Months into this global crisis, businesses are left wondering about their next move.
Physical interactions are limited and operations have taken a different turn in attempts to flatten the curve.
One thing remains clear, though. It is the fact that digital has given businesses the leverage to engage with their customers and keep them coming back.
As the global crisis redefines how brands connect with customers, it is more important than ever for businesses like yours to be on digital.
That starts with a well-optimised website.
We’re in a unique position where everything calls for more thorough planning to recover. That is what we aim to help you with.
You will find here actionable items that are proven effective and easy to implement on your own, so you can stay visible to customers amidst this period of social distancing.
1. Start by Improving Your Clickthrough Rate
Customers are spending more time online to find businesses that can cater to their daily essentials now that most physical stores have closed their doors. The main challenge in these trying times is to get the attention of those customers. Trust us, that is what the rest of the competition does right now.
There is one simple workaround – improve your organic clickthrough rate.
Clickthrough rate is the measurement of how many people clicked on your website when they landed on search results. This indicates that your website is performing well, as people’s queries match the information on your website.
What if your website has a high clickthrough rate but the conversions are low?
Then you have a disconnect there.
Remember that not all who click on your link may browse and stay.
A high clickthrough rate that does not yield conversions may mean that you are not targeting the right audience. Simply put, you need to adjust certain elements on your website to attract the right people.
Write Catchy Titles and Descriptions
Your website’s Meta titles and descriptions are among the elements that have a direct impact on clickthrough rate. These appear on search results whenever users type in their queries.
Think of these as a preview of the information that customers will find on your website.
Here are a few pointers:
- Your titles and descriptions should be engaging, attention-grabbing, and relevant to what your customers are searching for.
- Answer a question. Remember the reason customers search online is to get information. If you can answer their question with just your title and description, it will be easier to pull customers in.
- Do not settle for something generic when writing these—think of the value they will get simply from looking at your titles and descriptions.
Rich snippets provide your customers with additional information and tell them exactly what they will find if they click on your link.
You can use different types of rich snippets for on-page SEO, depending on the content that you want to showcase. Here are some types:
- Reviews: Shows a star rating from an aggregate of reviews or an individual review from users.
- Product Markup: Provides information such as price and product images on specific products.
- Organization: Allows businesses to display information such as their address, logo, and contact information to help search engines understand what the business is about.
- Video: If you have important videos on your page, you can use this structured data to help search engines understand what your video content is about.
Adding a rich snippet is easy. If you are using a WordPress platform, you can install the Microdata that will automatically generate the code on your pages.
Breadcrumbs make it easier for your customers to see the path of your pages, from your homepage to the specific landing page on what is appearing on the search results. This makes it easier for them to navigate through your site.
The easiest way to add breadcrumbs to your website is through the Yoast SEO plugin. Once you have installed this, you can go to the Advanced options and enable breadcrumbs to activate this on your pages.
2. Update Your Website’s Content
In this digital age, content is your trump card.
It is what drives your customers to your website. Now that customers have more time on their hands to skim through thousands of content on the web, you need to start ramping up what is on your site.
On-page SEO with a full-blown content update requires time and effort. However, this slow period can be an opportunity to improve your content’s performance.
Do a Quick On-page Content Audit
This is a great time to look at all the content assets you have on your website and determine if these are performing and driving the right people to your site.
You will need Google Search Console and Ahrefs as SEO tools to audit your on-page content. Mark the ones that you will revamp—we suggest starting with those that are already generating traffic from your website.
However, you have to be critical of which content pieces you will be reoptimising. You can use the following as guide questions for your on-page SEO content checklist:
- Which content pieces have the highest impressions and clicks?
- What queries are these content pieces ranking for?
- What content pieces have the potential to get more traffic?
- Which content pieces are important for your business?
Revamp On-page Content
Once you have your list of content assets, you can start revamping these to improve their rankings and get more traffic. Content revamp is a straightforward process, and you can easily do this in a day.
Some pieces of content may have outdated information and be no longer relevant to your customers. Others may need to have new a call to action to prompt readers into conversion.
With the queries that you have obtained from Google Search Console, find a way to insert these into the existing content. You might have new keywords to rank specific pages for. These are also ideal as anchor texts for internal linking to other pages (we will be diving deeper into this later on).
The idea of revamping content is to rank better on search results and get as many eyes as possible on your website.
