"Every company owner wants their website to rank at the top of Google, but a lot of people just starting out dont actually know where to start."
Every company owner wants their website to rank at the top of Google, but a lot of people just starting out don’t actually know where to start. Google is constantly updating its algorithm, and to be honest, unless you're absorbed into the world of SEO, it can be difficult to get to grips with it. There are two main components to SEO: on page SEO & off page SEO.
On Page SEO
On Page SEO refers to what is on your site. The page content, meta content, URL structure and the technical soundness of the website
What is a technically sound website?
Your website’s performance, tech SEO & accessibility all feed into your site’s ability to rank, it includes hundreds of factors like site speed, mobile friendliness, security and making sure toy don't use intrusive interstitials. Page experience is an additional factor which will officially count towards your ranking in May 2021, this means making sure your site is engaging beyond its informational value.
The quickest tools to get the jist of whether your site is technically sound is to use your Google Search Console account or run a Lighthouse report. If anything looks concerning on either of these, it might be time to pay for a technical audit. But we won’t get into that wormhole.
Page Content & E-A-T
When you’re starting out your SEO & content strategy as a small business, to get going in the simplest way you should focus on E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness). This refers to the content on your website, this means the copy should be of expert knowledge, authoritative and trustworthy. E-A-T sets the foundation for Google’s algorithm, as Google favours websites that possess these qualities in the rankings.
You might wonder, if you’re running an e-commerce site, how E-A-T is applicable to you. Take Treatery, a start up online sweet shop food brand which has been live for a little over a week. With a focus on credibility, Google can weed out any spammy & low value content on your site. Treatery can tackle this by bringing in content from reputable sources and writing professionally, which doesn’t always require a copywriter.
An example of using this on a product page:
Using a Keto product, the description uses wording that is relevant to the product, and likely the customer. These explain the benefits of this product for a ketogenic diet, using terms that show understanding, such as the net carbs of the product- something that would be important to the keto dieter.
Meta content refers to your page titles, H1s (Heading 1) and meta descriptions. These should all include your primary keyword (the search term you want to rank for). On a product page, this might be the product name, however, there are more options for your category pages and blog posts. For the previous example on Treatery, the product page the product name is mentioned in the H1, page title & meta description, as well as the body content.
The category that this chocolate is related to is Low Sugar, the low sugar page is aiming to rank for search terms such as ‘low sugar snacks’, and this keyword (or related ones) are present in their meta content.
Meta robots tags feed into this, but this can be more complicated if you’re new to SEO. Meta robots tags allow you to indicate to Google which pages you want and don’t want it to index- by using directives such as ‘index’, ’noindex’, ‘follow’ and ‘nofollow’. If you don’t have access to a developer, using tools such as yoast can help you manage your websites meta content better.
This introduction to on page SEO is skimming the surface of search engine marketing, but will help you create the foundation of a site that has the potential to rank well. It’s important to remember the ecosystem of SEO in your wider (and future) strategy. On page SEO will help Google get a better understanding of your website, and allow the search engine to work with you in placing your website in the rankings for the most relevant search terms. This goes hand in hand with your technical SEO in helping search engines understand your website and business best.
To develop your search engine marketing strategy in the future, planning out your internal link structure and off page SEO, such as gaining backlinks, social profiles and your Google MyBusiness listing will need to be included, along with the points covered here.