Search engine optimisation can broadly be split into two main areas, they are onsite seo, and also offsite seo.
Within this article we are going to detail ways a business can improve their onsite seo.
As we work with mostly businesses that are based here in the city of Cardiff, South Wales, and these businesses require local SEO, we will also detail ways that businesses can improve their local seo by improving the businesses onsite search engine optimisation.
What is onsite SEO?
When some businesses think of onsite search engine optimisation, they immediately think adding blog posts to a website.
However onsite search engine optimisation is much more than that, as you will see from this article there are many different components that go into improving a business’s onsite search engine optimisation.
And this article doesn’t include every single element that a business could do to improve their onsite seo.
Yet, this article does cover the main parts that go into improving a business’s onsite seo, and we are going to describe how our white hat search engine optimisation company uses these methods to improve where a business ranks organically.
Have you heard about Google AMP? Well, its fair to say that a lot of white hat seo companies, here in Cardiff believe that how fast your company website loads is going to get more and more important.
As this just makes sense, for example, let’s say you run a construction business, and your website offers really good information. For example, people can clearly see and read how you build your loft conversions, and property extensions, yet even though your website is good, it might take ages to load.
And often people are not willing to wait that long for a website to load, they will simply go to another website. So, this means that often if your company website takes ages to load, well this could mean that your website incurs a higher bounce rate.
And a lot of digital marketing agencies think that a high bounce rate can mean that a business may have lower rankings.
Okay, so one of the most important parts of the SEO process is content marketing. So, this is often why online marketing agencies, such as ours spend so long creating content marketing.
But here’s the thing, you can get content marketing that’s put together in less than 10 minutes, or you could get content marketing that a marketing agency has spent many days putting together.
Okay, so unless the seo company can work miracles, the point we are getting at is this, if the content marketing hasn’t had much time spent on it, well its likely to be rubbish.
So what factors do we believe means that content marketing is good quality?
So let’s say for example you retail bathroom items, and you specialise in selling bathroom items that are Victorian styled bathrooms.
Now, if you were to employ an seo company and all they done was keep writing “Victorian style bathrooms” again and again into the businesses blog posts, well this is likely to put off a reader reading anymore.
So in a nutshell, the website may incur a higher bounce rate if the content marketing isn’t written that well.
So let’s say instead that the bathroom retailer appointed a really good digital marketing agency, and they created blog posts for readers like this “How to create a Victorian styled bathroom in 8 easy steps”.
Now such a blog post may well be so good that it draws in many readers, plus a lot of people talk about the blog post on social media, such as Twitter.
Then, people who have blogs about interior design, well they also like the blog post, so they mention it in their article, and also offer a backlink.
So you can see how good quality content marketing can help to improve a businesses SEO.
Now on the other hand, if the business appointed the wrong seo agency, and they created say 400 word article that didn’t offer any good quality information, well the bounce rate may go up and the businesses rankings may go down.
Must be well researched
Sometimes some seo agencies are creating content marketing for so many businesses, they simply haven’t got the time to research each piece of content marketing that they write.
So what happens?
Well, the blog posts are just really pointless, they don’t offer any valuable information, and are therefore not contributing to the business, but could actually be increasing the businesses bounce rate.
For example, let’s say that the business in question is a divorce solicitor, yet the seo agency just keeps talking about celebrity divorces.
But, there’s a direct competitor to the business, yet this divorce solicitor has employed a different seo company. Now this seo agency is much better at what they do, and they have created loads of useful blog posts, such as “how to start the divorce process” and also “how to cope emotionally during a divorce”.
Now these are the types of questions that couples facing a divorce may ask Google, so you are getting people who may well be going through a divorce onto your businesses website.
Where as the people interested in a celebrity divorce, well they may not be going through a divorce, they are just interested instead in celebrity gossip. So, you have to employ a marketing agency that writes good quality content marketing, but also brings people to the businesses website that are more likely to convert into paying customers.
Some businesses have just focused on gaining good quality backlinks, that’s to say they have ignored how using internal links can help to improve a business’s seo.
So how can internal backlinks be used to improve a businesses SEO?
