Simply put, search engine optimization (SEO) refers to the tools web developers use to better communicate with search engines (SERPs). SERPs like Google have various algorithms in place to find and rank websites accordingly. Organic ranking is “free” and can help your ideal customer find you.
Website building platforms like Domains.co.za’s site builder make it easier for start-ups, entrepreneurs and small businesses to get their businesses online. But if you build it yourself, who will do your SEO on site? You can!
The following steps can help you get the basic onsite SEO factors straight to your website building platform.
Step 1: Create relevant, high-quality content
Content covers all text, video, images, and infographics on your website. Make sure your content is unique, interesting, informative, and relevant to the interests of your audience. Update and refresh your content regularly, so search engines can crawl and reindex your website constantly. Writing weekly blogs or posting monthly video blogs (vlogs) can help you do this.
Step 2: write meaningful title tags
The title tag, also known as the “meta title tag,” is the title you give to a page and is found in the encoding behind it. This script is very important for search engines because it helps display your website when applicable to meet a search request. Write a 50-60 character description that best describes or summarizes what is “happening” on that particular page. Use a keyword or two that are in the text of the web page, but don’t overdo it.
Step 3: Configure a Smart URL Structure for Your Website
Make sure your site hierarchy is intuitive and user-friendly, and displays as such in the URL names assigned to each page. A URL that displays the subject / product / category of a web page, for example, https://www.domains.co.za/ssl/domain-validated-ssl-certificates is the most recommended route. A URL that only makes sense to the web designer, for example, www.domains.co.za/404/8490367/domains is not SEO friendly.
Step 4: Create alt text for each image you upload
Image alt text is important and should be used when uploading images to a website. The download should have a window that allows you to provide more information about the image. Google and other search engines use this description as alt text for images on your website, usually for people who are visually impaired. The restriction is 125 characters, so write a descriptive, but brief, summary of the subject of the image. Include a keyword and if there is text in the image, include that too.
Step 5: Keywords
Keywords are the terms or phrases that best describe a page’s topic or what it is selling. These should also include terms that people will search their search engine for to find your product or service. Identify four to five relevant keywords per product or service and use them where they will fit naturally into your page content.
A good rule of thumb is to use the first keyword on the page in your URL, title tag, header, image alt text, and multiple times throughout the body of the page.
Step 6: Write quality title and subtitle tags
Headers should provide hierarchy and structure to your page and summarize the information that will follow. Use a relevant keyword in your titles and only use one HTML H1 title.
Step 7: Write a meta description for each page
The meta description is the short paragraph that appears with your meta title tag in search results. Write one that matches the information on your page and highlights the best information and the most relevant keywords.
Ultimately, SERP algorithms are set up to promote human behavior. So they are looking for website content that is fast to load, unique, relevant, interesting, structured, reliable and safe.
Do not create a website for “bots”, as that will fail miserably. Create your website for your ideal client. Ask yourself what they would like to learn and see when they visit your site, and what kind of experience they would like – and implement those aspects for them. Use the steps above to make it easier for SERPs to rank you, and your website’s on-site SEO will do!