Increase Your Rankings With On Page SEO
You’ve anguished over your Business for what seems to be an eternity. The website is looking good from your customer’s point of view as in what the customer sees or the front end. You’ve got great imagery, functionality and structure. You’ve painstakingly had to work through the process of finding a suitable developer that you feel you can trust. Worked through budgets, designs, hosting, graphics, content.., are we there yet??
The amount of research that has gone into it is huge, this is your masterpiece and you’re ready to take on the world. Or at least try to create some waves in your niche at least to claim your share.
For this article, we’re showing you how to build an on page SEO strategy for free using WPMUDEVs SmartCrawl plugin.
Your website is ready to showcase to the world, so where do you start..
Well, if you’re anything like me, receiving emails with what seems to be the most incredible offer of 1st page ranking on Google to increase sales is a daily occurrence.
Is it wise to take on their advice? Probably not as most if not all of these emails are unsolicited devoid of any level of research into your Business. The promises come in thick and fast, Increase Sales, 1st Page Of Google, the list goes on..
Could You Get on 1st Page of Google?
Of course, this can be achieved easily, but wait.. You’ll need to consider for which keywords you’ll be ranked for??
This question also depends on your approach. In a nutshell, it is achievable using a well-researched and structured campaign. In this article, we’ll run through our process of improving on-page SEO using SmartCrawl by WPMUDEV.
Disclaimer: Yes we have one of those, this article is based around our own experiences improving SEO using SmartCrawl, we are incredibly confident you’ll improve yours have you not implicated an SEO plugin thus far. We take no responsibility should you make a mess of your SEO setup.
As part of your SEO setup, you will need to consider which keywords you would like to use. Not only for the website but for each individual page and post starting at the highest priority and working through the list.
It’s also assumed you have an existing website using WordPress with full administrative access.
Setup Site Title
Before we proceed, we need to setup your site title and tagline, there are 2 methods available to us as we are using DIVI.
- Settings / General (or)
- DIVI / Theme Customiser / General Settings / Site Identity
Site Title: Your Business Name
Tagline: A few words explain what your site is about.
1. Settings / General
2. Divi / Theme Customiser..
For this exercise we are using the free version of Smart Crawl available, go to Plugins / Add New / Search plugins… / do a keyword search for SmartCrawl, then Install Now.
Upon Activation, SmartCrawl will be displayed in the toolbar to the left. This is a fairly intuitive Plugin and worth spending the time to get familiar with it.
You’ll find a list of menu options as follows:
- SEO Checkup
- Title & Meta
- Advanced Tools
Note: While we won’t be looking into all the functionality, let’s check out how to get started with this plugin.
This page displays Content Analysis, Upgrade Option to SmartCrawl Pro, Social Optimisation, Titles & Meta, Schema, Sitemap, Advanced Tools.
Upon Activation, it’s best practice to run a checkup of your site to see how you can improve the score you receive once completed. While I won’t be working through all the features. This is a good start to someone who’s looking to DIY their SEO.
Title & Meta
Using this section, you’ll have the tools to update your Title and Description as displayed within Search engines. There’s a function here which if adopted early will save a lot of time later should your pages title change in the future.
To the right of the input box, you’ll notice a + sign, this is a shortcut to shortcodes used to input dynamic content into these fields. This method of inserting Meta Data into these fields will prove to be very helpful moving forward.
Tip: Shortcodes are short snippets of code surrounded by 2 percentage signs.
I’m going to use a site I’m currently optimising as an example.
Site Title: Escape Scenes
Tagline: Private Tours of Sydney and The Blue Mountains
Therefore, let’s use the following shortcodes:
- Site Description: %%sitedesc%%
- Site Name: %%sitename%%
- Page Title: %%title%%
- Separator: %%sep%%
Title: %%sitedesc%% %%sep%% %%sitename%%
Result: Private Tours of Sydney & The Blue Mountains | Escape Scenes
For the description I use a combination of text and shortcode as follows.
Description: You’ll Enjoy Our %%title%% In the Privacy of Having Your Own Vehicle and Experienced Guide, at Your Own Pace. %%sep%% %%sitename%%
Result: You’ll Enjoy Our Private Tours of Sydney & The Blue Mountains In The Privacy of Having Your Own Vehicle and Experienced Guide, at Your Own Pace. | Escape Scenes
Once inserted, you’ll see the preview update above as it would appear within search engines.
This method can be used throughout your website to optimize each individual page.
Why use Shortcodes?
Shortcodes are very handy should your website’s tagline or titles change and will dynamically update as you make your changes, although not recommended to make regular changes.
Let’s look at the Homepage settings.
