On-Page SEO – The Simple Stuff
First thing’s first
It’s unavoidable. SEO is becoming more and more important but I’m sure there are many of you out there who still don’t honestly know what it’s all about and to be very honest with you, neither did I until not so long ago. I realised that working for a web design company, I should take it upon myself to savvy up on this stuff and so I recently took a free course. So this here blog will shower, no bathe you, in my newly acquired knowledge of SEO. There is a lot to be said on this subject however. So these are merely the key points that I believe you can do without troubling yourself too much.
Now some of you will nod along enthusiastically when SEO crops up as a topic of conversation, saying things like, “oh yeah, SEO? Yeah I know about SEO” but in reality it’s more like, “yeah I have heard those letters being said together at some point. Sensual Equestrian Octopus, right? Yeah I use that all the time”. No you don’t. . . I hope you don’t. So here’s a brief definition for those of you who are unclear.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation and it’s something that every business with a website (most businesses have a website now right?) should be aware of and use. It’s about tarting up your website so that search engines want to wine it and dine it and show it off to all its little cyber mates. Most people’s aim is to get their website as near to the top of potential customer’s search results as possible and of course, above their competitors.
Well it turns out that there are many things you can do and, best of all, most of these things are free and achievable by you and I; the common man. You don’t need to spend hundreds of pounds to get the results. However, it is a bit of a hit-and-miss area whereby you can’t really ever guarantee that what you do will work. It’s about trial and error. I know this is probably not what you want to hear but I’m not going to lie and mislead you like some evil impish pixie.
So before I begin my list of pointers, I should establish that there are really two parts to this. You can optimize your website (on-page SEO) but you can also do some snazzy things away from your site that will further boost your website’s credibility (off-page SEO). But I’m going to write about some of the simple stuff you can do pretty much right NOW and all of this really revolves around content.
Keyword selection – selecting the words that you believe your clients or potential clients will most likely type into their search engine.
For this you really have to get into the mind of your client. BE the client . . . What are they looking for? What vocabulary are they likely to use? A quick and easy way to find this out is through a bit of good old fashioned research but it’s really just a chat. Ask your clients and even friends and family, what they would type in to find the services/products that you provide. Then it’s just a matter of positioning those words around your site in an effective manner. As I have said before, this whole process is about trial and error. Don’t cling on to the same keywords like a needy, slightly psychotic girlfriend. You need to be flexible and willing to change your words and their position as and when they become less effective.
Generally, websites contain a number of different heading sizes. So you will have your normal text then headings 1, 2, 3, 4 etc. with heading 1 being the largest. What people don’t tend to know is that the number of times you use an H1 (Heading 1) tag on one page can affect your SEO. So only ever use ONE H1 on a page containing your primary keywords and only ONE H2 (Heading 2, you get the gist now) which can either contain your primary keywords or the second tier of your keywords. Google also puts weighting on headings and titles so keywords in your headings will be deemed more important and therefore have more effect than those in the text. So like a nutritious meal, you need a good old mix of headings and text full of keywords galore.
CONTENT – the stuff in your website (text, pictures etc.).
It’s a good idea to have an abstract at the top of every page telling people what that page is generally about (like I have fittingly included in this very blog) so that they get a feel for it. You need to write this as if you were explaining algebra to a 5 year old. The reason for this is to avoid a whopping “bounce rate”. No one likes nasty surprises and it’s quite frankly annoying when you click on a link only to find that two sentences of the entire web page are relevant to your search. Google picks up on this bounce rate and your SEO suffers for it.
You know how people are always telling you to write blogs? Who do they think they are? I mean what are we even supposed to write about? . . . I wish I could sit here and ruffle your hair tell you not to worry about any of that stuff but I’m sorry to say I can’t. It is a good idea and here’s why. Blogs are the easiest way to keep updating the content on your website. Google loves fresh meat. It seeks it out much like a shark. You can blog your fingers off. Just make sure it’s relevant to your company and something that your clients/potential clients might be interested to read. Don’t be embarrassed either. Just write about what you know because someone out there will be into it. . .
NEXT TIME. . .
I just know that I’ve got you gripped. You’ll be back. I can see it in your shiny little excited eyes but if you still have questions or want to talk to us about your SEO then get in touch.
My next blog will ease you gently into the exciting and insightful world of Google Analytics.
Stay tuned. Over and out.
By Jessica Anderson – Client Support Executive at Noisegate Media
Picture Source: http://imgur.com/