Well, that’s simple, lets say your business has written one hundred blog posts about gardening, and that’s because you own a business that sells gardening products, like greenhouses for example.
Okay, but your blog posts say about how to create an allotment within your garden, well that was written some time ago, so now there’s been 20 odd articles that are newer and therefore its hard to find the article about how to start an allotment, because its on page 7 of your blog posts.
So what do you do?
Well you can use internal backlinks to help link content marketing that’s similar. So for example, you may well be writing a blog post about how to control weeds in your garden, by only using products that have natural ingredients, yet you also mention how to control weeds on your allotment, so why not use an internal backlink to link the two blog posts?
And what’s the point of this?
· You can keep visitors on your website for longer, thus reducing the businesses bounce rate
· You can use anchor text, so that Google’s algorithm will know a bit more about what each page is about
· You will be helping Googlebot find content marketing on your website
Some website designers want a businesses website to look as minimalistic as possible.
So for example, the business may retail high-performance cars, and when you visit the website the homepage has a massive image of a high-performance car, and this has the wow effect.
However, the menu seems hidden, it may just be a dot in right-hand corner of the screen, and you may need to press it for the pages on the website to appear.
Yet, its these sorts of menus that can sometimes cause problems to seo.
That’s to say an SEO consultant may state, well surely its better to have a larger menu? A menu where there are more drop-down boxes, a menu which makes it easier to get to each page.
That’s to say the minimalistic design may well mean its difficult to say select a brand of car that person wants to buy just using one click.
So what we mean is, sometimes the more you are asking a person to do, the more chance you have of losing customers.
You simply want to make your visitors experience on your website as easy as possible, so why not therefore have a list of car brands that you retail, then that way the customer can see instantly from a drop-down menu that you sell that brand of car, and they can easily see which cars you are selling.
If you don’t make it easy for your visitors to find what they looking for, then often the bounce rate of a website will increase.
You should work with your search engine optimisation company to try and reduce your businesses bounce rate.
Meta titles and meta descriptions
Some businesses believe that meta titles, and meta descriptions are not important, but they are.
The reason is, even if a business is on the first page of Google, then the business has to still compete with all the other businesses.
The reason for this is say the business sells bikes online, and the business is on the first page of Google for “mountain bikes”- well, the business will still have to try and get the visitor to click on there business.
Normally there will still be 10 other businesses that are listed in the organic listings. Also, if you are looking to purchase a bike locally, there may also be the Google My Business listings as well.
So how can you help your business to stand out from all the other businesses?
Well, the most obvious way would be to get your business right at the top of Google.
Yet, failing that, there are still loads of other things that you could do, such as adding Schema to your businesses reviews, so that your company’s review rating shows up.
For example, let’s say you run a dental practice, and you have really good business reviews, well using Schema you could help to highlight that fact, and your businesses star rating would become more visible.
However, another way would be to write meta titles and meta descriptions which are more likely to increase your businesses CTR.
What does CTR stand for?
CTR stands for click through rate, which basically means if you improve your businesses CTR, well it means more people are clicking on your business.
So for example, let’s say where all the other bicycle shops just have rather bland meta titles, and meta descriptions, which simply say the same thing on every page of the website, such as
“We sell affordable bikes, we sell a wide selection of mountain bikes”
This is rather boring, so if your business spends the time to write an interesting meta title and meta description for each page on your website, well it might help to improve your businesses CTR
For example, if you mention the main brands of bikes you sell, and something that helps your business to standout, such as offering a long guarantee, well this can help to improve your businesses CTR.
Alt tags are simply tags that allow you to add a written description to an image. So let’s say for example your business sells furniture online.
Now, normally you wouldn’t just have a picture of that piece of furniture on its own, you may for example put a dining room table, which is pictured within a room with other furniture.
But how will Google know what the picture is about? How will it know which piece of furniture you are selling?
Well, that’s simple, you could add an alt tag, that’s a tag which explains what the picture is about, so for example you could say “large-dining-room-table-made-from-mahogany”.
Main service pages
Sometimes some seo companies here in Cardiff may just start to add blog posts to a website, that’s so that the business is adding content marketing to the website.
