What is SEO?
Search engine optimisation (SEO) increases the number of visitors to your website. The process helps your site to appear high on the list of results returned by a search engine.
The results returned is organic and appear just below or to the left of the paid listings.
There are three types of SEO: On-page, Onsite and off-page but this article will focus on onsite SEO.
Onsite SEO and Template
Onsite optimisation is important. The SEO should be completed with the help of a professional website designer. But, it’s too important to entrust to someone else. It’s better to have even basic understanding of some key elements involved in onsite SEO.
Many small business owners use templates to create their websites. Few guides are available to explain the SEO process in the context of modern templates.
Some website builders attempt to signpost users to do their onsite SEO. But it not unusual that this type of SEO done in isolation, may not adhere to best practices. This guide will help you approach the process with a well thought out plan.
This guide covers the crucial onsite optimisation in context of popular website builders. It will help small business owners to get the most out of their SEO efforts. It takes into consideration the limits of templates but also highlights some advanced functions.
So, why do SEO?
SEO serves two main purposes. This first is to make the website user-friendly. The other is to help search engines understand the site. SEO should be done in-line with best practices.
Here are the best practices.
Before you embark on any SEO activity, you should brainstorm some related keywords. These are words that your potential clients will search for when looking for your products and services. You can then expand upon these keyword ideas using a keyword research.
How to conduct a Keyword Research
- To conduct a keyword research, you can use the free tool from Google:
Go to: Google Keyword Planner
Input keyword/s ideas (listed above) or competitor’s website and hit “Get Ideas”.
- Select Keyword ideas
- Add your keywords of interest Add to Plan located on the far right and then
- Download and save spreadsheet of keywords to your computer.
Keyword research informs your SEO moving forward.
All good website builders have both a general and page specific keyword field. Do not repeat keywords in a spammy way. Repeated content could get your site into trouble with Google.
You need to limit your keywords or phrases to about 3 per page and separate each by a comma. Wix is a good example of a builder that provides useful prompts on their SEO fields.
Most website builders have a standard set of SEO fields looks like this:
A title tag tells potential customers and search engine robots about your business.
Title tags are important for search engine results and should include a primary keyword.
Your title tag appears in search engine results as follows:
All good templates provide SEO fields for individual web pages because titles should be unique. The length of the title should be under 55 characters. This prevents text cut-off in search engine results.
Wiz Template on their SEO form provides a useful page preview feature.
This description gives users and search engine a summary of your website or pages. It should be an accurate description of each page and like Title tags, they should also be unique. Descriptions should be under 160 characters. This prevent cut off in search engine results thereby improving the user experience.
Website templates give you the option to create two types of descriptions. One for the website and the other for individual pages. The General SEO option setting is under the general site setting. The individual pages SEO options are under each page.
Heading tags give search engine robots information on the structure of your web pages. There are 6 heading tags recognised by search engines, numbered H1-H6.
Most templates give us the option to create just one type, known as the H1 tags.
It helps search engine to understand what each subsection of a web page entails. You should include target keywords in headings provided they are relevant.
On templates, the heading tags appear as main topics.
With sites coded from the ground up, there is a piece of instruction code called an “alt text”.
An alt text is an accurate description of an image but, restricted on most templates. Wix has made this feature possible as follows:
Another tip and trick are that you can label your images before you upload them to your website.
So for instance, if your image is business related, give it a name that describes what it represents. Where possible include primary or other relevant keywords.
Optimise your URLs
You have the capability to create user-friendly URL even with templates. Your domain names should have relevant keywords that describe the context of your page.
The relevant keywords or description informs both your users and search engine robots. Stay away from long URLs that have little or no relation to your page.
It’s also good practice to separate words by a dash as follows: www.website.com/wedding-photography.
Download our free onsite SEO planning template. It will guide you to implement the best practices. Give your business the best chance to rank well in search engines. Download here
HTML micro data
A recent addition to onsite SEO practices is HTML microdata. Search engines and web crawlers extract this information. This coding provides a richer browsing experience for users. It is useful for reviews, recipes and events website. Search engine robots structure this information in search results.
The Weebly builder gives added capability to add custom code to the source code onto a website. This feature is necessary to install HTML Microdata code.
More sophisticated wizard are available to direct onsite SEO processes on templates.
It’s a premium feature on templates like Webs is found on Wix as part of their free package. Mobile site compatibility is also becoming an important consideration for SEO.
The good news is that Website builder providers continue to evolve to meet SEO best practices.
Follow the above steps to optimise your site and you stand a good chance to rank just as well as any other website.
Please share your SEO experience and let’s know if you have any best practices that have worked well for your business.