Rank Higher On Google With 9 Easy On Site SEO Steps

Mar 29, 2018 9:00:00 AM

Ranking higher on Google is hard to do, but the main reason is that no one takes the time to actually try.

In reality, the steps you have to take to increase your ranking on search engines are pretty easy.

We are going to tell you 9 incredibly easy steps to increase your on-site SEO.

To quickly give some context, SEO, or search engine optimization, is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results.

SEO can be improved both on-site and off-site.

What Is On-Site SEO?

On-site SEO is the process of making sure your website is optimized for search engines. 

That means your website page, web copy (words on the actual page), titles, keywords, tags, and general structure are top notch.

Luckily, these areas are much easier to work on than people think. They're simple.

Change this. Tweak that.

Now, with that said it's not something that you'll see an instantaneous, dramatic jump in rankings right away.

They take time to build up, but once they get going its a snowball effect.

The bottom line is that you need to work on these early on in your site's lifespan so that you can rank higher on Google faster.

How Is On-Site Different From Off-Site SEO?

Off-Site SEO is the process of making sure you are linked to well to other websites and web pages.

This means including relevant, valuable links to other websites that the search engines find respectable.

The hitch is that while On-site SEO is much easier to work on, off-site SEO is difficult to work on and improve.

Doing regular press releases is a great way to get these going early.

The problem with that is that it's hard to get these on a consistent basis.

The other way to get these going is to guest blog for other blogs that your prospective buyers are interested in. 

9 Easy Steps To Improve Your On-Site SEO

Below are the 9 best guidelines to increase on-site SEO and rank higher on Google.

1. Make Your Website Design Responsive

What does this mean? Make it compatible with different devices.

People look at your website on their computers, external monitors, phones, tablets, and TVs.

You need to make your website fit the dimensions of the screen of the device visitors are using.

You can get this done in two ways: you can build your website on a CMS that allows this function (like HubSpot), or have this program written into your website's code.

On-site SEO rank higher on google; screenshot of a responsive web design

You typically have to have your web designer or web support do this, unless your platform already has it (which it usually does).

But you absolutely need it.

Rank higher on Google, on-site SEO; Google search on a smartphone

60% of mobile searches are made on a smartphone/mobile device.

That's one of the reasons why Google values this so highly!

Studies done by comScore, Nielsen, and SmartInsights show that people spend around 4 hours a day on average browsing the internet on their phones. 

This means two things:

  1. (Minus the 8ish average spent sleeping) typically one-fourth of the waking hours are spent browsing on smart-phones.
  2. More people use their cell phones more often than laptops or computers to browse the internet. 

So if your website isn't responsive to different screen sizes it is probably best to hop on that train to ramp up your website's SEO.

2. Fix Your Meta Descriptions

A meta description is the short description of the website that you read directly beneath the hyperlinked title.

This area is around 600 pixels (Google's measurement for characters) or 300 characters long. 

Rank higher on Google, on-site SEO; screenshot of google search meta descriptions

You need to briefly, but thoroughly describe what your article is about since most people will read this before clicking on your content.

Nailing this down is simple.

Define the keyword you're trying to rank for or describe, and then give as much of a summary as necessary that includes your other desired keywords.

Here's the meta description for this blog you're reading right now...and I'm writing right now.

It's like inception right now.

Rank higher on Google, on-site SEO; What is a meta description

Simple as that.

3. Structure Your URL And Title

URL Basics

URL, or universal resource locator, is the address of a web page.

You find these in the search bar at the top of your browser.

This is a subtle yet valuable area to capitalize on in order to gain optimization ranking.

Inexperienced web designers that implement responsive design sometimes mess up and make two URLs for the same website which is bad.

Remember that scene in Monty Python's Holy Grail where the three-headed giant starts arguing with itself, and King Arthur gets away?

That's what happens when your URL fights itself  - search engines ding you for that and buyers never even hit your site.

Ensuring your URL isn't packed with a thousand different characters and symbols will avoid any rank docking from search engines.

To optimize this, you simply need the information after the actual title to be specific.

For instance, for PHNX21's website https://www.phnx21creative.agency/ the base address is simple enough.

However, when you click on the blog section the hyperlink changes to https://www.phnx21creative.agency/blog.

This improves your like-ability with search engines, as well as improves website navigation with users.

Title Structure

Title structure is another subtle, yet vital, component of on-site SEO. 

You need to structure your web page titles well to appeal to readers and search engines.

This has two major focuses to it:

a. Title Length 6-13 Words

Your title needs to be the right length of letters and words.

Typically, titles from 6-13 words have the highest and most consistent traffic.

b. Keyword First In Title

Your title needs to have the long tail keyword within the first three words.

Attempt to put the focus on these two areas since readers notice them more when evaluating content credibility. 

Title Descriptors

What's the best part of this sentence? I'll give you a hint...it's italicized.

