Research from Smart Insights show that over 36% of clicks occur on the first search result and another 40+% is then split over the rest of the first page. Therefore it pays to have your website or webpage to appear on top and on the first page of Google search results – it’s even better if you can do it for free!
Enter on-page Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)…
On page SEO is a practice that can help your web pages & effectively, your website rank higher for certain search enquiries. The more relevant your webpage is, the higher you appear in Google’s search results.
Here are 6 techniques you can apply to improve your rankings:
1. Optimise for ‘search intent’
On average, Google processes over 40,000 search queries per second, with many searches using very few keywords. The search engine’s goal, and why it is so relied upon, is that it is designed to serve the most relevant results to search enquiries. How can your NFP benefit from this? By strategically curating content that will answer the user’s search enquiries.
The best approach is to begin with a keyword strategy which includes thorough keyword research. You can do this using Google’s Keyword Planner (part of the Google Ads advertising platform), a valuable tool for informing your website’s keyword strategy around your particular audience. A keyword strategy helps you dig deeper, think about your searchers’ goals, and identify keywords to include in your content and then track the effectiveness of those keywords.
To come up with the best keywords to use, consider a deeper focus on intent, which helps better align web searchers with the right results. Focusing on the searchers’ intent is about looking at the rationale your potential searchers likely have when undertaking their search. This is also known as keyword intent because this aspect is about understanding what your audience is searching for, even if the searcher does not.
Sound a bit complicated? It’s not really, it is about thinking about what motivates them. Thinking beyond the words and to the searchers’ goals behind the search can help your NFP develop a more effective keyword strategy.
For example, if you run a charity focused on rescue animals, you want to capture the traffic from people searching for rescue centers, as well as those looking to buy a pet or pet product, as well as those looking for information on pets. Researching what people are looking for and aligning the content on your website to match helps capture traffic from wider audiences.
2. Importance of Mobile
Mobile searches surpass searches conducted on desktops. There are several search engines available, but Google is responsible for 95% of the mobile search market. Ensuring your website is optimised for mobile is essential, as Google will rank mobile-friendly pages higher.
Page responsiveness, including site speed (the amount of time it takes for a page to load, also play a role in how likely your page is to rank on results. Google has specified that this is a key factor that its algorithm uses to rank search results. There are free tools out there such as Page Speed & YSlow to help you evaluate whether you need to improve your website speed.
On-page SEO is about maximising an individual page’s content. There are a variety of helpful best practices used to optimise each page. One place to start is by using short URLs with your target keyword or phrase, as studies show these rank better than long URLs. Ensuring URLs are written to include keywords, can help provide descriptions necessary to understand a page’s content.
5. Tags and Ranking
Website title tags are a major factor in search engines pulling your website as a search result, as well as alerting the person searching that yours is the website they want to click through to.
Also important is to use keywords in titles and headers, as well as in meta tags (the ‘hidden’ text in the page’s HTML) and your meta description. For example, using keywords at the beginning of your title and frequently in an article or blog post helps Google and other search engines to better rank your page. Adding keywords to your meta description can also help searchers skimming results to quickly see the information that is more pertinent. For instance, Google bolds the searchers’ keywords in the results, making it easy for the searcher to see the matches that are more relevant.
6. Link To Outbound Sources
A recent study highlighted that the use of outbound links to external sources has a positive correlation with SEO as search engines will crawl external links to learn more about your website. Typically, outbound links are used to provide context or supporting evidence for claims. The correct use of outbound sources (meaning reputable external sources) can give your content and website more credibility. If search engines perceive your website as credible, it will increase your SEO and help you appear higher in search engine result rankings.
By applying the above techniques, your website becomes more relevant to certain search enquiries performed on search engines.
However, don’t make the mistake thinking that on-page SEO is a task you do once & leave forever. You need to continually optimise your website in accordance with SEO best practices as search engines like Google continue to optimise its search algorithms to provide the most relevant answers to its users’ search enquiries.
For more ideas about how your NFP can improve its on page SEO, or for an in-depth website audit and support, contact us.