One mistake we see with many of our clients is having a business and having a website, but not connecting the two through a comprehensive digital strategy.
If your website isn’t growing your business, then the marketing agency that built your website for you failed.
But, how does your website grow your business? Everyone looks for companies online. A good website should bring prospective customers who are looking for your product or service
If you sell shoes, you want to show up when someone is looking for new shoes. If you are a corporate consultant who provides c-suite coaching, you want to show up when someone is looking for coaching. If you are an orthopedic surgeon, you want to show up when someone is looking for knee surgery.
If this isn’t happening for your business, what do you need to be doing differently? Part of your digital strategy (how you use technology and the internet to grow your business) is on-page SEO.
What is on-page SEO?
On-page SEO is the process of optimizing the information architecture (how information is organized), website structure (how the information is connected to each other), words, and pictures on your website to get higher ranking on search engines when a prospective customer is looking for your product or service.
Search engines, like Google, “read” your website to determine the subject you’re talking about. Their goal is to provide the most relevant results for a person when they type in a search term. Search engines read and index (save) your website’s information so they can list it in the best order for a person looking for information.
For example, if you are a corporate law business, you would have a lot of words on your website related to corporate law. The search engine algorithms use these words to help understand how relevant your website is to people looking for information on corporate law.
What is an on-page SEO strategy?
An on-page SEO strategy is a plan for how your company will improve your organic rankings for search terms your customers are using.
The plan is written down and clearly articulates how all the different pieces of your website will work together to sell your product or service, growing your business.
What happens without an on-page SEO strategy:
- You have a website, but it’s not getting traffic from search engines
- You have to continually spend money on paid-ads (also called SEM) in order to get high rankings, with no end in sight
- Everyone on your team seems to be working on unrelated things
- Your website doesn’t drive qualified leads
- Your website isn’t helpful to your target customers
- You don’t even really know who your target customers are and what information is helpful to them
What happens with an on-page SEO strategy:
- Everyone on your team understands the goal they are working to
- There is clarity for your customers on what you sell or provide
- Everyone on your team understands who your target customer is and what you want them to do
- All money spent on content (words and pictures) contributes to the end goal
- You’re able to measure the effectiveness of your website
How to create an on-page SEO strategy
Hopefully you’re convinced you need a written on-page SEO strategy. We feel it’s so important, we won’t build a website for a client without having a comprehensive digital strategy, with on-page SEO an important component.
The process we follow is fairly simple:
- Identify who your target customer is: This can be a difficult process, even for some of our enterprise-level clients. Often we cast the net too wide or too vague, as our product or service is applicable to a large audience. The trick here is to focus on customers that point you to your business goal. If you’re looking at launching a new product this year, growing your SaaS subscribers, if you’re wanting to increase patient visits for specific procedures … Identifying your target customers should always start with your business goals.
- Identify their problem: When you’ve identified your customers, you need to identify their problem. Often companies will build digital solutions and then try to retrofit it to their marketing messages. Instead, you should first identify the problem your customers have, then you can create content and an on-page SEO strategy that speaks directly to a customer pain point.
- Know how your company solves their problem: If you haven’t identified how you help solve the customer’s problem, no amount of marketing, content writing, and SEO work will be successful. Take a look at the places you spend money … Even the local grocery store you spend $500+ a month with solves a critical problem, which is access to food.
- Identify real-language search terms your target customer uses in search engines: Interviewing your customers, reading online reviews, browsing Reddit threads, and talking to your sales team are GREAT ways to identify how your customers talk. We also utilize different tools like Moz, Ahref, SEMRush, Google’s related search terms (at the bottom of each search results page), and many others to mine keywords and long-tail keywords to target.
- Build pages on your website that match these search terms: Your information architecture (IA) and website structure should then be built around these keywords. Organize your blog, product categories, services pages to support the keywords you’ve found. You’ll also put together a content strategy and social media strategy to have the right words and pictures.
- Repeat! It’s not a one-and-done exercise. As your customer’s needs change, as you want to graduate customers to different products and services, and as your company grows, you’ll want to keep refining your on-page SEO strategy.
A strong on-page SEO strategy is the backbone of a strong digital strategy. It reflects who your customers are, what problems they have, and how your products or services help solve their problems.
If your marketing agency is not talking to you about your on-page SEO strategy, then they aren’t helping your website grow your business. A website is just a website without a comprehensive digital strategy behind it.
Your website must have the right words, pictures, architecture, and structure to get it in front of the right people.