Home SEO Writing Seven steps to implementing basic on-site SEO on your website

Seven steps to implementing basic on-site SEO on your website


Simply put, search engine optimisation (SEO) refers to the tools that web developers use to better communicate with search engines (SERPs). SERPs like Google have put various algorithms in place to search and rank websites accordingly. Organic ranking is ‘free’ and can help your ideal customer find you.

Website building platforms like Domains.co.za’s Site Builder are making it easier for start-ups, entrepreneurs and small businesses to take their businesses online. But if you are building it yourself, who will do your on-site SEO? You can!

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The following steps can help you get the basic on-site SEO factors right on your website building platform.

Step 1: Create high-quality, relevant content

Content covers all the text, video, images and infographics on your website. Ensure your content is unique, interesting, informative and relevant to your audience’s interests. Update and refresh your content regularly, so that search engines can crawl and re-index your website on an ongoing basis. Writing weekly blogs or publishing monthly video blogs (vlogs) can help you with this.

Step 2: Write significant title tags

The title tag, also known as the ‘meta title tag’, is the headline that you give a page and sits in the coding behind it. This script is very important for search engines, as it assists in displaying your website when it is applicable to answering a search request. Write a 50-60 character description that best describes, or summarises, what is ‘happening’ on that particular page. Use a keyword or two that is in the webpage text itself, but do not overdo it.

Step 3: Set up a sensible URL structure for your website

Make sure your site’s hierarchy is intuitive and user-friendly and is displayed as such in the URL names given to each page. A URL that displays the subject/product/category of a webpage, eg, https://www.domains.co.za/ssl/domain-validated-ssl-certificates is the most advisable route to go. A URL that only makes sense to the web designer, eg, www.domains.co.za/404/8490367/domains is not favourable for SEO.

Step 4: Create image alt text for every image you upload

Image alt text is important and should be used when uploading images to a website. The upload should have a window that allows you to provide more information about the image. Google and other search engines use this description as alternative text for the images on your website, usually in the case of people with impaired vision. The restriction is 125 characters, so write a descriptive, yet brief, summary of what the image is about. Include a keyword and if there is text on the image, include that too.

Step 5: Keywords

Keywords are the terms or phrases that best describe what a page is about, or what it is selling. These should also include terms that people will search for with their search engine to find your product or service. Identify four to five relevant keywords per product or service and use these where they will fit in naturally in your page’s content.

A good rule of thumb is to use the page’s top keyword in your URL, title tag, header, image alt text and a couple of times in the body copy of the page.

Step 6: Write quality headline and sub-headline tags

Headers should provide a hierarchy and structure to your page and summarise the information that will follow. Use a relevant keyword in your headlines and only make use of one HTML H1 headline.

Step 7: Write a meta description for every page

The meta description is the short paragraph that displays with your meta title tag in search results. Write one that is relevant to the information on your page and highlights the best information and most relevant keyword/s.

At the end of the day, SERP algorithms are set up to favour how humans behave. They are therefore looking for fast-to-load, unique, relevant, interesting, structured, trustworthy and safe website content.

Don’t build a website for the ‘robots’, as this will fail miserably. Create your website for your ideal customer. Ask yourself what would they want to learn and see when they visit your site, and what kind of experience would they enjoy – and implement those aspects for them. Use the above steps to make it easier for SERPs to classify you, and your website’s on-site SEO will do fine!

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