ability to rank.

Building backlinks is the backbone of offsite SEO. These links determine the linked-to content’s quality, meaning that a site with numerous high-value backlinks will typically rank better than a similar website with fewer backlinks.

Offsite SEO tactics:

  • Manually building links (i.e. asking your customers to share your content)
  • Self-created links (adding links to a directory)
  • Natural links (linking your website’s pages to each other)
  • Guest blogging
  • Influencer marketing (on social platforms like Instagram)
  • Social media marketing (posting content on your social pages)
  • Brand mentions (in blogs, social posts, PRs)

 

What is On-Page SEO?

On-page SEO is often referred to as on-site SEO. This process involves structuring web page content to achieve maximum optimization for search engines, including Google, Yahoo, and Bing.

The goal of on-page optimization is to make it easy for the crawlers to recognize the context and meaning of your web pages.

Not only does this process simplify content for your website visitors so that they know exactly what your site is about, but it also makes your site search engine friendly.

 

How technical SEO, offsite SEO and on-page SEO work together

A high-level view of how the three parts work together to rank your site in search engines

 

The Importance of On-Page SEO Services

If you don’t implement on-page SEO strategies, search engine crawlers might not crawl your content. And if they don’t crawl your pages, it’ll be impossible to rank for your targeted keyword phrases.

Why is this necessary? Without being crawled, your pages can’t get indexed. And if they never get indexed, Google will not know how to rank them. 93% of online interactions begin with a search engine, so your website must please the algorithm.

You can try every SEO method known to man and still fail. On-page SEO services act as a guide to show the search engines which keywords you’d like to rank for.

 

4 On-Page SEO Tactics That Boost Search Engine Rankings

Some people might tell you that there are more than four on-page SEO factors to focus on to improve search engine rankings. We believe these four outlined below are the most important of all, as it can get overwhelming. Just focus on these areas, and your SEO rankings will exponentially increase once you’ve made these changes.

 

1. High-Quality Content Is King (Don’t Forget It)

You always need to keep a few things in mind when publishing content for the web. Remember, you aren’t just writing for your website visitors.

You’re also writing for the search engines. In particular, you’re writing for search engine bots that crawl web pages. There have been 11 core Google updates since 2013, but high-quality content remains one of the most crucial ranking factors.

To publish excellent content that Google bots love to crawl, keep in mind that you should always have:

  • Unique content
  • Exclusive original content (created expressly for your website)
  • Content containing written text (not just images and videos)
  • Well-researched content
  • Useful content (and easy to understand)
  • Unbiased content
  • Long-form content (best for top page #1 search engine rankings)

 

2. Proper Page Title & Meta Description Optimization

At Magenta Marketing Agency, we focus on appropriate page title and meta description optimization. Why focus on these areas? Without the right meta tags, search engines could accidentally “read” your page wrong. The search bots might mistake your page’s intent while crawling your site.

Google bots want to understand your web pages. It’s their only job. So give them exactly what they need to understand better and properly rank your pages in the search engine results. With a little luck and plenty of hard work, we’ll have your site ranking at the top of Google in no time.

Page Title Optimization Recommendations

  • Begin page titles with targeted keyword phrases
  • Make your titles short and descriptive
  • Use power words and numbers in your titles
  • Exclude adding your domain name to page titles (Google does this for you)
Page title example when implementing on-page seo.

An example of how your page title shows up in Google search.

 

Meta Description Optimization Recommendations

  • Do not use auto-generated descriptions (they don’t always make sense)
  • Use targeted keyword phrases in your meta descriptions
An example of a meta description

An example of how your page description looks like in search results.

 

3. Page Content Optimization

Writing fun and engaging content is one thing. Adding targeted keywords to content for SEO purposes is an entirely different ball of wax. But it’s a necessary part of the process to rank for targeted keywords, related LSI (latent semantic indexing) keywords, and long-tail keywords.

‘Targeted keywords’ are search terms that your ideal prospects use to find products or services similar to yours. These are the keywords that you’d want your website to rank for to capture those prospects, and hopefully, convert them into sales.

‘LSI’ is a computational technique that scans the way words cluster together in predictable patterns. LSI keywords are related to the keywords that you want to rank for based on context. For example, ‘accounting’ and ‘tax specialist’ are LSI keywords.

‘Long-tail keywords’ consist of more than three words, have low search volume and competition levels—these makeup for a large percentage of all Google searches.

Keyword research is critical to your success. We recommend performing keyword research first before writing content for your website.

You might wonder, “Is this necessary?”

 

Rank Brain Enters the Picture

Google recently beefed up its search engine algorithms with Rank Brain. They improved the intelligence of their algorithm by a wide margin with this update. Google not only crawls your content looking for keyword relevancy—but they also look for topic relevancy too.

What does this mean for small-to-medium-sized businesses?

