Do you want to increase your website’s rankings? SEO is a powerful way to do this. On page SEO refers to the content on your website, and it can take time and patience to get it right. In this blog post, we will go over three tips for optimizing SEO on your website so that you can rank higher in search engine results pages (SERP).
These tips are the foundational pieces that I have used for my business and clients that flat out get results.
SILOing Your Content
A big part of search engine optimization is creating content. One mistake people make is not structuring that content properly so it is easily followed. The first thing you need to know is how to structure the content so when someone comes to the site they can easily navigate and find the content they are looking for.
The best way to do this is through SILOing your content.
What is SILOing you ask?
SILOing stands for “siloing information.” It’s the process of organizing website content in a hierarchical manner. On each page, you have to provide links that lead users down a hierarchy, or order, of topics or subtopics.
I like to draw it out on a white board and make it look like an organizational chart.
Here is an example of what a hiearchy would look like:
The main topic of focus for the entire website is right at the top. Below the main topic, start creating subtopics. I like to keep the subtopics to 5 or less in the beginning. Then, underneath each subtopic, start writing all the potential things you can write about on that particular topic.
If you have a hard time coming up with things to write about, go to websites like answerthepublic.com or quora.com and search the subtopic. Then just write down all the questions that come up and answer them.
How long should each article or piece of content be for SEO?
There are many answers to this question depending on where you focus. From our experience with clients, we have found that top-performing content is at least 1200 words and that content should not be less than 800 words. If content is under 800 words, it typically performs poorly in rankings.
Now with SILOing, you can use multiple pieces of content in a “series” like format to get the word count up.
The idea behind having this much content is that you want to build authority on the topic.
Google hasn’t really come out and said 800 – 1200 words is the mark, but if you can easily write 1200 words on a topic it shows that you know a little of what you are talking about, Google likes that.
As for keywords and getting all that in there. Each piece of content should be themed towards a question or single topic that falls under that sub topic. This makes it really easy for keyword strategy.
What I tell my clients is to not worry about making sure the right keywords are in the right place. I tell them to focus more on providing high quality content that is easily consumable. The keywords will appear where they need to.
You want your content to be organic, authentic, and easy to read and understand. The more you focus on this, the better your content will be and the higher it will rank.
As you build out your SILO visually, it’ll be easier to also connect the dots across categories where you can provide internal links for additional content to better strengthen your content.
Once you have content written the next thing you should put focus on is Rich Data snippets, or Schema Markup.
What is schema markup?
Schema markup is a way to structure your content for search engines. On the internet, there are different types of data that websites can use, and it’s important to be able to “mark them up” so that they’re easily understood by search engine crawlers.
There are two main things you need schema markup for – reviews & people or organizations.
Of course there are other areas such as videos, FAQ’s, breadcrumbs, etc.
The type of site you have will dictate how in depth you want to go with the schema or structured data snippets.
The way Google likes to see it is in the JSON format.
Now I know what you are saying…”that sounds super techie and I don’t want to do it.”
I’m here to tell you…yes it is techie and you must do it!
Luckily there are a ton of plugins and websites that will write this for you and all you have to do is give the information.
The website I like to use and have clients use is https://technicalseo.com/tools/.
This website has a bunch of other tools to help with your robots file, sitemap and htaccess file.So you can leave the real techie stuff to the software. All you need to worry about is copy and pasting it into the right place.
The really cool thing about schema is not a lot of websites do it. If you are in a niche, especially a local niche (ie. HVAC, Hotel, dentist, massage therapist, etc.) you will easily beat out your competition just by adding schema to your site.
Just remember, Google will always serve you when you give them as much information as possible in their preferred format. In many cases, this will be the sole reason you outrank the competition.
There are many other factors in getting high rankings for your website, but having well-written structured data is one of the big factors that Google looks at.
Now that we have awesome content that is structured with a SILO, and the site is properly marked up with Schema, we must continue with providing that great user experience.
The best way we go about doing that is making sure the site loads fast.
Website Loading Speed
One of the main things that affects website ranking is how fast the site loads.
Google has said that they are using page speed as a ranking factor.
There are many things you can do to increase your website’s loading time, such as optimizing images, compressing files, and caching static content.
Using sites such as GTMetrix will give you an awesome idea on where you can get started with your speed optimization and what is going to make the biggest impact right away.
Once you have made the adjustments, I always cross reference through Google’s PageSpeed tool to make sure I am doing the right things and getting the desired results.
Another thing you can do is use a content delivery network (CDN).
A CDN is a service that distributes your website’s files across multiple servers located around the world. This speeds up the loading time by serving the files from the closest server to the visitor.
There are many different CDNs available, such as CloudFlare and MaxCDN. I like to use CloudFlare because it’s free and easy to set up.
One Last Recommendation
This bonus tip is to make sure you have a Google Search Console, formerly known as webmaster tools, account. You can use this to check your crawl rate and see if there are any errors you need to fix on the site. On top of that, it’s great for getting feedback from Google about how they view your website.
Just by doing these few things, you can greatly improve your website’s loading time and boost your SEO rankings.
SEO is not a one time fix and it’s an on-going process. You must always be working to improve your website’s ranking. These are just a few of the things you can do to get started.