Bottom line, when you go through the time and money to build a website for your company, you need people to see it. Getting your site live and online is the easy part, getting it “out there” and having other people find it on their own is the difficult part. One of the largest sources of possible traffic out there is from the different search engines. Google is by far the largest, but you also have Bing, Yahoo, and increasingly DuckDuckGo. In order to tap into those traffic sources, you have to have your site and its content Search Engine Optimized (SEO).
There are a couple of different aspects to SEOing your site and one is called On-Page SEO. It is basically focusing on one page at a time and making small tweaks to the content on the webpage to make sure it is set up for the different search engines. Through research and trial and error, we focus on the following 4 criteria:
1. Meta Data
This includes the Title of the page and the page description. Both of these get seen by the user when they search for something, so they are important. It could be the first impression that the potential customer gets of you, so think through the text.
- Title – Write a unique title tag for every page and post. Use the keywords or keyphrases found in the keyword discovery. Limit title tag length to 60 characters.
- Description – Write a short description describing your page or post. Keep it under 155 characters, and make it enticing so that viewers will click through from the search engine results page to your content
Within your content, you need to add hyperlinks to relevant content elsewhere on your site and across the web. These links validate to the search engine that your page is a resource on the topic. Think of it this way…when was the last time you read a reference book that did not reference other articles on the topic? Think through the links as they can be to other pages that complement the content, or even the next page in your sales process.
- Internal – These are links to other places on your site. They could be to the next phase in your sales funnel, portfolio pages, or another page/article that complements that page on your site. Three to five, near the top if possible, read the following for reference- https://moz.com/learn/seo/internal-link
- External – These are links to other places online. They should be other great sources of information that complement the content on the page you are working on. Two to three are recommended if possible. I recommend that you set these to open in a new tab so your visitor does not leave your site and set these links to “No follow”.
Images are what help sell you to your clients, and can be that spark that can ignite them wanting a timber frame. Those same images can also cause your site to load slowly, which not only hurts your SEO, but your potential clients may be leaving your site because of it. Spending a little time on your images will solve this and get them ranking in the Google Images search engine as well.
- Resize all images to 1080px or to the actual size they will be used.
- Run all images through https://tinypng.com/ – This will handle jpegs as well. If you are on the WordPress Platform, we use and recommend Short Pixel. It can optimize all your existing images as well as all-new images uploaded.
- Rename the original image so it does not look like “unnamed (2).jpg” and instead text that is relevant to the image, “timber frame farmhouse kitchen”. It should be four to six words long, describing the image, lower case
During the upload to the site assign the following fields to each image:
- Title – Use the title of the original image from above, keeping it all lowercase
- Alt Title – Use the title from the original from above, capitalized as you would a title. The alt title pops up when a visitor to the site hovers over an image.
- Description – Write one to two sentences describing the photo in more detail and include the title in the text. This lets the search engine know what the images are about.
- Resource and Research
4. Review content for grammar
The fifteen or so extra minutes this takes does add up over the course of building a site, and it will take months to see the results in the search engines; but, it is time well spent.