On-site SEO Practices to Increase Website Traffic in 2023
The search engine has become an integral part of our lives that it is hard to imagine the scope of it. On typing a few words in the magical search box of Google, every piece of information can be summoned within a few seconds.
But Google or other search engines that provide us relevant information, also act as a platform for businesses to promote their products or services and companies or brands through their websites.
On-site SEO practices are largely followed to improve website traffic. There are two different methods through which companies reach out to online consumers. The first one is the Pay Per Click method, and the other practice is SEO which is short for Search Engine Optimization. And in this article, we are going to talk about various aspects of SEO and more specifically learn in detail its application to the website or on-page SEO.
What is SEO?
It is defined as the process of maximizing the quality and quantity of website traffic to the webpage or website from Search Engines. This process is cost-effective compared to other forms of internet marketing strategy (like Pay Per Click) as optimization for search engine portals mainly involves targeting Unpaid Traffic Natural or Organic Traffic.
In simple words, SEO involves businesses creating compelling content that is then optimized or streamlined in such a manner that Search Engine algorithms recognize the relevance of the content and rank them higher in the Search Engine Results Page (SERP).
Optimization can be better understood by learning a few things such as:
How does a search engine work?
A search engine is a software system that searches the World Wide Web for specific information that is provided to the user when he/she types a text-based query in the search bar. That said, the content (information made available through the website) should be visible to the search engine for it to show up on the Search Engine Results Page.
Search engines carry out multiple processes in real-time that include Web Crawling, Indexing, Searching, and Ranking (Don’t worry I will skip the working complexities of the search engine, we will just have a peek into how the portal functions).
Web crawling here refers to the process where an internet bot called Spider or Spiderbot systematically browses the World Wide Web to find out new and updated content after which the information is indexed. The indexed information is ranked according to the relevance to potential search queries and the algorithm then displays results that best answers your query. So the whole game of SEO is getting the content of the website in the best results category of SERP by satisfying the search portals’ algorithms.
What people search for on search engines and Keywords typed by them?
People use the portal to get information about various things as well as to arrive at commercial decisions(this can be getting to know about the price of a product or its user reviews).
Let us more specifically delve into how people make their buying decisions on the internet and how businesses find ways to sell their products or services with the help of keywords (the common link). With regards to businesses, they usually pay for certain keywords that enable them to be ranked higher in the results pages (i.e., paid traffic).
There are few given keywords (particularly the frequently used search phrases that roll off the tongue quite easily) on the web and a large number of companies chasing them driving the demand for the keyword making it expensive, in internet marketing parlance this is termed as Search Engine difficulty.
So the optimization now involves targeting a certain category of keywords that are low on search engine difficulty and high on search volume.
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Why is SEO important?
- SEO encompasses multiple elements such as keywords, content, and other basic ingredients necessary for the success of your website. The engagement traffic to a website can be generated by social media platforms but as the majority of the online traffic is driven by search engines, therefore, having a proper optimizing strategy makes sense.
- According to a study, Organic search results appeal more to savvy online browsing users as they appear to be more credible to them and also receive more clicks than paid advertisements according to a recent survey. Also, Unpaid or Organic search is often the major component of website traffic.
- Another survey found out that SEO is 20 times more likely to have traffic opportunities than PPC on both mobile devices and computers.
- SEO is relatively cheap when compared to other online market strategies and yet in terms of volume of engagement traffic, it is far superior.
- Understanding SEO means getting to know the nuances of the web environment which means any change in algorithm functions or other changes will be immediately applied to optimization, making SEO a robust and dynamic strategy.
- SEO can influence the buying cycle as customers tend to research on the internet (search engine) before they buy any products or compare prices. This is where a well-curated SEO with regards to the website can attract the customers who can make an informed buy and have some satisfaction that they have got a good deal.
- SEO is also about building trust and credibility that is developed over time as businesses look to build a strong base for a content-driven, user-friendly website experience that is easily visible in search results thanks to search engines’ algorithms.
- SEO helps your target audience to find your website therefore a strong online presence means not only achieving your marketing goals but also customers buying in a way that works for them within their comfort zone.
Now after understanding the need for SEO let us look at different types of optimization.
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Types of SEO :
There are three types of optimization that anyone can include in their organic search strategy viz :
- Technical SEO
- Off-page SEO
- On-page SEO
(We are going to just skim through technical and off-page optimization as our main topic of focus is on-page.)
