Making Sense of On-Site SEO, Keywords, Click-Through Rates, Meta Descriptions and Bounce Rates
Search engine optimization really is not that scary. It can get a bad name when people try to game the system or when sellers of SEO services treat it like a secret art that can only be practiced by high priests. At GeekCoaches, we like to be transparent about what we do including our SEO services. In fact, we call ourselves coaches because we are happy to teach you what we do.
SEO is complicated, but only because of the number of steps that you have to know and implement. How SEO accomplishes its results overall and each of the individuals steps are actually quite logical. There are five elements that go into your search engine results for your site web pages:
- The content on a webpage and how well it matches what a person searches.
- Items like headings that tell search engines what is important on a webpage.
- Formal two-way connections between your site and search engines so the services gather better info.
- The perceived quality of your site based on speed, how long people stay on your site and the number of times people click on your listing in a search result.
- How popular a webpage (or site) is based largely on the number of people linking to it.
Number 5 is called off-site SEO. The first two are called on-site SEO and 3 and 4 are sometimes included. The rest of this article discusses the first four. Off-site SEO will be covered in a later article.
Content and Keyword Optimization
To maximize your site’s search engine rank, your site must contain content and keywords that match the search queries your potential customers are conducting. Furthermore, the more prominent those search words are via your page titles, headings, links and content, the better your search rank. Here is an example of the importance of matched content. GeekCoaches has served clients across Canada and the United States and in Europe and Asia. So, we do not really spend anytime on our site talking about being from Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. However, some people like hiring local companies to help with things like websites. So, in our area many potential customers would do a search such as ‘Mississauga web developers‘. If we want to rank high for those searches, we need content that talks about being just that — a Mississauga web developer. We have been busy with clients, but we will be adding that content soon for a future article we will be doing on landing pages.
Search Engine Connections and Google Profiles
Connecting your site to search engines also improves your search engine results. The connection steps improve not just your search rank, they also dramatically increase how much information is displayed about your site in your search listings. Creating and linking Google profiles for your business and your site authors is a further benefit. Registering your business address displays even more. To the right, you can see an extended Google listing for our parent company — Pitcher Group.
Click-Through Rate Building
Of course, there is also a human element to search. Your page titles and (meta) descriptions must entice people to click on your search listings increasing your click-through rate (CTR). As an added bonus, the more people click on your listings, the better your search rank.
Bounce Rate Reduction
Finally, lowering your bounce rate, improves your search engine rank. A bounce occurs when someone clicks on your search listing and leaves your site immediately after it displays. A high bounce rate suggests that your search listing is of a lower quality, and search engines reduce your rank accordingly. Appealing content and high-quality links, encourage people to stay on your site and reduce your bounce rate percentage.