SEO Title: %%title%% %%sep%% %%sitename%%
Description: You’ll Enjoy Our %%sitedesc%% In The Privacy of Having Your Own Vehicle and Experienced Guide, at Your Own Pace. %%sep%% %%sitename%%
There’s a recommendation of how many characters to use indicated by a yellow/green line. The suggested number of characters is between 50 – 65 for the SEO Title and 135 – 300 for the Description. My advice here is to tweak the fields to meet these guidelines.
Repeat For Each Page & Post
This process should be repeated for each page and post giving careful consideration to the score you receive, reducing as many warning as possible. Although it may not always be achievable to receive a 100% score. It’s best to follow best practice and if SEO is your thing, then persevere and regularly check your results.
High Ranking Vs Low Ranking Keywords
So getting back to the introduction, the spam emails offering you page 1 on Google, chances are they can give you a page 1 result. However most likely for a Low-Ranking Keyword such as your own Business name and suburb. Try it, you probably already are on page 1 if not position 1. However, if it’s for a service which is considered competitive such as Sydney Builder. Then there would be a great deal more involved to get you there but using strategies within this article who knows where this can take your business website.
Test Your Results
So if you’ve followed the instruction on this page you are on your way to building a stronger internet presence by looking after your own SEO strategies. The hard part now is to wait. Therefore it’s good practice to ensure the decisions you have made thus far you stick with. Or, if you are not happy with them give careful consideration to what you would like to rank for. Do not get into the habit of changing them routinely in the event you do not see the results you had hoped for.
SEO is complex, in fact, more complex than the initial website build.
Tip: If you’d like to check your site’s setup today check out Screaming Frog as a research tool to check your site.
See for yourself the results we’ve tried to rank for and judge for yourself.
- Private Tour Sydney
- Private Tour Blue Mountains
Are what we’d consider premium keyword phrases which are highly competitive and very difficult to obtain page one for. For this level of optimisation time is required with very careful consideration along with a dedication to building quality content on your site.
If there are only a handful of tours on offer, think about writing articles on those destinations with links to the tours you’d like to sell to the public. Or consider changing the names of the tours to create extra posts linking back to the main activity. For example “Northern Beaches Tour of Sydney”, or “The Magical Blue Mountains Tour” using different text to trigger those search terms.
- Private Blue Mountains SUV Tour
- Blue Mountains Escape The Crowds Tour
- Southern Highlands SUV Tour
- Blue Mountains Photography Expedition
Are not as high ranking and Escape Scenes will feature prominently on page one due to the uniqueness of the search phrases & page titles. While this may not always be the case, the chances are far higher using unique titles to get you there.
Tip: The key here is to target a good mix of keywords, high ranking words as well as low ranking more specifically targeted keywords.
We took a screenshot of our results in Google, it should be noted that the highest-ranking results are the same tour advertised with Viator, Sydney.com and Tripadvisor. The incentive to have a high ranking for Escape Scenes is reduced commission costs imposed by the OTAs.
Again, consider your keyword phrases carefully and let them increase in ranking over time.
Have foundation phrases that represent your whole website then add pages / posts to increase the variety of pages you can be found for. Adding more tours to this service is the same as adding keyword phrases you could be found online for. Or adding products to your existing portfolio adds more searchability to your business based on the products and services you offer.
Although this article is about On page SEO, it’s also important to consider what external links you can build. Within the tourism sector, there are a number of OTAs (Online Travel Agents) which can be used to list your business and tours. Such as Tripadvisor/Viator, Sydney.com, expedia.com amongst many others.
Drill down on your services and find niches that people may search for from time to time, it may not be the major key phrase to drive business to your homepage but if you can get visitors to your site, does it really matter which page they land on?
With a well-thought-out and structured webpage this should not be an issue.
Submit to Search Engines
It’s all well and good to have a strong keyword strategy, however another task you’ll need to fulfill is to submit your wonderful new website to the search engines. This feature can be all done within SmartCrawl.
The main 2 search engines here are Google and Bing, although Google will handle 95% of all enquiries online. While not all search engines were created equal, for some of our key phrases it proved difficult to find the listing, however on others position 1 was achieved.
Having WordPress as a web publishing tool, the sky is the limit as to how large a website you can build, it’s all up to your imagination and commitment of course.
Pay Per Click
So you want results today, this is also possible, PPC marketing can get you on page 1 today as long as your budget allows. So if you’re in the Building game and you just have to have position one on google for ‘Sydney Builder’, it’s going to cost you upwards of $10 – 25 a click and then some.. However this kind of campaign is beyond this article.
Just For Kicks
Check out this page’s Meta Settings in the image below to see if you can find it within Google using the setting we used.
Let us Know how you go
Good luck and naturally you can get in touch should you need any further assistance here. After all, you landed on this page didn’t you..
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We don't use call centres, therefore contact us direct as we'll work with you personally to help build a stronger internet presence for your Business. Below is a list of just some of the services we can offer your Business. If you'd like to speak to a real person get in touch via the contact page, We're based in the Sutherland Shire, Sydney.