What is On Page SEO? | Types of SEO Content | Apogee Results

What is On Page SEO?

 

On-page SEO involves the process of optimizing web page content with the goal of ranking higher on relevant search engines like Google. As you might imagine, the term “on-page” refers to any content and HTML source code that can be adjusted to improve visibility and traffic to the page, and might include adding keywords or making changes to things like title tags, headings, content and internal links.

On Page SEO

Types of SEO Content?

While this list is by no means exhaustive, there are several different types of SEO content you can expect to see regularly.

Product Pages – Customers and users always visit product pages, which could serve as SEO content or a PPC landing page.
Blog Posts – Blogs are entertaining and a great draw for new users and customers, in addition to providing a regular flow of SEO content for your site. Blog posts are often useful for creating links, which will organically create a good reputation for your site and business.
Articles – This will include any type of news, interview or piece that mentions your product, business or touches on your niche or industry. You’ll find these types of articles on most news or informative types of websites.
Lists – Framing an article as a list will attract an audience looking for quick info, and are quite attractive when linked to search engine results or when they appear on social media platforms or pages.
Guides – A guide should give detailed information on how to do or use something, and are often downloadable or broken up into different pages. Many post an abbreviated version or excerpt on their site, and use link clicks or pop-ups to generate leads.
Videos – Videos are very clickable and often move up the search engine rankings faster than text documents. Videos come in a variety of formats including marketing and promotional, explainers, or even short product promos.
Infographics – Infographics are easy and fast to read, and great for attracting traffic with an eye for fast info and statistics. There are multiple open-source options for creating compelling infographics without hiring a graphic designer, but you must ensure your infographic is well organized, and matches the look, feel and voice of your company and webpage.
Directories – Giving customers a platform from which to launch their own research is a great way to attract traffic to your page. For example, an automobile manufacturer might link too or create a directory on where to purchase their products, or what features make their product special.

On Page SEO

The purpose of optimizing your on-page SEO is to prove to Google or other search engines that the searcher intent has been satisfied. Search engines track the dwell time and clicks on sites, and use this data to determine if the page indeed deserves it’s high ranking. High-level search intent includes 4 different methods:

  • Informational: Users looking for information
  • Navigational: Users trying to find a specific page
  • Commercial: Users researching a product before purchase
  • Transactional: Users ready to purchase

On Page SEO Checklist: How Do You Know When Your SEO Content is Optimal?

Once on your SEO journey, how can you determine if you have met your goals? There is far more to SEO than “stuffing” a page with as many keywords as possible. For your content to achieve a high ranking in 2021, you must optimize your content for the following elements:

  • User experience – how users rate your page for informative content and legitimate information
  • Bounce Rate and Dwell Time – how fast users “bounce” off your page or how long they “dwell” and browse your material
  • Search Intent – are users finding the information you promised and that they were searching for on your page
  • Page loading speed – how fast does your page load, and are users bouncing because of a longer than average load time
  • Click-through-rate – how fast are users clicking through your content and links to reach other pages of content
SEO Checklist

Keywords in your SEO Content

Keywords are the most critical part of your SEO content, and you can use them in many ways. Keywords are most effective when used in your titles, descriptions, heading, images and alt text, URLs and content. Once you’ve determined where you can add keywords, use an SEO search tool like Ahrefs, SEMrush, and Ubersuggest to come up with more keywords related to your topic.

You can choose to utilize individual words or even phrases, and with the help of a professional search tool, these are easy and fast to discover. “Stuffing” a ridiculous number of keywords into content won’t necessarily help you on your SEO path. Search engines are not often fooled by an overabundance of keywords, and these pages might achieve a high ranking when first published, but will soon fall down or off the ranking list.

Title tags and meta descriptions

Title tags are attached to every page and appear in search results as a headline. A meta description is a short bio of what the user can expect to find on your page. The space for title tags and meta descriptions is limited, meaning you must keep them under a certain word count to ensure they are fully visible on the search results page.

The biggest difference between title tags and meta descriptions, is that title tags directly affect on-page SEO rankings, while meta descriptions are simply informative but have no direct SEO ranking value. To ensure your on-page SEO title tags and descriptions are effective, there are several easy steps to follow:

  1. Primary keywords should be in the title, and should appear near the beginning.
  2. Use a maximum of 55-60 characters in your title, to ensure your content isn’t cut off.
  3. Never use all caps in your titles.
  4. Ensure each page is unique, and don’t duplicate titles, which will move you down the search engine rankings.
  5. Keep your titles clear, concise and easy to understand.
  6. If your primary keyword is included in your meta description, Google will “bold” the keyword when someone searches for it.
  7. Ensure the meta description is at or under 155 characters.
meta description

Don’t forget Images!

