6 Easy Ways To Optimize Your Own Web Pages
TLWR: Mention your subject multiple times on your webpage and also include it in the title tag, URL, and image alt texts. Make sure your site is mobile-friendly and regularly update your content.
There is a lot of information out there for up-and-coming website builders – but if you are new to it, the steps can get technical, confusing, or far beyond your ability. If you are looking for the basics of making web pages that perform well, here are six simple ways to optimize your site for increased results.
The key: be hyper-relevant to a specific topic (usually a product or single object)
Although the title of this blog is “6 Easy Ways To Optimize Your Own Web Pages”, most of them really come down to just one key concept: being hyper-relevant to your topic in the proper areas of your page. I will try to keep this post from getting overly technical, and will do my best to not scare off any brave sole proprietors who are trying to save some money on marketing and do this on their own.
1. Make sure you include your subject in the title tag.
A title tag is an HTML element that tells people and search engines the title of your individual webpage. Title tags are seen on search engine results pages (SERPs), showing up as the purple headline that you can click for each different search result. Including your product or service keyword in the title tag is important because it helps searchers know what you offer, right away.
Usually, the wording also shows up on social media shares of your web page, and tells search engine algorithms what the page is about. This helps you rank higher in the search results for that keyword. Beyond that, testing and experience show that placing your important keyword closer to the beginning of your title tag has a more positive impact on your search rankings.
There are many aspects of writing an effective title tag which include trying your best to keep your title tags under 60 characters long (spaces included) so that it doesn’t get cut off when displayed in SERPs. For example, if you have a business servicing different European vehicles, and one of your pages is about BMW service, it would then require a title tag such as: “BMW Service | Company Name”. You could even add in your city if it is relevant to your business.
To help with visualizing this, here's an example screenshot. The title tag is the purple text, reading "SEO - Search Engine Optimization - Mindset Media"
2. Include your subject in the URL.
Your URL (Uniform Resource Locator) specifies different addresses on the internet, such as https://www.exampleurl.com. Knowing this address is important, so you can add your keyword into the URL for that individual page.
To use the BMW service example again, if you were creating a page about it, you would want your URL to appear like this:
This way, search engines see another sign that your page is about BMW service. Or, look at this whole blog post of mine. It’s a 6-point checklist of things to do that signal to search engines like Google that you’re “playing their game” – and they will reward you by ranking you more highly over time, versus people who don’t do these things.
Including the keyword(s) in your URL is important, but on its own, it isn’t very powerful. It is one of many small factors that build upon one another to help your page rank higher. So, if you can’t work your keyword into your URL smoothly and every combination seems forced, it may be better to just leave it out entirely. It helps, but don’t panic if you can’t make it happen nicely – after all, a well-done URL provides value to both humans AND search engines. You want to be able to easily tell what the destination page is about based on the URL.
Another benefit of a proper URL is that when it is shared (i.e., as just the link through a text or chat), the person will be able to tell what the page is about, even though they weren’t searching on Google for the topic.
Here's another screenshot to help see how this looks in practice. This is a Safari browser example, where you can see the subject of "seo-search-engine-optimization" that is included in the webpage's URL.
3. Include the subject in the image alt text.
Alt text (also known as alt attributes, alt descriptions, or even sometimes alt tags) is an aspect of HTML coding that tells search engines what the subjects of your page’s images are. Google can’t “see” images as well as text, and so labeling them for Google and other search engines to easily read and index is important. This isn’t something that your website visitors can see (unless their internet connection is slow – then sometimes, they may see an empty box in place of the image for a moment, and the alt text words will be seen within it).
This is another "checkbox" you want to fill with your target keyword, so that Google knows you’re playing their game. In our BMW service example, where we want to use an image of a BMW being serviced on your BMW service page, we would include an alt text saying “BMW Service”. If you have multiple images on the page, try to have slightly different (but still relevant) versions of the keyword(s) alt texted onto the images.
Alt text also helps visually impaired users with screen reader software. This text will be read out in place of the images, allowing for better accessibility and understanding. Properly tagged images also have an opportunity to show up when you search for images on Google.
However, it’s best to avoid spamming keywords in alt text – it should describe the image properly, without getting too specific. Our image of a BMW being serviced on a hoist could be “BMW Service On Hoist”, but a bad example of an alt text for that image would be “BMW Service Car Service Best Car Shop In The City Service Near Me” – that’s just ridiculous and spammy, and will get your image nowhere.
The image alt tag attached to the screenshot below is "examples of image alt tags in Google results", because that describes the screenshot image properly. This screenshot is what comes up in a Google image search for my website, and the tags for it are seen in the small writing underneath them in the image search results. If I had not tagged them properly, they wouldn't be showing up for searchers.
