So, you want to appear on page one of the search engine results. Well, it’s not that simple. The goal to show up on page one of the search should be part of a larger marketing strategy.
There are a number of factors that will help your business improve its chances of appearing on page one of Google or Bing search results. There is much more to it than just picking keywords or phrases. The most common SEO ranking factors are Website Design and Technical SEO, On-Page SEO, Links, Keywords, and Content.
Let’s take a look at how On-Page SEO increases your odds of showing up on page one of Google and Bing.
On-Page SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the process of optimizing your web pages so they rank higher in the search engines in order to bring you more organic traffic. Your keyword selections are important to On-Page SEO. Each page of your website should tell the search engines about the keyword and content on the page.
Search engines pay attention to On-Page SEO signals to rank your web pages. For example, Google uses keywords and other on-page optimization elements to check whether your pages match a user’s search intent. The more relevant and useful your content is to a search query, the more likely Google will serve it to the user.
On-Page SEO is anything that can be completed on the web page to improve your rankings. In most cases, you have more control over the on-page optimization factors because you own the site. For example, you have control over the page titles, descriptions, and page headers.
Off-page SEO refers to anything that can be optimized outside or off of your website to improve your rankings. Link building or backlinks are a major factor in off-page optimization. Other examples are local SEO, social media, and content marketing.
Content development or content creation is the process of creating a piece of content through researching, writing, gathering information, infographics, audio, and video material. Only after you have created the content does the on-page optimization start. In a digital world, content is much more than what’s on the web page. For example, content could be a podcast, video, or guest blog which may not be on your website page. These are considered to be off-page optimization tactics.
Content creation is important for on-page optimization. There are a number of things to consider before you optimize a page to make it relevant and useful for the customer's intended search. For example, who is your ideal customer, what is their persona, and what’s the buyer’s journey?
Identify your best customers then help with their pain points. Create buyer personas then tailor your content, messaging, products, and services to meet the specific needs of that target audience. By focusing on the buyer’s journey, you improve the customer experience which leads to higher conversion rates and better customer retention.
To be clear, On-page SEO is a factor in whether or not your business shows up on page one of the search engine results page, but it is not the only factor! Additional consideration should be given to your competition, your existing technical challenges, the market, and your budget.
What does the existing data tell you about your ranking? What’s your SEO strategy? Analytics, Google Search Console, and Google Business profile data all provide a starting point to gain insight.
Have you completed any keyword research, competitor analysis, or keyword gap analysis? Keyword research is important when identifying targeted keywords, search volume, keyword competitiveness, and the user’s intent.
The technical evaluation of your site is also a factor in search results. The loading time of your site, XML sitemap, broken links, and structured data markup (helps search engines understand how to interpret and display the content) all impact your search engine rankings.
Links to your content and content distribution impact your rankings too. Internal links, external links, and citations increase referral traffic and provide a “vote of confidence” to search engines. Content distribution is done via link building, guest blog posts, and content marketing to share information about your product or service.