Identify New Topics to Write Stellar Blog Content
On-page SEO content optimisation is not just about updating what you have. It also helps you identify gaps and write more topics that capture the interest of your audience. This provides you with a blogging strategy to improve your website’s performance.
Data from your on-page SEO audit provides you the arsenal to create blog topics. Start with queries that are starting to pop up on your Google Search Console.
Using Ahrefs’ Keyword Explorer, go over the results for Phrase Match and Questions to see which long-tails have search volume for the queries you have chosen.
This data can help you build a list of the next topics you can write for your blogs and plan your content marketing calendar.
3. Create an Internal Linking Strategy
While most people refer to link building as an off-page strategy by a professional SEO services provider, links also play a role in on-page SEO.
Links provide contextual relevance for different pages and strengthen the value proposition of service pages. These allow users to navigate the website and get a better sense of what the information you offer is all about.
However, an internal link building strategy requires some thought. You do not link one page to another simply because the content seems similar.
For a more effective internal link building strategy, here are some pointers:
Use top-performing queries as anchor texts when linking pages to one another. Diversify your anchor texts and create long-tail variations. For example:
Main anchor text: on-page SEO
Anchor Texts: On-page SEO strategy, checklist for on-page SEO, On-page SEO tips
Do a quick site:website “keyword” search. This will yield the relevant pages on your site that you can start linking to.
Rinse and repeat.
Once you have established a cadence for your internal link building, you can start seeing an uptick in your website’s performance. This means you have more leads to attract.
4. Give Your Pages Some Love
Your website is a lead magnet in itself.
As circumstances have limited the people’s capacity to meet face-to-face, you can use your website as an online business card to stay connected. This goes to show that your website needs some loving.
No website is perfect. It is always a work in progress. You will always find something to improve on your website.
Here are a few on-page elements you need to give some TLC:
Headers help in providing structure for your content and breaking up a wall of text to make them entire content scannable. When used in service pages, headers help your customers distinguish your business’ value proposition.
When optimising headers, use your target keywords, but make sure these are relevant to the content of the page. Write headers as if you are answering a customer’s query—using numbers or a list form for blog posts are good examples of optimising header tags.
Image Alt Tags
Google cannot “see” images the way we do. This is why you always need to have descriptions to help them understand what your images are and how they are related to your content.
This is where image alt tags become useful.
Image alt tags describe the appearance of function of an image. If the image does not load, the website will display the alt text instead.
The best on-page SEO practice is to optimise image alt tags with keywords, but without making it look too spammy. It is also important to provide clear descriptions, as opposed to writing only generic descriptions.
Today, faster is better.
The attention span of customers is getting shorter and shorter. This means websites that have slow pages are missing a lot of opportunities to get more traffic.
More than that, page speed is one of the important signals that Google uses to rank websites.
To make sure your webpages are up to speed, here are a few things that you can do on your own:
- Minimise image file sizes—use TinyPNG.
- Reduce your redirects.
If you want to further improve the page speed of your site, it is best to hire an SEO services provider to get more advanced SEO techniques.
It’s the age of mobile. With customers accessing information using different devices, it would be a big miss for businesses not to be mobile optimised.
Use Google Search Console to check if there are errors affecting the website’s mobile usability.
To optimise for mobile, start with your content. Make sure they are easy to scan—think of how they will be able to read your content using different browsers and devices. Buttons and navigation should be visible. If you have images or video content, make sure these are of high quality and responsive to fit any platform.
A URL is something unique to every website. Think of it as the DNA of the site. Search engines use this to identify the website and its content, which is why you need to pay close attention to your URLs.
One important rule in optimising URLs is to make them readable. Remember that users can see this; if they cannot understand your URL, neither can search engines.
If you have long URLs, shorten them. Include your target keyword into your URL, but make it concise and relevant to the content of the page.
Create a document that details this process and use this as a guide for your monthly on-page SEO cadence.
Keep Calm and Optimise
The global crisis has left many businesses scrambling and abandoning marketing initiatives to avoid losses. However, it is not the time to be reactive and let anxiety do the decision-making. If anything, this is the best time to reflect on what you can do for the future of your business.
Even when the economy is in a downturn, businesses can still thrive. They have the digital space for that.
While you continue to run your business from home, now can be a good time to slowly start fixing your website and implementing the on-page SEO best practice we’ve listed. You can do it yourself or hire an SEO company to do it for you.
If you are ready to take your website to the next level, we are here to help. Talk to our team and let us plan your SEO strategy together.