1. Technical SEO
This is mainly confined to non-content elements of the website such as enhancement of the sites’ back end structure so that the content created can be easily recognized by the search engines. Technical optimization is also about improving the website user experience (UX) that is important for readers which also signals to the search engine that the site is high quality. The final result of all these processes is an increase in engagement traffic to the website.
Other optimization procedures that come under this category of SEO are as follows :
- Site speed and architecture
- Security, etc.
This refers to improvement in off-site ranking factors and most of it is about high-quality backlinks that enhance users’ perception of your site along with the search engines’ recognition. In a nutshell, this can be any activity happening outside your website but helps the site to make it to the first page of search results.
And there are two forms of off-page SEO, the first is link-building based and the other is non-link based off-page optimization.
In link-building optimization, it is all about various authoritative, reputable websites vouching for the authenticity of your website and its content. And this happens when a large number of links on other relevant sites (they have good domain authority) leads to your site thus showing search engines that your site is valuable and genuinely established. The more the number of high-value backlinks that your site achieves the better are the rankings of your website.
Concerning link-building related SEO, there are three types of links:
1 ) Natural links: Given as part of editorial work on part of the page owner not related to your website. For example, a movie blogger leaving a link on his blog to his/her favorite movie rating website.
2) Manually built links: These can be acquired through intentional link-building activities like leveraging social media influencers to share your content.
3) Self-created links: It usually involves adding back-links to your site on a blog commenting forum, online directories, and other forums.
The non-link-based off-page SEO can be things such as guest blogging, social media marketing, etc which all can add value to both your content and the website.
3 .On-page SEO
Here the optimization is confined to the content on your website alongside other elements just like the HTML ASCII text file of your webpage. On-page SEO removes any ambiguity making the content readable by the algorithm and helps users clearly understand what the page is about and whether it answers their search query.
In essence, a well-laid out SEO helps search engines understand what people search for once they visit a page and successively what value they get in return which acts as a point of reference for the portal so that they will serve future visitors with what they consider high-quality content.
When it involves on-site SEO keep a couple of things in mind with regards to users and search engines both should have no problem :
- To interpret and relate what your webpage is about;
- To identify your webpage as relevant to any related search queries (i.e., keywords concerned together with your niche);
- To recognize that page is beneficial and qualifiable for rankings on SERP(This one’s for Google).
Now let us take a glance at a couple of on-site elements which will be optimized :
Is the WHY a part of an inquiry query or Why did he/she make this search? Are they trying to find information, or to buy anything, or simply finding out about any website? It’s the aim of the web search that ought to drive SEO. Aligning the content of the website with the audience search intent takes us one step closer to be ranked top among the search results.
I mean the search engines’ functionality itself is driven by the motto of satisfying the search intent.
There are four sorts of search intent :
This can be people online trying to find information. it’d be an easy answer to questions like “who is that the prime minister of England?”. Or something that needs a detailed answer like “how does India calculate its GDP?” However, the searches online can be direct instead of traditional who and how.
Examples of informational searches :
“Who is Benjamin Franklin?”
“Directions to Delhi”
The online audience is trying to find a specific website. They know where they have to be and rather than typing the entire URL into the website address bar, they will just Google the website( also they could have no clue about the right URL).
Examples of navigational searches :
“Beginners Guide to Digital Marketing iimskills”
This is the pre-buy research phase of searchers; they need to narrow down their options but are yet to form a final judgment. They might be trying to find good deals, offers, reviews, price comparisons.
Examples of commercial exploration :
“Best protein powder”
“Nokia 7 vs Samsung A5”
“Best restaurant in Bangalore”
The online Searcher is looking to shop for who is during a purchasing mode. They have already got a selected product or service they’re looking to shop for they only need an area to shop for it from.
Examples of transactional searches :
“Buy Adidas NeoRUN shoes”
“One plus 6T cheap”
“Star insurance premium price”
This is an HTML tag that will be seen within the top section of every webpage, that gives a basic idea or context on what each webpage offers of the location.
This can be seen prominently within the program results pages typically as functioning clickable links. The title optimization on its own has little influence on organic rankings, this why people overlook it.
That said, incomplete, duplicate, and poorly written title tags can badly impact your SEO results, so confirm that this is often a part of your optimizing strategy.
Since the advent of SEO on the internet marketing strategy, meta descriptions have been a major optimization element. Meta descriptions and meta tags that describe what the page is about can be seen displayed in the SERPs underneath the title of the webpage.
