Most of us Filipinos don’t know where to start and look for good resources for us to learn SEO. There are a lot of SEO Pro’s out there, but a part of us don’t know which to follow or which is right. There are paid ones, but we can’t afford the courses, don’t have the budget, afraid we might not learn enough of what we paid, and worse some think we don’t want to pay because they will get rich.
Sometimes for us to verify, we need to implement it on our own blogs but the downside for this takes more time to get results, and there are factors we might not know if no one will guide us.
When hired as an SEO position from platforms of your choice, one of the first thing the SEO Specialist, SEO Expert, Virtual Assistant or Freelancer with SEO experience is by doing a complete site audit.
This is important whether your website is in WordPress or e-commerce site such as Shopify, as this helps to increase the visibility of a site.
6 Factors that contribute to the visibility are;
- Tags (Meta tags, Heading tags)
- Image optimization (missing “Alt Text”)
- Crawlability (URL structure, sitemap, crawl errors)
- Long and informative content
What Tools to Use for On-Page?
Most of the Filipino VA’s or Freelancer that started out to do SEO don’t know which free tools to use, and if it’s reliable. There are known paid tools such as Semrush, Ahrefs, Screaming Frog but just don’t have the budget, and if there’s a budget, the problem is limited knowledge.
Use this as a learning point to improve your skills. The site that I use as an example is what most Filipinos are familiar with and you can try your website if you have just for practice.
Note: be sure to document the data on Google spreadsheet for your reference.
Free Tools Vs Paid Tools
I’ll be citing some free tools which you can use and mention some pros and cons.
You can use these sites if you have no budget yet or while you have no budget yet and the client doesn’t have the tools. If you’re using the free ones, I suggest using 2-3 of them to compare data and just to be sure.
1. Neil Patel SEO Analyzer
Just add your website in the analyze website bar and press enter, don’t worry its free. After its done scanning, scroll down below.
In this example, I just added Lazada.
You will see information such as Page Level SEO Score and Page Level Speed Sore. Tap on the 5 SEO Recommendations to start then next is the 12 speed Recommendations.
On the Page Level SEO Analysis, there were no errors, but there are a few warnings.
When you see this warning, this is one of those exceptions that you don’t need to increase the characters in the Menu Title except the title or name of a product or article.
If you see this errors above, make sure to inform your developer to change these to static ones. The cons of have a dynamic URL as stated by Rand Fishkin from Moz is that it’s long and Google favors shorter ones with keywords in it. Longer URL have a tendency that you might not copy all of it and it will return as a 404. Other reasons are lower keyword relevance and prominence, hard to remember, hard to share it with people, and can’t be used as an optimized anchor text.
If your website is in WordPress then you can easily add this manually on Media or in that specific page or post where its located.
The optimal title length is around 50-60 characters to avoid missing important keywords and avoid not making any sense.
There are other recommended suggestion the tool give you like lack of social presence and number of backlinks. The number of backlinks is not entirely accurate though compared to Ahrefs. I’m not saying that Ahrefs is 100% accurate but its almost accurate.
What you won’t find in this audit are HTTP redirects issues, broken links, issues in the sitemap, crawl errors. For this errors, you can check it on Google Search Console.
One of the sites you can use, but you can crawl the site for free on one website per day. You can opt to try their 14-day trial. You can get most of the things you need on the free ones and for the paid are extra things you might or may want to know that may help you.
One of the top searches when you search for a free site audit. You can get most of the details you need including social results, page speed, and more. The good thing is you can audit more than one website.
It’s a paid tool but you can get a free month to do a site audit and fix whatever issues the site has. After the free month, you will then pay for a subscription which the lower costs around $99. If you want to monitor your sites on-page and keywords, then I suggest investing in this.
Still the same as Semrush, a paid tool with no free month but a $7 price to use it for a week, then pay for a subscription which the Lite costs $99. This is a useful tool to use besides Semrush by checking backlinks of a site and backlinks of a competitor and do competitor analysis.
6. Screaming Frog
A paid software which is good to invest on as you can gather other data such as word count, number of keywords mentioned, and more. Its way faster than doing it manually.
1. Choosing of Keywords
Most of the time when you’re hired, your client already have keywords in mind, and you can suggest or recommend keywords depending on what data you have gathered using tools for keyword research. Be sure to careful to pick keywords on every page as it might cannibalize with other pages causing keyword cannibalization.
2. Optimizing Meta Tags
When you have gathered data for keywords, Its time to optimize every page or post with the keywords you pick to increase visibility. Keywords must be present on the Title, meta-description, and content. Don’t over optimize and just limit 2-3 keywords. Use LSI (Latent Semantic Index) words which are synonyms to help increase your page or post relevancy.
For the Heading tags make sure to use only one H1 tag on every page or post.
3. Optimizing Images
When optimizing an image make sure to rename the image with the keyword, add alt-text, and the format of the image is JPEG or PNG. Even though JPEG is slightly compressed but the quality can be lossy while PNG file size is large compared than JPEG, but its a great alternative with excellent color quality.