Yet, the seo agency may ignore that the main pages do not have much seo value, so what do we mean by this?
Well, that’s simple, let’s say the business in question is a architects practice, and the architects work for both domestic clients, and also commercial clients, but the website just has one page that states “commercial” and one which states “domestic”.
Well that’s good, but on those pages may just be two lines of text, such as:
“We can help to design any type of commercial building, which can range from a new supermarket through to a new shopping centre”.
Now if any good search engine optimisation agency was to read that, they would say that the main page should have more written information.
Therefore the seo company may work with the architects practice to improve that page on the website by adding more text.
Quite often when a web design business is creating a new e-commerce website, well they may not have the time to write detailed product descriptions.
This is especially the case if the business sells many thousands of products, and therefore there will need to be thousands of different product descriptions, meta titles, meta descriptions and alt tags.
So, sometimes some website design companies may duplicate the product descriptions, and therefore obtain the product descriptions from the manufacture’s website.
However, if you were to ask any good SEO company, well they would tell you that duplicated work will create seo problems.
That’s to say that duplicated work could mean that the business incurs a penalty. For example the business could incur a Google Panda penalty, this could mean that the businesses rankings drop.
So our best advice is this, don’t use duplicated work, as this can sometimes severely damage your businesses search engine optimisation.
Therefore a new seo company should check a website for duplicated work, and if there is any, then the seo agency should advise that the duplicated work is replaced.
Instead your business needs high-quality content marketing, which is not duplicated.
If you do not know what Googlebot is, well it is simply what Google uses to crawl and index your website.
So all this means is that Google knows that a businesses website will not stay the same for very long.
This means that as an seo company improves the website, well they will be making changes, such as adding content marketing.
So its Googlebot that spot these changes, and then informs the algorithm. It’s the algorithms job to work out how good your businesses search engine optimisation is, that’s when compared with the competitor.
That’s to say should your business be in second place? First? Or last, that’s when weighing-up how good your businesses seo is.
Google’s algorithm is something that us search engine optimisation agencies of course try to work out how it works the best we can.
Now, we say the best we can with good reason, and that’s because Google doesn’t tell everybody how the algorithm works, and that’s with good reason.
Because if all businesses knew how the algorithm worked, well they may try and fool the algorithm into thinking their businesses seo is better than what it is.
One thing is for sure, that is Google rewards quality seo work. This means if your business is building high-quality and relevant backlinks, assuming that you have enough good quality links your website’s seo will improve.
However, backlinks are just one part of the seo process, in matter of fact there are over 200 ways that an seo company could improve your businesses search engine optimisation .
Does your company have a blog?
No? Well, it should, as with a blog you can add content marketing, this means that each time that Googlebot crawls and indexes your website, well it will see that you have added new work.
And most digital marketing agencies, ours included believe that if the work is good quality, and is added on a regular basis this can help to improve the businesses search engine optimisation
However, if a website doesn’t have new content marketing added regularly, well this could then mean that the website will drop down the ranks.
However, with that said, the work has to be high-quality, if it is not high-quality, then this could damage the businesses search engine optimisation .
Don’t write for SEO benefit
Here’s a really important point, that is when adding blog posts to your website, or content marketing you shouldn’t just focus on adding such work just for SEO benefit.
This means that the seo companies that use rubbish seo methods, well, they may just focus on trying to get a business to rank higher by writing the same words over and over again.
Let’s say for example you run a hairdressers here in Cardiff, well if the seo company offered really rubbish seo, well they may write “hairdressers Cardiff” over and over again within the text.
However, this method of search engine optimisation is outdated, instead you must offer content marketing that’s useful and high quality.
So for example, a senior stylist and the hairdressers may visit the seo agency, and they may create an article once a month, and this blog post talks about the latest trends when it comes to hairdressing in terms of what is popular.
Then, many people who follow the hairdressers on social media, such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, well the followers may read the work, and then share it on their social media.
Then someone who owns a fashion blog, well they may like the article, and mention it within a blog post, so the hairdressers may then get a backlink also.
So what we are saying is this, if you write just to try and get SEO benefits for your business, well your likely to bore the reader.
