On-site SEO optimization, that is to say the optimization of the natural referencing of your website on search engines, requires various procedures that may seem complex at first. Indeed, it is important to follow certain steps in order to optimize your SEO strategy effectively.
An on-site SEO optimization is essential to enable your site to get excellent positioning on search engines.
Without further ado, we have selected the best practices in order to optimize the on-site SEO of your website.
In order to better position your website on search engines, it is important to select a number of relevant keywords. Even if you think you know the keywords that people type in to find your site, in-depth keyword research is still necessary. For this article, we will take an example of a for-profit company that wants to optimize its website for search engines.
Doing keyword research allows you to identify the keywords in your field that are most searched on the web.
Your on-site SEO optimization begins with keyword research using platforms such as Google AdWords, Ahrefs, Moz, and Google Suggest.
With the Google AdWords and Moz tool, for example, you will be able to find out the search volume as well as the competitiveness of your chosen keywords.
The Google AdWords keyword-planning tool is a great tool for your natural SEO because it not only allows you to get keyword suggestions but also lets you see the average monthly search volume of any keyword.
However, this free tool is becoming increasingly obsolete, and this pushes professionals to opt for paid solutions instead.
As we can see from the screenshot, the term “florist” is sought on average 12,100 times a month in Quebec alone.
But terms such as “flower delivery”, “send flowers” and “online florist” are also keywords that might be of interest to a florist.
After identifying a number of keywords, as well as their search volume, it is important to know if the keywords are facing significant competition on search engines. A platform such as Moz with its “Keyword Explorer” allows you to obtain a score out of 100 on certain keywords. The higher the score, the more difficult it will be to position your keyword on the search results.
If you want to use the keyword “florist” when you optimize on-site SEO, you will see that this keyword has a 27% competitiveness on search engines in French, in Canada.
It is also advisable to do a Google search on the target term, to see which sites appear on the front page of search engines. If the first 10 results gather websites with strong domain authority, it would be advisable to choose another keyword if you do not yet have an equally high domain authority.
After performing your keyword research, it is not surprising to find that you have dozens of keywords to choose from. The next step is to categorize your keywords in order to know which pages of your website these keywords are going to be assigned to.
For example, your website could have the following categories: flower delivery, flower bouquets, promotions, FAQ etc. It is therefore advisable to categorize your keywords according to each of your website pages.
Following this categorization, on-site SEO optimization continues by selecting one keyword per webpage. Indeed, do not try to select several keywords per webpage, this will simply confuse the search engine robots and they will not be able to understand the main topic of your various webpages.
Meta title and meta description
In SEO, the meta title and the meta description correspond to the information that appears on the search engines, as shown on the screenshot below. After selecting your main keyword for each of your webpages, it is important to write your title and meta description in accordance with your chosen keyword.
If the keyword selected is “florist”, a good on-site SEO optimization requires that this keyword be indicated in the title tag as well as in the meta description.
The plugin Yoast SEO allows us to write this information with ease on the CMS WordPress, for example.
Content is key for SEO. The more a website offers quality content of at least 300+ words, the better the positioning of the site will be on the search engines. Writing content is therefore an essential step for your natural SEO. This is why it is important to adhere to some SEO tricks for your content writing:
- Write at least 300 words per page
- Insert the selected keyword in the body of your text
- Insert synonyms for the selected keyword
- Use subtitles (hn: h2, h3, h4) to prioritize content
With good keyword research, in addition to good writing of meta descriptions and quality content, your on-site optimization has an excellent foundation for your SEO.
One of the goals of on-site SEO optimization is also to ensure that search engines understand the content of your website. This is why using hn tags is a first step in structuring your pages.
However, even if a search engine like Google is becoming more and more efficient, it is not certain that it will be able to understand all the data that appears on your webpages. For example, the content author’s name may be seen as simply an additional text field in the eyes of search engines.
In order let the search engine robots know that a first name corresponds to the name of the author of the article, structured data will have to be set up. Structured data is particularly useful for e-commerce sites that contain a large number of product pages. In this way, you will be able to structure your data according to different information: price, description of the product, availability, etc…
As you may have noticed, on-site SEO optimization can prove to be quite an ordeal. Keep in mind that even after completing all these steps, it is important to keep updating your website through a blog for example. In effect, search engines like websites that regularly put content online, so make sure you update your website often!
The field of SEO is very complex and that is why other data can also affect your SEO. For example, Google particularly favours mobile-optimized websites in its search results. This is why the AMP (“Accelerated Mobile Pages”) format was launched in 2016.
So, make sure you have a website that is at least “responsive” (suitable for mobile devices and tablets) so that Google does not punish you in terms of position on search results.