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On-Page SEO Factors Today: What’s Most Important?
You want your company to be found online, right? With the overwhelming percentage of consumers searching for your services (plumbing, HVAC, remodeling, you name it!) on the internet more than anything else, it’s profitable for your business to show up in the search engines, like Google.
SEO is one of the best ways to do this. While it doesn’t guarantee you number one rankings (and rankings shouldn’t be your number one concern, anyway), it can help you increase your online presence. The three main facets of SEO—which include on-site, off-site, and site code/structure—work together to help you maximize your online real estate and grow your business.
Important On-Page SEO Elements
While you can’t control everything about online marketing and SEO (for instance, the number of external links your site gets is, for the most part, out of your hands), this isn’t the case for on-page SEO. You can directly control the on-page elements of your website! But which factors should you focus on? Which are the most important?
The SEO game has changed a lot since I first started back in 2011. Three years ago, the most important on-page SEO factors were keywords, keywords, and keywords. Best practices? Have keywords everywhere, in your:
- URL (a few years ago, exact match domains were a big deal)
- Title tag and meta description
- Page title, or H1 tag, and subheadings (H2, H3, etc.)
- Page content
Not so much anymore. One crucial lesson I’ve learned when it comes to content marketing and SEO? Be adaptable.
Do Keywords Still Matter?
Yes, keywords still matter in today’s SEO world—but in a different sense. Today, it isn’t necessary to strive for a 2% keyword density in your page content, use the meta keywords section in addition to the title tag, etc. But this doesn’t mean you should entirely dismiss the concept of keywords (they aren’t dead).
Instead, think about what your prospective customers are searching. Think of the best ways to answer consumers’ questions and help them reach their goals. This should be the basis for your keyword research and usage.
The most important on-page SEO factor is your website content. Moz puts it well: “Just like the world’s markets, information is affected by supply and demand. The best content is that which does the best job of supplying the largest demand.” Don’t worry about getting the keyword in every paragraph and subheading. Write for the user, not the search engine.
Title tag and H1 tag
In order for the search engine to understand what your page is about so they can show it for relevant search queries, you do need some keywords. Use the title tag for this. Don’t forget about the title of the page, or the H1 tag (which is still important, even today). Put a different keyword variation for your H1 tag, but make it worthy of the reader’s attention.
If you think about it in terms of a movie (yeah, I’ve been on a roll with Netflix), the H1 is kind of like a trailer. A trailer tells you what the movie is about but only has a short amount of time to entice you. The same goes for an H1—it should tell you what the page is about yet needs to grab your attention in just a few seconds.
Conversion rate optimization
SEO used to be more of a rankings game, but, as mentioned, rankings should be the least of your worries. Isn’t your ultimate goal more leads and sales? While optimized title tags and well-written, relevant content can help get people to your site, you need to focus on converting those visitors once they get there. Conversation rate optimization (CRO) is one of the most important parts of SEO!
CRO could include creating better contact forms, writing more relevant and specific calls-to-action, using buttons to promote certain services, making specials and promotions more visible, etc.
It All Comes Down To…
User experience! As my co-worker Elizabeth wrote, you “should combine keyword research with user intent…user experience trumps rankings.” Really, it trumps all other SEO aspects you may once have heard were important (like having thousands of external links pointing back to your website).
By using keywords the right way and working on converting relevant traffic, you can’t lose! If that seems all too intimidating, that’s what the Blue Corona team is here for. Get in touch with us and learn what our content marketing team can do to help you grow your business.
About The Author: Alanna is the Quality Assurance Manager in Blue Corona's Maryland office. When she's not triple-checking websites and content for errors and consistency, you can find her at the gym with her twin sister or urban exploring with her husband.
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