It means that if you want to rank for a wide range of niche-related topics, you need to pepper your content with LSI keyword phrases. By adding these additional keywords to your content, you’ll have a better chance of showing up in the search results for related keyword phrases.

E.g. Let’s say your website is about Nike. How does Google know that you’re referring to Nike shoes, not Nike, the Greek Goddess of Speed?

By scanning your site for LSI keywords, it’ll determine the correct meaning.

If your site contains words such as shoes, styles, workouts, collection, online store, shipping, footwear, apparel, equipment, accessories, sneakers, then Google will deduce that your site is about Nike shoes.

 

Dominate Search Engines Using the Big Three (Google Suggest, Related Searches, and People Also Ask)

‘Google Suggest’ is simple enough to use. Start typing a targeted keyword into Google and view their suggested results. Use these results to create new content or add the keywords to existing content for better rankings.

An example of search results for Google suggest

You can find great long-tail keyword suggestions with Google Suggest.

 

‘Related Searches’ show up at the bottom of the Google search results. You can add these phrases to new or existing content to boost SEO rankings for additional keyword phrases.

An example of a related search results

You can find related searches at the bottom of the search results.

 

‘People Also Ask’ is a great way to find additional subheadings. In this box, you’ll find questions related to your current search. If you perform a search using a targeted keyword, you’ll find questions about your topic that you can use as subheadings in your content.

An example of results for 'People Also Ask'

 

4. Formatting Headings & Content

Structuring your website content is equivalent to writing a table of contents – search engines can quickly scan and determine the level of importance of each section based on the order.

When organizing your site’s content, pick a theme for each section and ensure it has a relevant title along with a body.

Ensure each page also answers these questions:

  • What’s the pain point your service or product is solving?
  • Who’s it for?
  • Why will it benefit the user?
  • Why should consumers trust you?
  • How much does it cost?
  • What’s the call to action?

Not only does this approach help search engines categorize your site, but this tactic will also make your content digestible and memorable for users who tend to scan websites.

H1 Tag

Just like a book title gives you an idea of what the novel will be about, a heading gives visitors an idea of what your business is about.

Every webpage needs an H1 tag; this is the main heading of your page. Search engines show this information in the title tag when displaying results.

 

An example of an H1 tag on Wave's website

An example of an H1 tag on Wave’s website.

 

You can customize the H1 and title tag, so make sure to differentiate between the two with different and unique content, but include your target keyword in both!

 Keep the following in mind regarding other headings:

  • Create interesting headings
  • Avoid single word subtitles
  • Follow a headings hierarchy (H1, H2, H3, H4)
  • Add related keywords to subheadings

 

Formatting Content

Some website owners think they can vomit text all over their webpages, just as long as it’s readable. Guess what? This is a foolish approach and one that will quickly kill your potential to rank highly in the search engines.

 Instead, use these best practices during content creation and formatting:

  • Italicize, underline, and bold the important text on the page
  • Use a large, easily readable font (14px)
  • Improve readability with small paragraphs (3-5 lines maximum)
  • Create section breaks with CSS
  • Add space between paragraphs to improve readability

 

How Long Until I Start Seeing Results?

On average, it takes about 2-5 months until you start noticing keyword fluctuation as Google starts to recognize your website. In roughly 6-9 months, with all of the right SEO tactics in place, your selected keywords can start reaching page one on search engines.

However, work doesn’t stop there! You have to continue to nurture and elevate more keywords to help them rise about your competition.

SEO is like going to the gym or practicing an instrument. If you miss a few days, you’re not going to see a massive difference in your skill level. But over time, as muscle strength and memory decline, you lose your ability.

For SEO, stopping a campaign won’t make a difference right away. However, typically after six months of ending an SEO campaign (if you’re working with an agency or doing it in-house), a website’s keywords drop off the first page of Google – sometimes even out of the top 100 pages. It’s a slow slide to the bottom.

What happens when you abandon seo services

What happens when you abandon on-page SEO services after 6 months.

This is why many small businesses work with agencies, such as ourselves, to maintain their position in search. As you can see, it’s a long and complicated process that involves dedication and skill to master.

Before assigning one of your employees as the on-page SEO expert or learning to do it yourself, consider outsourcing. This will not only save you time and money, but it will give you peace of mind and the results you want.

Improve Search Engine Rankings With On-Page SEO Services

There’s no going around it. Your website has two audiences – your target market and search engines, and you have to prepare for both. By focusing on all three major components of SEO, you can get your site to outrank your competition.

It’s our job to help small to medium-sized businesses like yours achieve online growth with SEO services and digital marketing. Book a 10-minute chat with us to get an idea of how we can help you get more traffic and boost sales.

Alena Blyshchyk

Alena Blyshchyk

As the Owner of Magneta Marketing Agency, Alena and her team help small businesses get more clients, rise above the competition and stay relevant in their niche. She’s the captain of the ship but she’s also a marketing strategist and works with clients one-on-one.