Instead if the work is really good quality, and your readers find your hairdressing articles interesting, well the seo work will therefore come more easily, that’s as more people read the article and as they link to the blog post that the hairdressers has published.
Do you believe that by adding blog posts to your companies website you will be helping to improve the businesses search engine optimisation, regardless of if the work is rubbish?
The answer is no, if the work is rubbish, and what we mean by that it is not useful, it’s not written by experts, then the work could be deemed low quality.
Low quality content marketing can mean that a business will incur a Google Panda penalty. This means for example, let’s say the business is a skip hire business, and they kept writing “skip-hire + name of city” into the content marketing, well this is likely to be deemed as low-quality content marketing, which could mean that the business incurs a penalty.
Sometimes you will have two separate companies, both sell aluminium ladders, but website number one has its main domain name followed by /9608686608
Which obviously means nothing at all, but then you will have the second business, at that businesses url is /aluminium-ladders-free-delivery
Well, obviously when Googlebot is indexing that page, by having the url as /aluminium ladders-free-delivery it helps to tell algorithm what that page is about.
And if someone is looking for “aluminium ladders and a company that offers free delivery” well, that website has a better chance of ranking higher.
Let’s say you want to fix your car, it has an alternator problem and the garage has quoted you an absolute fortune, so you are thinking about fixing the problem yourself.
Yet, one website has a block of text, it has 3000 words, and it’s just hard to skip to the bit that you want to read about.
Yet website number two, well that explains how to fix that alternator, yet it has many headings, so you can skip to the bit that diagnoses the problem, and then explains how to fix it.
Well, there three things here, that is something as simple as adding titles can help to improve your businesses seo, and here’s how:
Reduces the websites bounce rate
If the reader can skip to the part they want, and therefore find an answer they are unlikely to bounce off the website.
So, the bounce rate could be reduced for that website, that’s simply because the titles are helping the reader to skip to the part they want to read about.
When Googlebot is crawling and indexing that page, Googlebot can quickly understand what that page is about, that’s because the titles will allow the algorithm to quickly workout that page is about how to fix a cars alternator.
For example, the titles may well be
1) How to work out which alternator type you have
2) Make sure that the alternators connectors are not damaged
3) How to remove the car alternator
Therefore just through the titles, Googlebot will be able to know that the page is about how to fix a cars alternator.
Google’s Knowledge Graph
Google’s Knowledge Graph is something that not too many seo companies talk about, however it’s a really important subject that all search engine optimisation agencies should understand.
That is Google understands “entities”, now an entity could be a place, an item or an event in time, yet here’s the crucial thing, Google knows how entities connect.
So for example, Google will understand that Christmas is a date that many people from the U.K celebrate. Google will know that this takes place on the 25th of December each year.
Google will know that Christmas trees, advent calendars, presents and the dates religious significance.
So what do we mean by this, well what we mean is that Google doesn’t just understand that an advent calendar is a cardboard box, which has chocolates behind each door for counting down to Christmas day.
No, instead Google will know that advent calendars are part of the celebration of Christmas, and therefore understand the wider context of advent calendars and why they are purchased or made here in Britain.
And this is important, because most seo companies, including ours believe that Google has a Knowledge Graph.
And this Knowledge Graph helps Google to understand how everything connects. Or, for example how things are connected, for example a celebrity and who they are married to, and what films they have appeared in.
Now, you might be asking, well what’s this got to do with onsite seo?
Well the actual answer is a lot, because let’s say you’re a builder, and one of your blog posts is talking about how to build an extension on your home.
Within that blog post you mention bricks, blocks, fibre glass, UPVC windows, well Google will know that these items are used in construction, so what you are actually doing is making your website more relevant to being a construction business.
So this can help to improve your businesses search engine optimisation.
On the other hand, a direct competitor, well they don’t add blog posts, they just say we are a construction business.
So the business that talks more about construction related entities, well that website may see its seo improve as the website is deemed more relevant to construction and the building industry.
Why cheap SEO is often a waste of time
Okay, so often when a business is looking for a digital marketing agency is Cardiff, they might opt for the cheapest quote they can get.
