Potential clients ask us,
“We want to be at the top of Google”
What does that mean exactly? To the prospective client, this might mean the top of Google for their brand term or perhaps non-branded phrases related to their business services.
Either way, they want to be at the top of Google.
But why does everyone want to be at the top of Google? And how will our on-page SEO services help to achieve this?
Businesses know that they are bound to receive leads if they’re placed in the top 10 positions of Google’s search results for targeted keywords. Underneath the Google Ads spaces are The Natural organic listings. Our job is to improve our client’s organic SEO listings.
Most searchers opt for organic listings over adverts – they trust the rankings rather than Google Ads.
To achieve high rankings, we need to consider the on-page SEO and the external off-page rankings, which are part of the SEO services we offer.
Why Organic Search Engine Optimisation Trumps Every Time
To understand why organic SEO is better than paid advertising, you need to consider what ‘organic’ means in search engines. When you hear the term organic in everyday talk, it’s mostly associated with food, largely when it has been grown free of chemicals, pesticides and additives.
In the context of search engines, adverts are chemicals, additives and pesticides. Organic listings are the natural listings that would always appear in the listings if there were no adverts.
By providing specific information about a targeted topic on your website, you are optimising your website for relative keywords. Google will find those keywords and rank them higher in the search engines.
Getting your pages optimised for relevant, targeted phrases in Google isn’t as straightforward as some will think.
It all starts with solid keyword research.
Moving on From Keyword Research
Our process to establish which keywords to target for any website is fundamentally the same across all our clients. It all starts with solid SEO keyword research and integrating our findings into each page.
We must compare what we find in our research to what is currently located on each landing page on your website. Has each page been optimised correctly? Has there been keyword cannibalisation? Have any of the pages been over-optimised at all?
Do the currently targeted keywords provide potential commercial intent? Are they viable?
We then consider all the on-page and off-page factors to ensure that your website adheres to the best SEO practices.
By transposing the conclusions found from keyword research and then applying this to how your on-page SEO is set up, it will naturally improve your organic SEO positions across all pages on your website.
What On-Page Factors We Consider
Our SEO research includes a substantial technical audit, highlighting any fundamental issues with the website that we’ll need to address.
After the technical SEO issues have been examined, we’ll need to explore each page accordingly to ensure that the main on-page SEO factors are being taken care of.
Our steps for on-page optimisation (non-technical SEO factors) to evaluate websites are similar for each webpage, and we’ll consider the following aspects and make sure they align with the search queries and the following factors*:
- URL Structure
- Meta Titles
- LSI Usage
- Meta descriptions
- H1 – H6 tags
- Alt Tags
(*There are other on-page SEO factors that we look at that are proprietary methods and can be discussed once on-boarded)
Once we’ve evaluated your website, we can discuss ways to improve your on-page. Our goal here is to create a website that is optimised for targeted keywords that will result in suitable leads once ranked highly in the search engines.
Once we’ve created a plan for the ideal structure of your website, we shall begin to make suitable adjustments. This will include ideal Meta Titles, H Tags, and a solid URL structure.
Structuring the On-Page URLs Correctly
It is not always possible to place the target keywords in the root domain, especially if your website is established already and has existing traffic. In that case, we need to utilise the inner URLs and assign a page accordingly to each search group of search phrases.
This is a powerful sign to Google to advise them of what each page is specifically about.
The importance of SEO-friendly URLs is often overlooked, making them as short as possible and friendly to search engines. We always incorporate your target keywords in your inner URLs – this is a must!
We will make sure that your website doesn’t include inner URLs like the following examples:
Neither of the above examples will be favoured by Google or a visitor.
We will not be using these options.
Utilising all the Meta Data
Prioritising the placing of targeted keywords on the page, we always ensure we utilise the Meta Title and its 70 limits. The Meta Data is what Google uses in their SERPs, and we will ensure that target keywords are placed in these locations.
In addition to the Meta Title, we also ensure that we use Meta Description to provide Google with a mixture of targeted phrases to list your website within the SERPs. With 320 characters now available in the Meta Description, you can delve into various permutations of the targeted keyword phrase.