In much the same way video attracts search engine attention, on-page images tend to boost traffic. Including images means Google is ranking your page on both your content, and in any image searches, which can bring a significant amount of traffic to your site. Use detailed names for your images. An image with the filename airpurifier.jpg is much better than a general image name like IMG_83784.jpg. 

Rename your images with as much detail as possible. For example, instead of “air purifier” you want to name your image file something like “air-purifier-clean-affordable-ecofriendly.jpg. Finally, using original images is proven to drive search engine traffic and help rankings, so feel free to get creative!

Internal Linking

Internal links are critical to helping search engines understand your page. By linking your different pages together, Google can follow your descriptive text to determine which pages are the most important, and what information on them is the most vital to searchers. Internal links are also great to drive site traffic to areas of your site that are the most useful, and to products or pages you want to highlight. Internal links are different from backlinks, in that they don’t have a massive effect on search rankings, but still drive traffic.

On Page SEO

Regularly analyze SEO Content

On-page SEO must be performed regularly, to keep up with the most current search results. Searchers use new and different search terms for the same products daily, and you can also make use of any trending search terms unrelated to your business, to drive traffic to your page. A good measurement of the success of your page can be found in the number of views or links to your page, or even comments, social media shares or conversion rates. Ultimately, your analysis should determine Your analysis should have two goals: to duplicate your successes, and to keep your content updated and cutting-edge.

For help or more information on your on-page SEO services, visit Apogee Results online today, or reach out to our friendly SEO experts, who can guide you through the SEO on-page process to ultimate success.

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What is Technical SEO? | Technical SEO Checklist

What is Technical SEO?

 

Most people don’t know that the first search engine page alone accounts for 67.60% of all clicks. Technical Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing all website technology, to increase the ranking of pages on various search engines, like Google. The easier it is for a search engine to crawl and understand your material, the higher you will appear on the search results. Technical SEO is unique, as it focuses entirely on optimizing technical aspects of the SEO process to get the desired results, while off-page SEO focuses squarely on using other channels to achieve more prominent search results.

Why Is Technical SEO Important?

Search engines like Google rank pages and content based on how easy they are to understand, how unique the content is, and the search engines’ ability to find, crawl, render and index your web pages. You may have the best content or product, but without technical SEO, your page simply won’t rank high on Google searches.

Technical SEO Checklist: How Do You Know When Your Site is Optimized?

Like anything worthwhile, technical SEO requires a great deal of planning and regular updates and development. Search engines prefer websites that load quickly, are secure, and have a more responsive design. So how do you know when you’ve finally achieved your technical SEO goals? This technical SEO checklist sets out several easy guidelines to follow on your SEO journey, proven to cater to the needs of search engine algorithms.

Speed Up Your Website

Back in 2016, 53% of website visitors would leave a webpage if it didn’t load within 3 seconds. These already high expectations have gotten even higher – leading to disaster for slow or poorly designed websites. Search engines are the first to know when your web page offers a poor user experience, and therefore won’t risk their own credibility with customers, by linking them to unsatisfying content.

Is your page fast enough? An easy way to test the speed of your site is through an open-source site-speed tester. Most reputable testing sites will even give you advice on where you can improve your site. There are several ways to speed up your site easily and quickly, including:

  • Find a faster host!
  • Use a fast DNS (‘domain name system’) provider
  • Minimize ‘HTTP requests’ by keeping scripts and plugins to a minimum
  • Choose one CSS stylesheet, over multiple CSS stylesheets or inline CSS
  • Resize image files to be as small as possible
  • Compress web pages
  • Simplify your site by removing unnecessary spaces, lines or indentions in your content

Secure Your Website with an SSL Certificate

Online security has been increasingly important this year, with remote work, delayed detection and response, gaps in information security and a massive influx of cyber-criminals, making the internet a minefield for malware. It’s important to use an SSL Certificate to signal to search engines that your site users and their personal information is all safe. With an SSL Certificate, you can implement HTTPS on your site, a prefix Google looks for to determine the security capabilities of a website. If a search engine must take extra steps to verify the security of your website, it’s more likely other sites with more robust and apparent security measures will appear before your site on the search rankings.

On the left-hand side of the search bar on your internet browser, if you see a closed lock icon, your site is safe. If you see the words “not secure,” you are not safe, and neither are your users! If your website URL starts with a ‘https://’ (rather than ‘http://.’), you are secure and ready to go! If you find your site still needs some work to meet security standards, start by installing an SSL Certificate on your website – and watch as search engines and customers stop ignoring your site!