Google recently suggested writing your meta descriptions on your own which should be descriptive keyword-rich as this can boost organic CTR.
Content in the age of the internet is the backbone of any flourishing business therefore publishing high-quality content should be seen as an incentive and on-page SEO can be a catalyst of content marketing. And this can include using specific keyword phrase components such as long-tail anchor words.
You can notice with time that when you start creating insightful and detailed content, you’ll see an increase in traffic in tune with long-tail searches, a very particular keyword phrase revealing buyer positioning and urgency.
Customers with time have become more aware and smart therefore it pays for you to be willing to listen and to learn from them, and their quest for solutions drives them to ask certain questions. And in those questions lie what they want most from you.
Content should be :
- Practical and useful
- In-depth and well written
- Written with the user in mind
- Address their problem
- Easy to share
Instant-gratification of the web has only made us more impatient and that is why site-speed optimization makes sense even so that Google cares about page load time.
People tend to lose interest even if the page takes a few extra seconds to load and you know the internet, people start to tarnish the sites’ repute, and sooner or later the website loses its traffic.
IMAGE Optimization :
Adding images to your content makes your webpage more appealing. But images that are of considerable size can slow down your website. Therefore optimizing images properly can be one of the most valuable SEO assets.
Image optimization has the following advantages:
- Faster page-load time
- Increased ranking opportunities (you can show up on Google Image Search)
- Better user experience
KEYWORD CANNIBALIZATION :
Don’t worry it’s not a title of a horror movie rather this fancy term is what you call when multiple pages on your site compete for the same keyword or phrase to get Google algorithms’ attention.
There is a prevalent misconception that if you add more pages targeting a keyword, the better are the chances of you getting ranked for that keyword.
It actually can end up harming your SEO as you have several pages ranking for the same keyword, which means, you are competing with yourself.
How? When you have several pages ranking for the same keyword, you aren’t showing Google anything related to expertise and you aren’t improving the authority of your website for that specific query.
Instead, what you are doing is that you’re asking Google to weigh in on your pages against each other and decide which ones it thinks to match the target keywords best.
For example, if your site sells pizza, and “pizza” is the only keyword you target, you’re essentially telling Google that every page is about “pizza” regardless of whether you are selling burgers, sandwiches, etc. In other words, you might not be ranked properly for people looking for burgers or sandwiches.
The other problem with keyword cannibalization is that most people do not notice that they have made a serious SEO error and may continue to persist with it.
This can result in;
- A lower CTR for each page
- Diminished authority
- Lower conversion rates
PRO-TIP: LOCAL SEO
This practice is about increasing online search visibility for businesses that serve their local communities and local SEO attracts more customers from relevant local searches by optimizing online presence.
These businesses can be brick-and-mortar ones with physical locations such as small cafe shops or service-area businesses that operate throughout a specific geographic area such as an electrician.
So how to improve your local rankings on Google?
Google My Business: This is Google’s one-stop, free, and easy-to-use tool for businesses and organizations to manage their online presence across Google, including search and maps.
You can use this tool to manage information like your working hours, website, and street address that Google users find when they search for your business or the products and services you offer.
How does it work?
Getting started with My Business is simple; you have to make an account dedicated to your business. After filling in your details, you will get a regular postcard from Google at the address you’ve mentioned. This card is the single proof that you’re the genuine owner of the business listed at the address. For other types of business, there is a provision to get verified via a phone call or an email.
Once verified, fill in all the necessary details and analyze how your listing is doing. You also get regular updates to see how many impressions, clicks, and subscribers of your listing. It’s a great way of getting feedback on how your business is recognized by Google and customers alike.
Remember that My Business is not a magical wand for your local SEO. It has to go hand in hand with your on- and off-site SEO efforts. You won’t make top results if your profile is inaccurate, similarly, you won’t make the grade without a well-optimized site and localized content.
Relevance: A major pointer for Google’s local algorithm for locality-specific search queries to ensure that search engines view your business as relevant.
Bear in mind to target keywords or topics that potential customers would be searching for. For example, if you run a Gift Shop in New Delhi, you’d want to ensure that Google relates your business to keywords such as “Gift Shop New Delhi”.
Prominence: This is all about the activity around your listing such as the number of reviews, events, local content, etc.
The above-mentioned guidelines for successful optimization can help boost your website rankings and establish your business to achieve its maximum potential. All the best in your future endeavors. Have a good SEO.