Google has been known to vary how long the meta description needs to be; it used to be 160 characters and then 320 characters; most recently, however, it has returned to 160 characters – gee, Google, make up your mind!
Header Tags and LSIs
Google pays attention to what is placed in the Header Tags for each page and finds phrases that are different but related to the main targeted keyword. This is where we use Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI). It's a way for our SEO consultants to use a thesaurus to find related words that are like the target keywords.
We don’t provide you with a set limit of keywords for which we will rank you. Our methods mean that your website will ensure that Google ranks you for hundreds of various other keywords.
And use their patented Rank Brain algorithm, which predicts what you want to find based on the search terms people are typing in.
Take, for instance, a search for the phrase “a film about medieval Scotland.”
Google produces a famous film about Scotland – Braveheart, yet there was no mention of:
- William Wallace or
- King Edward
- The 14th Century
and Google considered Braveheart the most relative answer to that search phrase.
Our work will make Google consider ranking your website for phrases that were not targeted, and that’s all due to the correct use of LSIs.
Your Website Page Content
If you were to read the content on your website, what English grade would you give it?
Grammar and spelling are now a factor of the search engines; Google can rate the writing quality on websites! Now that is something to think about when you decide to write content.
If there are software programmes that can dramatically improve your grammar and spelling, such as Grammarly. There is no reason to think that Google doesn’t incorporate this in their algorithm.
Depending on the niche we service, we would aim for content that can be read by most readers who’ve completed a high school education*. We want to aim for somewhere in the middle, not Oxford-level scientific English that can be found in studies in The Lancet, nor primary school-level English. We aim to capture as many people as possible.
Gone are the days when you could use the target keyword several times on a page and hope that Google will find this and rank you highly. Nope, not anymore! If you wrote the target keyword into a website page several times, it would not read well.
It will most likely trigger a Google Panda penalty.
All the content on our clients’ websites is checked for spelling, grammar and plagiarism.
*There are some technical niches and industries where a high level of English is a prerequisite.
On-Page SEO Results from Previous SEO Work
Here are few examples of our success derived from changing the on-page factors of clients websites*. You can certainly expect these results if you consider using our once on-page SEO services, both in Auckland and throughout New Zealand.
*the clients themselves have been hidden for privacy purposes.
Organic Rank Tracking
This client approached us in the UK intending to rank for a particular set of competitive keywords competing with hundreds of other companies in the same industry.
After changing the on-page SEO structure and incorporating several other LSI phrases, Google moved the website down to position 83 for a period. We advised the client not to panic. Google will eventually adjust once we change the internal linking structure and the external links pointing to the page.
After eight months, the phrase climbed to page 1 and hit the #1 spot after 14 months of SEO. In addition to ranking this website organically, we obtained #1 rankings for that primary keyword phrase in the Local Snack Pack.
The client now has multiple related phrases ranking on page 1, effectively doubling their traffic year on year and have now had to hire more sales staff.
Local SEO Map Rankings NZ
This screenshot is from the 'Insights' section within Google My Business for a client in Auckland. The connection between the clients' on-page SEO on their website and their GMB listing directly correlated with their rankings and success.
This client received ZERO calls from their Google Maps listing before our involvement. They now receive over 50 calls a month because of their #1 ranking position!
Dominate the map positions, and take over existing local competitors by using our On-Page SEO Services.
This client is now expanding staffing levels to cope with the demand.
In addition to obtaining map listings, we also run this client's Google Ads and Organic SEO.
Would you like an additional 50+ calls from people all looking for your services?
#1 Rankings For Italian Client
This law firm approached us from Italy wanting to reach #1 in Google.com for their primary keyword phrase.
After de-optimising their significantly over optimised on-page SEO, their website crept up onto page 1 for their primary targeted keyword phrase.
Having had little success with previous SEO companies and a rather 'weak' attempt at doing SEO on their own, they reached out to us and examined everything.
Ultimately, this needed to be approached from the ground up and rebuild the website with a faster theme, faster hosting, optimised images and re-align all the content and URLs to suit the niche.
Our perseverance paid off, and within seven months, the client ranked #1 for their keyword phrase and has since enjoyed over 20 leads a month for this particular niche.