 

Avoid Duplicate Content

Creating and publishing unique content on your site is another great way to impress a search engine. If your site is littered with multiple pages displaying the same content (duplicated product descriptions or blog articles included), search engines might get confused about how to rank your pages. The most common result of this issue is that all pages displaying duplicate content will be ranked lower, and all together, meaning all your info is clustered well off the all-important first page.

 Turn this issue on its head easily, by not publishing duplicate content of any kind, or by getting rid of printer-friendly versions of your content. Some businesses even use a “canonical link element” to show search engines where the “primary version” of your content is on the site, and link directly to it.

Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly

6.4 billion people worldwide own and use smartphones for everything from keeping in touch with work or family, to book holidays and to make purchases. A more “responsive” website design means easier navigation for mobile users. Google recently announced their move to a “mobile first” approach, a plan to prioritize sites that have been optimized for mobile – a directive that we assume came directly down from their end users. 

You don’t want to penalize your customers for using their own devices, meaning it’s critical that your site be optimized for as many devices as possible.

 Add an XML Sitemap to Your Website

An XML sitemap is essentially a map of your site and all the pages linked to it. Search engines use this map to search your site for specific content. An XML sitemap is often divided into categories of posts, pages and even tags or images, including the last time content was updated for every page.  

Most sites are created using an XML sitemap automatically, but if your site is old, not updated frequently, or neglected, you might need to make use of an open-source sitemap generator like Slickplan, Dynomapper, or Writemaps.

 Add Structured Data Markup to Your Website

Finally, ensure that search engines can understand your website and business better, by employing structured data markup to your website. This function will tell search engines what products you sell or what your site is all about. This part should be easy, due to the fixed format used to provide this information. Examples of where you can see this at work are with the “FAQ” section of a website, where each question and answer is formatted carefully and uniformly, for easy search engine discovery. In short, search engines love organization – and that should be key in your technical SEO goals.

Many businesses take advantage of the “rich snippets” section available with structured data, where you can add useful and vital information like prices or reviews – information now available on the search engine search results page. This type of information is easy, fast and appealing to users, proven to increase your click-through rate (CTR) over time.

Technical SEO is a complex concept with a surprisingly simple solution. The name of the SEO game is “organization” and “originality,” two elements that can be further bolstered, using readily available (and sometimes free) technology. 

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3 Pillars of Search Engine Optimization

3 Pillars of SEO: How to Get Found on Search

Search engine optimization, otherwise known as SEO, drives traffic to your website, enhances user experience, and is instrumental in generating qualified leads, all by obtaining search engine result prominence. While this strategy is in constant flux, there are three pillars of SEO that create the foundation of any well-considered effort to boost brand visibility and improve search rankings: technology, on-page, and off-page. Search engines like Google will scan your content and links to assess the level of discovery, relevance, and authority associated with your site. Let’s discuss a few ways you can leverage these three pillars into search engine optimization domination!

3 pillars of SEO

Technical SEO 

Your site’s technical features and abilities are the first indicators of quality, and the first pillar of a strong SEO optimization strategy. Technical abilities encompass any element or solution used to increase customer satisfaction and ease of use for your site. Using technology, there are countless ways to drive traffic to your site, increase lead generation, and thus, satisfy customers.

Site Speed

How fast your site loads is a major indicator of the quality of your site and chosen content. Statistically, websites with a load time of 2 seconds have an average bounce rate of 9%. A marginal increase in load-time, from 2 seconds to 5 seconds, sees the bounce rate rise to 38%!  Google will take note of a high bounce rate, and will adjust your ranking accordingly, so it really matters how fast your site loads! To ensure you make the cut, consider deployment of load-time reducing technology like compression, redirect reduction, browser caching leveraging and using a professional content distribution network.

Mobile-Friendliness

site speedMobile phones have overtaken PCs as the device of choice for internet access, browsing and even online shopping. Mobile phones, in a myriad of styles and formats, have become a one-stop-shop for all things internet, causing potential customers to puzzle over why your text, products, screens and buttons are cut off, or extend beyond the edges of the device. It’s incredibly critical that you SEO optimize your website for easy mobile phone and device viewing and use, to avoid forcing customers to seek out a new device to  view your content, or more likely, a different mobile-friendly business site.