And this makes sense right, as the business will obviously want to save money?
Well, no is the answer to that, and the reason for that is sometimes the business will obtain low quality seo.
Now, sure, it doesn’t matter if want you pay, your business could always obtain low-quality seo, that’s for sure.
However, often if a business pays a low-price, well you often have to question how much SEO work can really be offered for a low price?
Therefore if the price seems really low, well you have to make sure that your business is going to get white hat search engine optimisation.
If your business doesn’t, and the seo company implements low-quality seo, well your business could incur a penalty.
A Google Panda, or a Google Penguin penalty can sometimes be applied via Google’s algorithm, or in some cases it could be what us SEO’s call a manual penalty.
In either case it could mean that the businesses rankings would drop. Some businesses will then change seo companies, yet the new seo agency, well they may charge a lot of money to help rectify the problem that the other marketing agency has caused.
For example, the new search engine optimisation agency may need to disavow backlinks.
So, this is why its crucial that your business only invests in white hat seo. So this means that every part of the seo process must be white hat, for example, from building backlinks, through to adding content marketing to the website- all of the work must be white hat.
Your digital marketing agency should then help your business to set up Google Analytics, and Google Analytics is a really important seo tool, as it can help to monitor the following:
· Bounce rate
· Number of organic visitors
· Where are your websites visitors coming from, are they coming from organic seo, social media or direct?
Imagine for a second you just opened a new restaurant in Cardiff Bay, South Wales, and you sell wood fired pizza’s let’s say.
But during the first week of opening, most of your customers pop their head through the door, take one look at the restaurant and then leave.
Of course, as the business owner you would want to know why, you would want to find a solution and fast to save your business from going bankrupt.
Well, the same should be said about an online business, that’s because if your websites bounce rate is high, well that’s kind of like a customer popping their read into a restaurant and then leaving.
So, the same could be said about an online business that has a high bounce rate, its like someone landing on the company’s website, then leaving more or less straightaway.
So how do you find a solution?
Well, the company should most certainly work with a white hat seo company, like us, and then a website designer should be involved as well, this is in order to make improvements to the company’s website, to see if that bounce rate can be reduced?
For example, the search engine optimisation agency should ask questions like, does the website lack information? Is this why visitors are bouncing off the website?
For example, let’s say you sell bean to cup coffee machines, well is there enough information on each coffee machine?
Or, are visitors to your website not gaining the information they need in order to make a purchasing decision?
Here’s another really important consideration that your seo agency must think about, that is, is your website aiming to get customers locally, on a national basis, or are you trying to get customers globally?
The reason is that local SEO is very different from national seo. The reason for this is let’s say a marketing agency is tasked with getting an employment law practice to the top of Google within the city of Cardiff, well the seo that will be implemented will be very different than if the business wanted to be on the first page of Google across the U.K.
So your search engine optimisation company will have to meet with your business, and obtain a good understanding of whether you want local seo or not.
If your business does want local seo, then the marketing agency will have to work out is it just one city or multiple cities?
For example, often businesses will have a business premises in Newport and Cardiff, so local SEO will be needed for both cities
NAP stands for name of the business; the businesses address and the businesses phone number.
NAP information should be written on your website, and it should be written in such a way that Googlebot can read it, so that Google’s algorithm will know the businesses NAP details.
Also, some businesses here in Cardiff mark-up the NAP information using Schema.
By using Schema it can make it even easier for Googlebot to find your businesses NAP information, and to know that the information is your companies NAP details.
Does your businesses NAP information match your business citations?
Let’s say your business was once based in Cardiff Gate, yet you moved business premises, now your business is based in St Mellons.
So, the website design company update your businesses website, so now the website states the business is located at its new address, which is in St Mellons.
However, the seo company was not told about the change of business address, so the businesses citations, well they still say that the business is still located in Cardiff Gate.
So this can cause issues, in terms of the businesses local seo.
Many seo agencies would say that the business has what are called “conflicting business citations”- which means that the business citations and the businesses website do not match.
Your search engine optimisation company should fix this problem, if they don’t, then it could damage your businesses seo.