That's right - best!

You want to use words that make the reader want to read, and it helps you rank for longer tail keyword variations.

Headline Tags

Most websites are built using software that places a headline tag on your code.

However, sometimes different themes override this and delete it.

Just check out your code to make sure that it says "<h1>" or whatever number header you used on the sentence.

It's what search engines directly read.

Screenshot of Edit Blog Post _ Rank Higher On Google With 9 Easy On Site SEO Steps

Just use this blog's title as a reference.

It's 11 words with the long tail keyword first with a secondary keyword in blue.

We use 3 modifiers to let you know these steps are easy and there's only 9.

And, yep. Our URL is "pretty".

4. Backlinking

Backlinking is the practice of inputting relevant links to other pages within your website.

The keyword there is relevant.

Make sure the link applies to the actual topic, and it isn't just a random link with no reasoning behind it.

It's usually used on blogs (like this one), but it works all over your site.

See what we did there?


Referencing your own blog?

Insert a backlink to it.

Referring to a subscription for a newsletter? 

Hyperlink to your desired page within your website.

Not only does this help promote your own website and content, but it also helps the browser navigate through your website to improve your SERP rank.

Also, your visitors will thank you for the assistance in navigating your website without clicking the back button a million times. 

5. Cluster Your Content

There are two ways to go about displaying your topics.

You can either list them or you can cluster them. 

Most company websites will list them.

However, recent studies done by HubSpot show that clustering your topics greatly improves SERP rank and assists in navigation.

Rank higher on Google on site SEO; HubSpot's Cluster model for content

Source: HubSpot

Instead of listing out all your content for your companies blog you could organize it by topic that is relevant to your ideal buyer. 

Say you were a small hardware store, and you are optimizing your website to better aid customers in navigating your blog page.

Instead of listing each blog you've written, you could break it down into plumbing blogs, lighting blogs, paint blogs, etc...

This helps search engines find your content most applicable to relevant searches and also aids in visitor navigation. 

6. Images & Videos

One thing that browsers love is when your blog posts and web pages have images and videos.

They actually rank them higher consistently than those without.

As a best practice, try and include either an image or a video every 90 words on a blog post and about every 75 words every standard web page. 

Speaking of which...

Rank higher on google with on site SEO; picture of PHNX21's alt text example

Alt Text

This part is what the search engine reads.

When you insert an image into a web page you can alter the alt text so that search engines can see exactly what it is the picture is about.

Use your target keyword and be extremely descriptive.

7. Keywords

The biggie. Don't listen to all the fear-mongering that Google no longer ranks for keywords.

Google has just gotten smarter with what it ranks for, and no longer uses that as the sole determinant.

Keywords are absolutely needed today as they were yesterday.

Keywords work by grouping common phrases together called "long tail keywords".

These are what Google uses to provide relevant answers to searches.

Google also works to pull synonyms and similar terms to most searches.

8. Website performance

Another biggie, Google doesn't want to throw bad, slow websites at its searchers.

You want a fast website so Google will like it and so will your users.

There's plenty of online tools to check your website speed.

Our favorite to check our selves (typically before we wreck ourselves) is gtmetrix.

Check yours here!

Rank higher on Google, on site SEO; Screenshot of PHNX21's website performance and speed

As you can see we check most of the boxes.

The average page speed is around 70, and there's always room for improvement.

Here's some things that you can do to improve this yourself.

  • Compress images so they take up less space
  • Minify your HTML, CSS, and JS so that there are less spaces and unnecessary characters in your code.
  • Leveraging browser caching so that your users see and interact before your site actually loads.
  • Everything else will be handled by your CMS or your web care maintenance service.

9. Post Longer Content

Longer form content is almost always performing better on search engines than short form content.

First page results of Google average around 2,000 words.

So what does that mean?

If you want to get to the first page of Google you have to write for a while.


Final Thoughts

You need all the help you can get to increase your marketing efforts.

On-site SEO strategies are easy and you should implement them today.

  1. Make sure your website is responsive to mobile and tablet products will help on-site SEO.
  2. Utilize your meta-descriptions to appeal to readers and search engines best.
  3. Structure your URL and title well with minimal characters, proper length and order, and descriptors.
  4. Backlink to your existing content so readers can navigate and search engines can rank it for authority.
  5. Cluster your content so that it's more easily found and processed.
  6. Optimize with media throughout because blogs with pictures and videos perform better.
  7. Keywords are literally key to telling search engines what your blog is about.
  8. Website performance will can make a page with great content show up last and readers exit before it loads
  9. Posting longer content is vital to satisfy search engines and properly educate readers.

Those 9 easy steps are the key to ramping up your on-site SEO and ranking higher on Google.

Want more info on how to improve your website's Google ranking or how to attract more visitors, leads, and customers?

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