By Kelli Criss, PhD

Detail Level: Beginner to Intermediate

Read Time: 3-5 minutes

For the last few weeks, our blog series, Growing your Business with Digital Marketing, has explained search engines and keyword research. Today, we recommend this short blog post about developing the focus of each page of your website and cultivating On Page Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

 Developing the focus of each page

Now that you have researched keywords and Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) with a little help from last week’s blog, you can select the best keywords for your site.  To determine your site’s pages, employ your keyword research to decide what each page’s focus will be.

Next, use your selected keywords to conduct a search for pages that rank highly for your selected keywords.  What features exist on the pages you find? These features are the plumb line for creating content that is superior to your competition’s content.  The goal is for your site’s pages to contain unique improvements, setting your pages apart from competitors ranking with your keywords.  Using your SERP research, you determine which content to use whether concentrating on longer or shorter content, content organized into bullets or paragraphs, or the amount of video and images.

Whatever you do, avoid practices that will devalue your site for users and search engines (e.g., flooding your content with your keywords, copying content almost exactly from a similar site, and using a program to auto-generate content that makes no sense, etc.)

Understanding the technical side of SEO

This is where the head scratching begins if you are not a website developer.  We recommend forming a relationship with a developer right from the start.  A developer will help you create your website in such a way that prevents technical SEO problems.  It’s better to prevent the fires that technical issues create rather than trying to putting the fires out as they pop up.  After all, you want a website that people and search engine crawlers can navigate.

When working with a developer, knowing some of their technical language enables better communication and mutual respect within the relationship.  When the relationship is strong with the developer, you are more likely to ensure your goals are not only met, but met in an accurate and effective fashion.

Website coding languages

A great place to build your knowledge is learning which codes construct websites.  Three of the most common are: HTML for organizing text content (e.g., titles, paragraphs, etc.), CSS for creating the appearance of the website (e.g., color, fonts, etc.), and JavaScript for making the website perform (e.g., interactions).  We see HTML as the frame of the house, CSS as the look of the house (its decorations and finishes), and JavaScript as the functionality of the house’s features—bedroom doors that open manually, garage doors that move up and down automatically, and lights that turn on and off both ways.

Schema markup and SEO

What the heck is schema markup of content?  This is where it gets much more technical so we’ll provide some definitions as we go.  Schema is organizational code.  Another name for schema is structured data because of the structure which schema contributes to content or data.  Why in the world does content need any more structure than just the words readers see on a website? Well, it all comes back to how a search engine comprehends what’s on your page.  Schema is a means for organizing and categorizing content so that search engines efficiently comprehend a web page’s particular elements.  The marking of your content with schema or organizational code is known as the process of schema markup.  Google prefers the organizational code or schema JSON-LD for the markup of content.

Schema markup impacts your SEO not only by helping search engines better comprehend the type of information on your web page, but it also helps your web page’s particular features to appear in SERPs.  For instance, “rich snippets” from your web page like review stats and sitelink search boxes can appear in a SERP when schema markup has been used for your content.  Just a note – there’s no guarantee that your page’s rich snippets will appear in the SERPs if you have employed schema markup; however, schema markup always provides clearer guidance for a search engine as it makes sense of your website’s page(s).

High five! You just finished some heavy-duty technical SEO basics!  We hope you feel informed and empowered by what you’ve gleaned.  Let your knowledge launch you into finding the developer who can help your website achieve its SEO goals.  Don’t hesitate to let us know how we can help build your website today!  Stay tuned for next week’s blog about creating a plan to build links to your website.