Local Minneapolis On-Page SEO
Every single day, people type millions of enquiries into search engines around the world to look for answers to their particular problems. However, without search engine optimization (SEO), it’s highly unlikely that your business’s website or blog will ever come up in their results leaving your products and services largely unseen. Effective SEO is a very powerful tool that can put you ahead of the competition by organically promoting your business to the very people whose problems you serve to solve. To help you follow the best practices for Minneapolis on-page SEO, we’ve put together this guide. In it, you’ll find information about the most important aspects of creating a SEO friendly website and how to improve your website’s performance.
What is On-Page SEO?
On-page SEO is simply the practice of optimizing the individual pages of your website so that they appear higher in search engine results when someone enters a certain keyword.
It’s basically free advertising. If you’re able to get your website to show up as one of the top results on Google, you’ll more than likely start to see a natural increase in the amount of traffic to your website. And, more traffic means a larger audience to promote your products and/or services to. Over time, this should result in an increase in sales as well.
However, optimizing your on-page SEO is a bit more complicated than just making sure that you’ve used some keywords throughout your content. To get the results you want from your SEO efforts, you’ll need to make sure that both your on-page content and HTML source code are structured in the right way so that Google and other search engines can correctly read what your page is all about.
By doing this, search engines will be able to understand the purpose of your page so that they can accurately match people who have a problem with the potential solution that you’re offering. This isn’t only great for the people who are correctly directed to the information they want (your website), it’s great for you too. Effective local Minneapolis on-page SEO will attract more relevant viewers who are more likely to stay on your website and eventually purchase your products and services.
To start optimizing your Minneapolis on-page SEO, let’s look at your title tags. These are simply the SEO heading that’s displayed at the top of your listing when it comes up in search engine results. They’re generally what people click on to be taken to your page. However, they’re also what’s displayed in the tab on your browser as well as on social media profile links too.
Because they’re so dominant to your viewers, they’re one of the most important factors for on-page SEO. As such, it’s crucial that your title tags accurately describe what each of your pages is about.
Although your focus keyword doesn’t HAVE to be at the start of your title tag, it’s generally considered best practice to do so. This is first thing search engines read, so, they give these keywords more weight which, in turn, creates more relevant search engine results with better click-through rates. Avoid stuffing keywords into your title though. Search engines won’t reward you for doing this and at the end of the day, the main purpose of your title tags are to entice readers to click because they think it’s valuable content. Higher click-through rates are usually rewarded by increasing your rankings over time too. Additionally, title tags shouldn’t be overly long as if they are, they’ll be cut off in search engine results and people won’t end up seeing them anyway.
SEO Friendly URL’s
SEO friendly URL’s are one of the most fundamental building blocks of SEO. Just like title tags, they’re one of the first things that search engines look at to learn what your page is about.
To optimize these, it’s important to use a single domain and include your focus keyword in the first 3-5 words of your URL. Additionally, keep it short and avoid ugly-looking URL’s that contain a random assortment of numbers, characters and too many forward slashes. The easier it is for you to read as a human being, the easier it will be for search engines to read too. Because your URL’s will show up in search engine results and on social media, including relevant keywords will also make it more likely that people will click on your website.
If you have more than one URL that contains very similar content, it’s important to use a redirect or a canonical link. Ignoring this factor won’t hurt your SEO efforts, but addressing it will help to ensure that search engines don’t get confused about which content is more relevant. They’ll then direct viewers to this page so that it’s got a better chance of ranking highly.
Meta descriptions are the short, 160-character description that summarize your page’s content and appear in all search engine result listings. They’re often an overlooked factor in improving your SEO rankings as they’re not directly visible to the majority of your site’s readers. Additionally, search engines don’t use meta descriptions to directly impact your search engine positioning.
That being said, they do play an important role in your Minneapolis on-page SEO efforts as they act as a brief advertisement that, if designed well, will entice people to click on your link. Because click through rates are a direct influencer of your SEO results, writing effective meta descriptions is very useful to anyone who wants to improve their overall positioning.
When it comes to it, writing great meta descriptions is a bit of an art. However, in general, each should uniquely incorporate your focus keyword to hint at what’s on your page in an actionable way that encourages clicks. Consider adding schema markups to further strengthen your SEO efforts.
h1, h2, and h3 Header Tags for SEO
h1, h2 and h3 header tags are simply the HTML term for your first, second and third level headings. They’re an important contributor to your Minneapolis on-page SEO because they’re used to tell search engines what each page is about. However, h1, h2 and h3 tags often aren’t used at all or, if they are, they’re not optimized to enhance your SEO results.