4. Specify your subject several times throughout text content.
If you have a tool like Yoast (which, if your website is built through WordPress, you likely already have; if you don’t, then just click on the Plugins tab and search for the free version), it will tell you what percent of your page is your keyword. The perfect percentage changes over time, so there’s no magic amount of your text that should be the main keyword, but the important thing is to avoid keyword stuffing (e.g. using them so often that it sounds spammy). Readability is more important for your site.
What does readability mean in this context? Well, when you speak out loud about a topic, you’re likely to use a natural pattern of keywords, verbs, nouns, and synonyms around that topic. You want to write your content similarly to that, using different versions of your keyword (and other related terms) throughout your page. You also want people to stay on your page as long as possible (as time spent on your page is a factor in ranking higher), so readability means they can read your content without rolling their eyes at your OBVIOUS keyword stuffing.
If you’re chasing some mythical “perfect’ keyword density percentage, then you’ll probably end up doing more harm than good – but, if you want to know your keyword density, Yoast is a good basic tool for that. You can also do a Google search for other keyword density tools quite easily. In general, search engines prefer synonyms throughout the content over high density keywords.
In the screenshot below, you will see part of the analysis Yoast gives to a web page within WordPress. Yoast will tell you what is good, what is bad, and what needs a small change.
5. Optimize for mobile users.
Unlike a decade ago, most people who are online right now are there thanks to their mobile devices. Whether it is an Android, iPhone, or anything else... mobile is the way of the world now. Because of that, you're going to want to ensure your website is designed in a way that it is easy to navigate on a small touch screen. You don't want your text to be too small to read, you don't want buttons to be hard to click, and you don't want your images to be such large files that it takes forever to load. If someone is on mobile and they don't have a good internet connection then they might give up on waiting for your non-mobile friendly website to load. Also, Google likes mobile-friendly websites and it will rank you higher in search engine results pages if you're optimized that way.
Many website builder platforms will let you adjust your website for either desktop or mobile versions. If you have been confused about how to handle that... we suggest focusing your efforts on mobile since that's where the majority of your traffic will be coming from. Nearly every platform now offers a "dynamic" option where it'll automatically adjust your site's appearance/functionality based on what device it senses your visitor is using.
6. Regularly update your content.
Google favours fresh content. Think about it... Google can sense the last time you updated any page on your website and it's more likely you aren't bringing your audience the best information if you haven't updated a page in years! New things are always happening in the world. What if there was a breakthrough in your field in the last year and Google knows you haven't changed your page since that has happened but your competitors have? Google wants to bring the best, most accurate information to its searchers so you want to ensure you signal to Google that you are regularly updating your content.
"What if nothing new has happened in my field?"
It doesn't matter. That example was just random. You just want to signal to Google that you're putting in the effort so that if/when there is a serious change in your field that it can trust you're on top of it. Go back through your old content and add in a new image, video, or paragraph. You can also link from your older content to your newer content. Doing that will also help your newer content rank better on Google (double whammy!).
Most website automatically update the "posted date" on your blogs but some don't so be sure you manually adjust the post date when you update your content.
Ensuring you execute these 6 simple things on your webpages is a great way to improve your on-page SEO. The better your website SEO, the higher you will rank on search engines like Google, and the more traffic your website will get. And more traffic means more customers heading your way!
You don’t have to spend a lot of money hiring professional digital marketing teams to do your SEO or to build a website that looks amazing for you if you want to take the initiative on your own. Just follow these pointers to create a baseline strategy that can yield positive results.
Once you've mastered the foundational techniques mentioned above, you can take your on-page SEO to the next level by implementing additional strategies. Conduct thorough keyword research using tools like Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, or Ahrefs to identify relevant keywords with high search volume and low competition. Strategically incorporate these keywords in your headings, subheadings, and body text to optimize your content further. Pay attention to crafting compelling meta descriptions that include your target keyword and entice users to click through to your page. Enhance user experience by incorporating engaging multimedia elements such as videos, infographics, or interactive content. Additionally, consider implementing structured data markup, like schema.org, to provide search engines with a better understanding of your content. By implementing these advanced strategies, you can elevate your website's visibility, attract more organic traffic, and achieve even better results
If you’re looking to expand your potential, or bring your SEO to the next level beyond these basics, then reach out to us and together, we can create a plan that delivers exactly what you need - from international SEO right down to local SEO here in Calgary... it's all important and we've got you!
Julian Lloyd - An entrepreneur, fitness addict, and marketing specialist with over a decade of experience in sales and marketing.