User Experience

At the heart of SEO optimization strategy is user experience (UX). While SEO prioritizes search engines, your UX targets your website users and customers. These two elements should work in concert to ensure that every visit to your site is easy, intuitive and transparent. Did you know that 52% of users say they will abandon a site due to something as seemingly simple as aesthetics? Users know what they want, and are spoiled for choice – making your focus on creating an excellent user experience, of critical importance.

HTTPS: Secure site

HTTPS: Secure site

The cyber threat landscape, awash with ransomware, malware and viruses, has forced a significant shift in the way we prioritize our data privacy, and our expectations of companies who we trust with our information.  Using an “HTTPS” site and purchasing an SSL certificate, signals to search engines and customers that your site is safe to interact with, and that you can be trusted with their vital personal or financial information. Your decision to prioritize site security can also be used in your SEO strategy and marketing material, serving as an organic draw for network-security-conscious users.

 On-Page SEO 

On-page SEO encompasses everything users see and interact with on your page. Search engines prioritize well-constructed websites, with clear and original content, but this content can’t be created randomly. There are a few strategies you can use for your on-page content to ensure it is top-rung and at the top of the search engine results.

Keyword Research

Keyword research is the SEO process of discovering the most commonly used keywords, when users are seeking out information via search engines, and incorporating those keywords into your original content. Search engines scan for applicable keywords within your content, moving more artfully and keyword-optimized sites to the top of the search page. Thorough keyword research can be a valuable source of useful queries, data and ranking difficulty, elements proven to attract the attention of search engines, and users alike.

Understanding Search Intent

Understanding ‘search intent’ is determining what keywords users are turning too, and what their overall intention is. Most searches are performed by users seeking out information on general products and services, not your particular company or site. Start your search engine optimization strategy by incorporating broad search terms into your content, and bare down into more specific phrases and keyword variations. Finally, cap off your content with specifics about your product or service features, explaining why and how your product or service meets user needs.

Content Strategy

A good content strategy is the process of regularly creating unique content, targeted at meeting business goals and customer needs. For example, if one business goal is to drive more traffic to your mobile site, focus on creating content and links that promote awareness of your targeted site. If your focus is on the success of a new product or service, use your SEO content to draw reader interest and inform them about your offerings.

Internal Linking

Creating internal links between your content is a great way to drive traffic from one page of your site, to the next. Both users and search engines scan for links to relevant and reputable content. Once your content has captured Google’s attention using internal links, customers can use these same links to navigate your page, products and other content. A great content strategy comes in here, as content should always be complementary, informative and should help drive sales leads by giving customers new ideas and product options.

Off-Page SEO 

Off-page SEO refers to any user or company activity outside your website, aimed at building search rankings on search engines. Link building with outside links is an easy association to draw, but off-page SEO is considerably more complex. Good examples of off-page SEO include posting as a guest on an outside blog with internal linking to your page, or even submitting personal comments on another post or article.

Backlinks

Backlinks are also referred to as inbound or incoming links. While forward-thinking business owners are creating links to outside sites and content to boost their search engine results, other businesses will be seeking you out in hopes of doing the same. Backlinks from other sites are a beacon of confidence, and show your users and customers that your content is safe, informative and helpful to others – one of the most ringing endorsements your site can get. Your SEO content strategy will also play an important role here, as unique and original content is significantly more likely to attract traffic, over slip-shot, irrelevant backlinks that are bought, not earned.

Local SEO

Incorporating local SEO into your search engine optimization strategy is proven to attract loyal local customers to your business. Almost half of all Google searchers have a ‘local intent,” meaning customers are seeking out businesses close to their physical location. Many businesses are taking advantage of technology to leverage local SEO, into long-term success, using paid software or even open-source options like Google My Business, a free tool for organizations to manage their online presence. Local customers love tools like this, as it allows you to edit and verify your business information, an element customers consider a good and transparent business strategy.

Search engine optimization is a complex and ever-changing process, requiring a great deal of time and focus to learn and use effectively. Luckily, with little effort and a few Google searches, you can discover anything you need to know about the three pillars of SEO, and how they can enable a future-proof and successful business.  For more information about top-to-bottom, successful SEO strategies, contact Apogee Results today!

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Marketing Knows No Borders

Digital Marketing Knows No Borders: Digital Marketing in China

In February of 2020, I found myself, along with many other China-based expats and Chinese tourists, returning to the epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic. As I boarded a plane in Oslo, bound for Hong Kong – the last stop before my final destination of Shenzhen, I clocked the nervous giggles from Western tourists, and the worried looks in the eyes of the locals, headed home, and unsure what they would find. When China opens back up to travel, a move projected to be in early 2022 in time for the Olympics, business will return – just as it always has, and the key to the Chinese market? Digital marketing.

