Despite what you have heard (for years) to the contrary, SEO is not dead. Far from. Even in the age of social media and content marketing, effective search engine optimisation is essential. In 1984, the internet connected 1000 hosts at labs and colleges. Today, it connects 2.7 billion people worldwide. In 1993, there were 130 websites; now, there are over a billion. In 1993, there were 3.6 million Google searches per day; today, there are 3.5 billion searches per day.
Given the enormity of the internet and the deluge of content coming from all corners, it is incumbent upon brands to ensure that their sites and services can be found by those who are searching. That, at its most basic, is the foundation of SEO. And it is more important than ever.
The following on-page SEO techniques are an integral part of your overall strategy:
Keyword Density and Position
While the web is moving to semantic search, keywords are still important. Selecting keywords that align with what your audience is searching for is critical – but it doesn’t stop there. How and where you use them also matters.
Keyword density refers to the frequency of the targeted keyword in a single piece. While there is no solid rule, it is best to maintain a density of 1.5 to 2 per cent. So, for example, if you have a 500 word article, you would use your keyword 7 to 10 times. There are, of course, caveats and guidelines to this:
If you cannot use the keywords naturally, don’t just cram them in. Google can, and does, penalise ‘keyword stuffing.’
You can use LSI (latent semantic indexing) keywords. These are words that are synonyms; search engines are sophisticated enough to make the connection. Use LSI’s if you need to introduce more keywords into your piece. Again, natural and authentic is the key.
Be sure to use keywords in your title. Some studies suggest that starting with the keyword is more effective than inserting it into the middle or end of the title. If possible, use the keyword in your introductory and concluding paragraphs as well.
Write a Compelling Meta-Description
A meta-description is the short statement that appears under the website title. It tells searchers what they can expect if they click through to the page; search engines, too, rely on them to help them deliver the most relevant results to users. Include your primary keywords, concisely summarise the content of the article/post/page etc. and entice readers to click through.
Use – and Optimise – Images and Video
Content with images and video is more attractive to searchers; they consistently garner more clicks and engagement than comparable posts without these visual elements. To ensure that they work as hard as they can for you, optimise your images and video with clear, keyword-targeted titles and descriptions.
These are just a few of the on-page SEO techniques that you can employ to ensure your website achieves maximum visibility in the search engine results pages. Take the time to incorporate them and learn about additional tactics that can help.