SEO - Optimisation for search engines

Author -  Vaughan Reed

Optimising your web page for improved search engine rankings

Following on from our Webinar – Be Found - The Art of Driving Traffic to your Website, this blog article focuses on the fundamentals of On-page Optimisation. This is an area of Search Engine Optimisation that you can easily do yourself and generally delivers the best results for the least amount of work.

The other area of SEO is ‘Off-page Optimisation’. This entails building back links to your website which is relatively complex and time consuming, and is something we advocate leaving to the SEO Specialists. Off-page Optimisation is something you would only need to do if you aren’t seeing the results from on-page optimisation.

When optimising your website, each page should have a keyword phrase focus. The keyword phrase should be relevant to your target market, have commercial intent around your desired outcomes and isn't highly competitive.

To find out more about focusing on the right keywords for your target market, refer to our blog article - How to Get Website Traffic

Optimising On Page Content 

  • Heading – first and foremost the heading should be engaging, secondly it should contain your keyword phrase (ideally at the beginning).
    The technical term for the primary heading is H1, this is the HTML tag for the heading. You should ideally only have one H1 tag on the page so Google isn’t confused by what the page is about.
  • Sub Headings – These are your H2, H3 and H4 tags. You can have multiple sub headings. Try and include your keyword phrase or parts of your phrase in these tags where you can.
  • Content Body – First and foremost, write your content for your target market, so it reads well for your human reader. Then to ensure both the reader and Google know that the page is definitely about the keyword topic, ensure the keyword phrase is included 2-3 times through-out the content. If you can include it in the first and the last paragraph too, providing it doesn’t look contrived to your audience.
    Using bolds and italics on keywords will also help SEO performance.

Optimising your Meta Tags

The next areas to focus on are called Meta Tags. These tags are in the code behind what you read on the page, and are what the search engines reference when they index the it.

The tags we will focus on are: 

  • Title Tag – This is the most important tag from a keyword perspective. The Title should be attention grabbing, no more than 70 characters and should contain the keyword phrase (ideally at the beginning). 
  • Description Tag – the description tag is displayed on the search results page within Google so it should be compelling and appeal to your target market. The description tag should ideally be no more than 156 characters 
  • Keyword Tag – this tag is no longer used by the search engines. Ideally this should be either removed or left blank.

Note: The Title and Description tags are what are displayed in Google. What you enter for these tags will have a big impact on the number of people clicking through to your website. Wherever the keyword search term matches the words in the title and description they will show as bold. This helps to draw attention to your listing and increase the likely-hood of your listing being selected.


Testing Your Page Optimisation

Now that you have optimised your web page around a specific keyword phrase, you need to check how well you’ve done.

There are a number of tools available but SEOMoz appears to be the most popular. You need to purchase the premium version ($99/month) to have access to the On-page Keyword Analysis report. If you are after a free tool with basic reporting, try Instant Position

So as you can see, On Page Optimisation is relatively straight forward to do in-house and we encourage you to do this yourself so it becomes second nature when adding website content.

If, after carrying out these changes, you aren’t seeing the results. Give us a call and we can have a quick look over your site and point you in the right direction.

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