Just as the immediate reactions of the passengers on the plane were strikingly different, digital marketing in China is strikingly different than anything you’d find in the USA or any Western country. China, as a country, has very specific tastes, cobbled together in a mesh-work of complex, yet traditional influences and preferences. Yet, for a country so steeped in tradition, China often leads the way in innovation – with such a large population, it would be difficult to not produce some absolutely world-creating creators and businesses.

Join me on a journey of personal experience through the sometimes hilarious, often fascinating, and complex world of digital marketing trends in China – and this one ex-expats take on them.

Rise of Influencers

One influencer who has gained a great deal of traction in China, was a young man who sets a table for 4 on his stomach and chest, and then rips the table cloth out from between his body and his dishware, leaving himself naked with a strategically placed teacup covering his private area. This guy became a sticker. No joke. Many influencers in China are simply influential because they are rich. If you decide to work with a Chinese influencer, expect the unexpected. Also, expect to get what you pay for. A less expensive “influencer” might work for peanuts or donations, but big money attracts big money and that’s where you need to go!

3rd & 4th Tier Cities

Don’t dismiss “smaller” Chinese cities in your digital marketing strategy! We have all heard of Beijing and Shanghai, but how many times have you heard the name Shenzhen, a city of 17.5 million people, or Guangzhou, a city of 18.68 million? In a list of all Chinese cities and their population, the smallest city I’ve personally visited in China is Suzhou, with a population of around 1 million. As a banana for scale, the largest city in the USA is New York City, NY, with a population of around 8 million. With population like that, what is considered a tier 3 or 4 city (tiers based on business density, city-level flexibility, citizen vitality, diversity and future projections) like Hulin, Linhai and Zaoyang, likely has a market for your product, and customers or investors with real money.

Digital Aging Population

Over 30% of the Chinese population will be over 60 years old by 2050. Real talk – this market will be huge. The aging population of China have been using smart phones for longer than most of the world, and live in a culture so engrained with e-commerce, some have never set foot in a grocery store. In Shenzhen, the food delivery system was so fantastic, you could almost guarantee delivery of any dish in town within 30 minutes of placing the order. China during COVID saw the delivery industry booming, as motorcycle delivery became the only way to get food for those in quarantine, or with ultra-restrictive community rules. Many communities were responsible for securing themselves during the pandemic, a job they took seriously. These consumers will have locked and loaded credit cards and tons of purchasing power – so don’t underestimate how important understanding Chinese tradition and the aging process is, when marketing to this stacked, yet discerning group.

 

 

Short-Video Content

Short term video content has been all the rage in China for years. Unlike in the USA, China relies on a very specific messaging service called WeChat, for most of its business and personal communications. WeChat is even linked directly to bank accounts, for easy payments using your mobile phone. Even taxes and train fares are paid using WeChat, and thus, short-form video content is the advertising material of choice. Because a great deal of digital marketing is done via WeChat and QQ, the other large China-based messaging application, you will typically see many more emojis than you would see in other countries. Remember, videos forwarded on WeChat are tracked, and content deemed to be inappropriate can be removed at any time – so do your research on both what WeChat videos are trending, and how to stay well within the WeChat acceptability guidelines, to avoid having your account removed or blocked. Also, remember to use appropriate emojis in your advertising material. For example, a smiley face emoji is not necessarily a smiley face in China. Figure that one out for yourself.

Long Form & Mis-directional Content

A trend many are surprised to see is a more long-form, and some would say, mis-directional content. Chinese tradition is passed down through stories and ancestors. As a culture, they are very attached to story-telling and myth creation. It stands to reason they would use this form of storytelling in their advertising and marketing material. But why do we often find Chinese advertising mis-directional? This likely stems from a hybrid cultural and translation issue. When translated directly from Chinese to English, the wording is often devoid of solid verbiage like “will” and “wont,” in favour of more fluid words like “can” and “might.” In China preferrs subtlety and nuance in their communication. It tracks that what the West might see as “mis-directional content,” would actually be just a poor and lazy translation. Remember – if you are considering advertising in China, emphasize using both correct and clever Chinese language, something you will pay a premium for, but is well worth the money.

We can expect to see more of this e-commerce cooperation between our two countries as the pandemic moves further into our rear-view mirror. It’s also your opportunity to break into a large, profitable and wealthy market! Do your research, and achieve your dream of taking your business international with a bang.

Pictures Provided by World Traveler and Apogee Content Writer Greta Tasedan.

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