An SEO Crash Course: Part One – On Page SEO

SEO logoStill confused by SEO? Still thinking that this is something that you shouldn’t be involving yourself, because it’s too technical? Think again. With a little research, and – more importantly – an understanding of what the final result should perform for you, you can address many of the basic problems of most business websites.  Small businesses, especially, use websites that are hurriedly put together, or an amateur-looking one. However, most sites’ low rankings can be improved with some tweaking to your site’s code and look. As of this writing, these are some of the most important things that you can ensure your site is doing. Think about what your site is trying to do, and use those answers to fill in the gaps below.

1. Title: This is most important. Keep it as interesting as possible, keep it simple, and answer a question that your prospects will have.

2. Meta Description: The Meta description comes directly under the title. The first 10 words should convey the message. Don’t be a ‘writer’, be a businessman. What do you do, and how do you do it. Speak from the customer’s point of view, and ensure your keywords are included in a natural manner.

3. Meta Keywords:- Forget about them. It is an old fashioned keyword stuffing system that everyone looks down on – including the big search engines. Find more information on this direct from the famous Matt Cutts, and you will get the idea. No matter what any expert says – forget them.

4. Keywords: Use these sparingly, and use synonyms wherever possible. If these phrases don’t fit into regular copy (Think of regular conversation), then change your copy style, or change your keywords. Try to put them no more that 4 or 5 times in an article or post, and find different ways to state them. How to get them? Don’t listen to anyone else. Google will show you how to choose your keywords, what are the most popular ones, how much they cost for a PPC campaign, and your own research will show you who is using them by using search. The only expert on this subject is you.

5. Long-tail keywords: These keyword phrases are usually less expensive as part of a PPC campaign, and are easier to put into prose. You may want to focus on a particular prospect community, and aim keywords directly at them. Now that search engines are getting more and more intuitive, be creative, and ensure that your site can be found. Try two systems of keyword search: Short, and direct and long, and inviting.

6. H1, H2 (Heading): Obviously, your H1 heading describes the overall theme of the copy, and H2 is an examination of a certain area of that these. Look at Magazine articles on how that is done (see? It’s been happening for decades, but no-one really notices it.), and ensure that you Keyword is in the H1 heading.

7. Site load time (page speed):  This is also vitally important. Search Engines don’t like sites that take more than a handful of seconds to load. Whatever you have in your site that is slowing down your load time, get rid of it. Clear, simple prose always beats any ‘special effects’ that you think are cool. Shoppers don’t wait for a site to load, they move on.

8. Image ALT Text: You can ensure that the overall theme of your site is cemented by adding alternative text to every single image on it. If you leave them blank, this is the same as having no instructions to tell Search Engines what the picture is about. If you confuse search engines, you confuse your customers and prospects. Ensure that everything on your site has a reason for being there, and they all point to the same conclusion.

Soon we will look at the best system for Off-page SEO, but concentrate on getting these straight-forward on-page points all doing the same job. It’s like getting all departments of a large company working toward the same goal.

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