Want to see new leads pour into your site for free? Search engines such as Google and Bing are your best friend then.

Once your site ranks on these search engines, the results can be fascinating, to say the least.

Let’s break down what SEO entails and how to optimize your site to get onto the first page for a primary keyword.

What Is SEO?

Let’s start with a basic understanding of SEO marketing.

The premise of SEO or search engine optimization is to rank on search engines for specific keywords in your niche. A good example would be a gardening site trying to rank for “best gardening techniques.” This means whenever a person goes onto Google and types in “best gardening techniques” your site will show up near the top.

Imagine how many times you’ve used Google to do the same. Don’t you end up clicking on those sites that show up? Well, you want to do the same in your niche.

SEO involves optimizing a site to improve your chances of ranking well and getting higher up the search results.

On-Page SEO

So, what should a site owner be looking at when hoping to optimize their site? It starts with on-page SEO, which involves any optimization occurring within your site and its structure.

The four fundamental factors to consider are:

1) Keyword Research
2) URL Structure
3) Meta Tags/Image Tags
4) Headings/Sub-Headings (69 Characters In Length Maximum)

Begin with proper keyword research. You want to find keywords people are searching for and use them in your posts/content. How do you find these keywords? Well, head over to Google’s Keyword Planner and start searching for terms in your niche.

A horde of keywords will show up along with how many “monthly searches” they have. Collect these keywords and start using them in your content (1% of text should be keywords) and move forward from there.

The URL structure uses the same premise where you will take the chosen keyword being targeted and add it to the URL. Sticking to the gardening example, your site would read www.yoursite.com/best-gardening-techniques. As you can see, this is easier to read and will do wonders for your chances of ranking too.

Meta tags and/or image tags play a vital role in optimization. The premise of these tags is to highlight what each piece of content or image is about. You want to use the keyword while establishing these keywords because the search engine will scour your site for these tags.

Your headings/sub-headings should have the keyword in them at least once. Don’t force things as that can push you towards over-optimization, but do spend time on these aspects of on-page SEO. To ensure the heading reads well on Google, you should remain under the 69 character limit.

Establish Long-Tail Keywords

Moving onto the next stage of on-page SEO, you have to start looking at specific strategies for maximum results. Site owners are recommended to continue going through “Google’s Keyword Planner” and search for long-tail keywords (3-5 words in length). These are wonderful because your competition might not be targeting them and they do add up over time. Most people look at the monthly searches for long-tail keywords because they’re often in the 100-1000 clicks/month range. However, if you target enough of these, the amount of traffic generated is going to be exorbitant.

Establish Categories

Do you have categories on your site? Make sure the structure of your site reads well and is easy to sift through for incoming search engine bots. The algorithm responds well to these categories.

Organization is pertinent, so set up the structure of your site in a manner where it reads well. This will also bolster how well the leads respond

“Call To Actions” In Meta Descriptions

Meta descriptions are seen when you type in a search string in Google (i.e. Best Gardening Techniques) and then a list of sites pops up. The little paragraphs under each link are called “meta descriptions” and you have to create them with each piece of content.

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They’re used to describe what’s on the site.

You want to add in the keyword (once) and put in a call to action (i.e. click here, read here) because it entices people to click on your site. Don’t ignore this when optimizing the site.

Length Of Content Matters

The final piece of advice to consider as a site owner involves content length. Let’s assume the keywords have been selected, and you’re starting to create new content for the site. You will need to aim for a particular length, and it’s advisable to target at least 500-700 words on the page you want to rank. This is a good length to aim for as it will respond well to ranking and is going to provide adequate value to human readers too.

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