4. Use These Sites for Checking Page Speed
It’s better to use this three sites to compare data and check the recommendations for the site.
1. Page Insights
Widely known free tool to check the page speed of a site’s desktop and mobile version. They will give you some suggestion on optimization on a specific issue and state what optimization has been done.
You might see some issues that are still present even though it detected what optimization has been done. It might be the theme, plugin or third party apps.
Another great site to check the page speed as you can get a recommendation on how to improve it.
You can get your sitemap using a plugin such as Yoast. Download the XML sitemap file and upload it to Google Search Console.
For the URL structure make sure its short with the keyword like:
For news and events
This is the time you can add dates.
Domain+/10-tips-on-page-seo (This is avoided so that you don’t need to update or 301 redirect the page or post everytime you update your content)
For other crawl errors such as HTTP redirects, make sure to use appropriate HTTP redirects to avoid more issues. Check if there are broken links and fix it right away.
6. Long and Informative Content
The purpose of making the content long with no fluff and informative is to get more organic keywords, increase dwell time by dividing your content with subheadings and bucket brigades. Add buttons for social sharing to increase CTR and traffic.
For e-commerce sites, make sure to write just enough (not too short and not too long) and unique.
Be sure to add 2-3 internal and external links (per 1000 words is safer). Link internally to your relevant and older post. Link externally to resources and authoritative sites.
Be sure to match your content with user intent. An excellent way to check on this is to type the keyword on Google Search and observe the top 10 on the first page.
Ask yourself, why are they ranking?
- The number of words?
- How many time was the keyword mentioned
- Keywords used
- What’s in the content why they are ranking (due to the information given or authoritative sources?)
- Check the number of backlinks on that specific page or post as well using Ahrefs as this helps why it’s ranking.
Even though this is manually done, the results of this are beneficial and time to expect on results may vary as competitors are hiring someone to do the same to improve their site.
Lastly, encourage blog comments whether positive or negative as the higher number of comments you have for that post gives you a slight edge.
7. Optimize URL Structure
If you have found that your URLs are dynamic, change them to static. Make sure when creating the URL the keyword is added.
Adding dates in the URL structure are more for useful in events or news and not necessary be added in all URLs.
The URLs should not be too long as Google tends to favor short URLs and easy to remember.
Make sure to choose wisely your keywords to be added as it might be one of the cause of keyword cannibalization on other pages.
8. HTTPS Redirection
Before or after launching your website, make sure that the URLs are properly redirected to the proper URL destination. Avoid 404 pages/post and if ever you find one, make proper decision by
- Redirecting to the proper URL
- Create a custom 404 page if you tend to update the content later
- Avoid any broken links
9. Schema Markup
Adding a proper schema to your website helps Google to understand your site more. You can install a plugin for schema markup or manually add JSON-LD schema markup to each page or post. One of the example for this is adding FAQ schema to your FAQ page.
10. Internal Linking
Add an internal link to your website for you to specifically boost a specific page and pass link juice to have more link equity.
11. External Links
External links are useful if your referencing someone for E.A.T. It will help build trust from readers from linking to an authoritative site or someone who is an expert of that field.
AMP is Accelerated Mobile Pages, which helps improve your pages to load faster especially in mobile. You can install a plugin for this if you’re using WordPress.
13. Site Architecture
Applying a good site architecture will definitely help in regards to link equity.
Having a secured website will help you build trust as most people use Chrome browser and avoid viewers or readers from leaving your site. It’s not only mainly for adding because you will receive payments from your site.
It’s a small image icon that represents your website and is usually found in the address bar but can also be found in search engines as well when you search for it using a browser.
16. Heading Tags
Make sure to add the keywords or use the LSI keywords in your Heading tags. H1 should be the one you will add your primary keyword and sprinkle your primary keyword in H2 and H3. You can use other keywods in your H2 or H3 depending on whats ranking based on search intent.
17. Content Optimization
Sometimes you may need to optimize or update your content based on what’s currently ranking right now or based on user search intent.
18. Social Media
Adding social media icons or shares helps boost social signals which would help in rankings on your site or a specific posts in one of your blog posts.
Adding Name, Address, Contact number (NAPs) either on the footer or at your contact page helps boost your ranking especially for Local SEO.
Be sure to set your robots.tx properly on which page or post you want to be crawled or not to be crawled.
Makes sure to have your sitemap created using a plugin like Yoast and SEOpress if you’re using WordPress. If not you can have it created manually by your web developer.
Takeaway: Read on Matt Diggity, Brian Dean’s blog, Neil Patel, Moz (Rand Fishkin and more).
Owner at Be Visible Media
Dale Basilla is a content writer for various niches, SEO (Off-page & On-Page), and lives in a location where there are lots of beaches in the Philippines. He loves to watch anime, TV series (mystery and solving crimes), and movies. In his spare time, he plays chess, plays the guitar, and spend time with his ever busy girlfriend.