Common On-Page SEO Questions & Answers
On-Page SEO is the general practice of optimising each individual page on a website in order to rank higher in the search engines for specifically relevant targeted traffic.
Everything that can be seen by a visitor, or website user is considered on-page content. Google and other search engines examine the content to determine if it reflects the searchers intent and therefore sends traffic to a specific page.
Absolutely it is important, how else will search engines determine whether to reward a website with traffic?
Google consistently updates their algorithm to ensure that its search results are the best and to do so, they need to make sure that the websites that it produces are reflective of the searchers intent.
All of the on-page SEO that has to be undertaken can be considered to be the foundations of a house. Without solid on-page SEO (foundations) the house will therefore collapse and in the case of a website you’ll receive no traffic – and we don’t want that do we!
Everything that you can read and watch on a webpage can be considered ‘on-page SEO’.
Whereas ‘off-page SEO’ is everything that happens away from the website that directly influences the rankings of that page. This generally comes in the form of backlinks from other websites that are pointing to a particular page.
Social media factors are another off-page factor that can both drive traffic directly from social media accounts or indicate to search engines that this page is important and therefore deserves to be ranked higher.
We've seen everything you can imagine that might be considered poor levels of on-page SEO.
Although the below list is not everything we commonly notice when examining poor on-page SEO, they are undoubtedly common factors that are noticeably present, such as;
Poor URL Structure - we've seen many websites with excessively long URLs, dynamic URLs, and URLs with random text that have no relation to the topic or business. You name it, we've seen it, and it is one of the main reasons Google cannot rank a website; it doesn't know what it is about!
Duplicate Content - This tactic worked very well before the introduction of Panda by Google that removed duplicated content within their search index. Before any content is published online, it needs to go through software that scans the internet for any iterations of the content.
Everything that we do SEO on-page, we ensure that the client's content is unique.
Poorly Optimised Meta Titles & Descriptions - Quite often, many website pages have Meta Titles that, well, are 'blank'! Or worse still, simply are using the same Title as the H1 tag! Likewise, Meta descriptions help persuade a user to click on your website directly from the SERPs.
A well-written meta description will engage the user before they reach the website, and it will start to answer their questions.
Neglected LSI Keywords - There are many versions of a way to say something, and this is where LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) words come in. If you see the exact words repeated in the URL, Metya Title and the H1, then the webmaster has not thought to determine different ways of saying the same thing.
By using LSIs, Google, and other search engines then can send your website more traffic.
Thin On-Page Content - Having only 50 words on a page doesn't cut it for search engines. The longer and more detailed content solving the users' search intent will be given more targeted traffic. Thin content is not enough words on the page.
Several technical SEO factors are also ranking factors; you can read more about them in the FAQ section on the technical SEO page.
Yes, we use an in-house on-page SEO checklist that covers every factor that we know about that helps ranking websites in Google and other search engines.
SEO evolves month by month and year by year, so too does our checklists. Consequently, our checklist is dynamic and evolves the more information that we notice and find. We are part of a large community of SEO consultants worldwide and several of our connections regularly test different ranking factors and methods.
Once conclusions to data have been shared and tested, we will then incorporate this new information into our checklists for our clients.
If you get on-page SEO right and highly optimised, then the benefits will last long into the future for your website and it will constantly receive targeted traffic from the search engines...that is, provided you don't mess up off-page SEO factors and your competitors don't catch up with you!
Poorly optimised on-page SEO will simply mean the search engines will not send you targeted traffic at all, so yes, your website will not be in favour of Google and therefore will not receive traffic.
If you over optimise your content to target a specific keyword or phrase, you will gain receive no traffic and the search engines will punish you.
There is a fine line between over optimised and under optimised on-page SEO, it is imperative that you approach a good SEO consultancy in Auckland that understands the difference and are able to reach what Google wants.
The most important on-page SEO factors are the factors that greatly improve the rankings of a website page.
Although, there are many on-page SEO factors to consider when building out a website, the most important are the factors that we look at initially.
We consider, the URLs, meta titles, H1 to H6, content, alt tags and images as a part of the on-page SEO factors and each will help rank websites for specific keyword phrases.