Your h1 tag is the main heading on any website page or blog post. These are read by the search engine first, followed by your h2, h3 tags and so on as each title level gets progressively smaller. While there are h4, h5 and h6 tags, these don’t carry much significance when it comes to optimizing your SEO.
To choose an SEO friendly h1 tag, try to include your primary keyword that relates to what the content is about. After that, your first subheading, or h2 tag, should contain the next most important keyword, reinforced by another relevant keyword in your h3 tag. Resist the temptation to stuff tags with keywords. Search engines will recognize this and penalize you accordingly. Instead, your headings should be readable, relevant and grammatically correct.
If you’re using WordPress, correct h1 tags are usually automatically generated. However, sometimes your theme will override this setting. As such, be sure to manually check that your h1, h2 and h3 header tags contain keywords and not other information that’s irrelevant to search engines such as font size.
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Decrease Page Load Times
Do you tend to close a webpage when it won’t load fast enough? Almost half of web users expect the page to load in less than 2 seconds and because it’s an important factor for readers, Google also takes this into account for SEO. However, optimizing your page loading times will also help you to keep people on your website for longer and improve conversion while you’re at it. So, it’s really an all-round win.
To see if you need to decrease page load times, check your site’s current speed by using a website such as GTmetrix. This will give you a performance ranking along with many more details on what’s slowing down it’s speed.
If your webpage would benefit from an increase in page loading times, start by making sure that your website hosting company supports high speeds. After that, you can use strategies such as using GZIP compression on your website files, image optimization and using a reliable caching plugin. There’s quite a few other technical tools you can use to decrease page load times so ask your SEO specialist about what’s best for you.
Internal Linking Strategy
Internal links are simply a hyperlink on your page that takes viewers to a different page on your website. It’s easy to see why they’d be good for you (they’ll keep people on your site longer and promote the products and services you’re selling), but they’re also a useful component of good Minneapolis on-page SEO too. This is because internal links give search engines a better idea of the overall structure and hierarchy of your website. Pages that you regularly link usually contain key, evergreen content that search engines are then, more likely to point to.
For your internal linking strategy to be effective for SEO, try to include 2-3 links in every post. These should also contain keywords that relate to the information that’s on that page and will subsequently also help that page to rank for that particular keyword.
Although keyword density is one of the first things people focus on in Minneapolis on-page SEO, we always tell our clients not to get too caught up in this aspect. In the early days of SEO, stuffing your text with keywords did improve your rankings. But, because keyword stuffing usually makes text read poorly, search engines adapted to be able to recognize keywords while placing more importance on the authoritative nature of the content than the overall density.
So, what does this mean for your on-page SEO? Basically, every piece you publish on your website should include relevant keywords while being unique, informative and offering valuable insight for your readers. This could be in the form of evergreen content, articles that solve problems, case studies or easy to read infographics.
While a keyword density over about 3% can actually harm your SEO, there’s no optimal keyword density percentage that will get you ranking on the first page of Google. Instead, weave keywords into your content naturally, include your main keyword in the first 100-150 words and use synonyms because Google will recognize these too.
Semantic keywords, otherwise known as latent semantic indexing keywords (LSI keywords) are an SEO word for related terms or the synonyms of your focus keywords. One main reason to include them in your content is that LSI keywords will help search engines to understand more about what your topic is about. For example, ‘apple’ used with other words such as ‘flavor’ and ‘taste’ indicate that you’re talking about fruit, not electronics. As such, semantic keywords help search engines to turn out more relevant results and are therefore important in good SEO practices.
What this means for you in trying to improve your on-page SEO, is that you’ll benefit from using additional keywords that reinforce what someone reading your page would be looking for. There are a number of ways to find the right LSI keywords to use. However, a quick and easy way is to type your keyword into Google search and look at the related searches at the bottom of the page. Then, sprinkle these throughout your post to strengthen your overall SEO results.
Getting Help with Your Minneapolis On-Page SEO
When it comes to on-page SEO, the information in this article simply touches on what you can do to start to improve your website rankings. However, if you put effort into implementing these strategies, you should start to see a boost in your traffic.
But, if the information we’ve given you in this article seems a bit overwhelming or you simply don’t have time to optimize your site fully, simply get in touch with us at Spark Logix Studios.
As specialists in Minneapolis on-page SEO, we can help you to improve how SEO friendly your existing site is or even set you up with a completely new website that has the power to transform your current business. Because it’s what we do, we stay up-to-date with the latest SEO best practices and update our strategies as Google updates theirs too. Find out how we can help you today!GET A FREE QUOTE