When you’re building out your website, the goal is usually to share valuable information with your audience and site visitors. You can build out a huge site with hundreds or thousands of blog posts/articles and pages that cover a broad subject. Or you can have a smaller site that is more targeted to a specific topic. Whichever direction you choose to go with your site you will still need to focus your attention on a few pages that all well-SEO’d sites tend to have. (If SEO’d is not a word then I just made it up.)
The pages that all top ranking sites will have are: Homepage, About, Contact Us, Blog page, Search Landing Pages. Let’s discuss each of these pages and what content you should expect to have on them and what results you should expect when site visitors go to those pages.
SEO for your Home Page
Your home page is just that: the main page for your domain. I like to see the Home page show up on your main domain URL displayed as:
(where your site would be in place of yourdomain). I do not like to see your home page URL show up as:
If it does show up like the latter then contact me and I’ll share a few steps to get that sorted out to the cleaner URL: yourdomain.com
Your home page will be the page visitors go to when they type in your domain to check out your site or company. Your home page will likely NOT be the site that comes up in the search results when people are searching for keywords that your website will be optimized for. At least it won’t in the way I do my SEO for my clients. There are certain pages that we want to show up for certain terms. We do NOT want the home page showing up for multiple terms. That would be a very untargeted search result and we want to give visitors exactly what they are looking for. Hence the need for properly completed SEO.
Your homepage can provide general information for your site visitors. Add content that consists of general keywords for your niche. You can be broad on this page and direct visitors to other more targeted pages within your site that covers information more in depth for particular keywords. You can use footer links to other locations if your company is a local or regional type of business.
SEO for your About Page
The About Us page is the most underutilized page when it comes to SEO for your website. You have a lot of freedom to do different things and avoid the formulaic, templated pages you see on most websites. You do want to tell your visitor about your company and your team but you don’t have to do it in the most dry manner possible.
You have an enormous opportunity on this page to include several keywords for your industry all the while differentiating your company from your competition. Use the flexibility you have and make your page impressionable and optimized well for your keywords. Include robust content and images to tell visitors what your company is…well…About!
Your About Us page should fit in synergistically with your overall SEO strategies. You don’t want to steal traffic away from your homepage or targeted landing pages although there will be some overlap across your different top pages.
SEO for your Contact Page
This page is important for SEO because it allows you to enter in all of your company’s location details. SEOs generally call your business info: NAP. This stands for Name, Address, Phone Number. Wherever your NAP appears on the Internet it’s considered a citation for your company. You want your citations to be identical throughout the Internet. NAP citations are very important especially for local SEO. Citations are an SEO strategy outside of your website but you want to make sure the information you present on your site matches everywhere off your site.
If your company has multiple locations those physical addresses can be listed out on the Contact page. Also list out different ways customers, clients or potential new business can reach you. You can include just your main number or include numbers for different departments if that’s more appropriate. Also include a list of email addresses for each business location.
Embedding maps into your Contact page can add more power to your geographic SEO potential. It’s a more advanced strategy but helps the search engines pinpoint your location and business area.
SEO for your Blog Pages
I can go deep in the rabbit hole when it comes to SEO for your blog posts but I’m just going to share a few fundamentals that can provide great results. Mastering the basics won’t hurt you! These few fundamentals can get you going in the right direction.
I don’t believe every blog post needs to be optimized with SEO in mind. I think you should focus your SEO efforts on your highly desired keywords and properly apply SEO to those posts. Other posts can be created and shared naturally as they are intended. Posts that are created with SEO in mind should follow a checklist to make sure you’re going to have the best opportunity to rank in the search results.
SEO Blog Post Checklist
– Generally you want to create longer length content and make sure it’s original content.
– Have a good title that includes your keyword.
– Put your title in an H1 tag.
– Focus on your keyword phrases and synonyms throughout your content but do not overstuff keywords.
– Add relevant pictures, one to three, include keywords in the alt text and file titles for the images.
– Add relevant categories or tags.
– Add keywords in your metadata description.
– Link out externally to other authority sites that are relevant to your post. Do not overdo external links.
– Link internally where appropriate to other pages on your website. Do not overdo internal links.
– Add social sharing links.
Do a manual search for your keyword and see what results show up currently. This is your competition for that particular keyword. How does your blog post stack up to what you see? Yes, there are other off-page factors that may help those blog posts rank for that keyword but you have to control what you can with your on-page SEO efforts first.
If you want to take your SEO to another level then get a free market analysis here.
SEO for your Search Landing Pages
If you are running ad campaigns then you most likely have dedicated landing pages. Landing pages are generally set up to make conversions but they can also be optimized for organic search results. These pages need to be hosted on your domain just like your blog posts are. Some third party ad providers will host your landing pages on their domain. You will receive no SEO benefit if the pages are not hosted on your own domain.
Ranking your landing pages will take some keyword research to help find some keywords with less difficult competition. It can be done but will take some time. You can use the same on-page strategies shared above in the checklist for blog posts. Your landing page may likely have more multi media than your typical blog post so make sure to follow the proper protocol for the best SEO results for images and video.
Multimedia can be data intensive and slow your page down. Consider reducing file sizes of your images but find the best balance between smaller files and image quality. For your videos consider streaming directly from YouTube or Vimeo so those videos are not loading directly from your server. The theme you use for your website may have options built in that handle images and videos to help your site remain speedy.
Other Important Pages on Your Site for SEO
Adding these pages helps to validate your entity as a legitimate business concern in the eyes of the search engines. These pages help increase your site’s trust factor and also help your visitors understand what your business or company may do with their information if you collect that type of data.
You can certainly find boilerplate versions of these pages and add in your company information where applicable. Or better to have an attorney draw up custom versions of these pages. Please understand: I am not providing legal advice on these pages. Please consult an attorney when adding these pages to your website.
So there you have it. Focus on these pages when it comes to your SEO for your website and you should see an increase in your rankings over time. SEO is a long term play. Be patient. Master the basics. When you’re ready to take it to the next level please contact me.