Most website owners will agree that they would like to see more business converted through their website. Usually this means some form of online marketing such as PPC (Pay per Click) or SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). Many owners will have a go at SEO themselves initially, but even if they don’t, they need to know their website is optimised efficiently and effectively for the search engines.
Your New Website
It’s worrying that the amounts of new websites delivered are not optimised for their client’s products at all. If your not going to conduct SEO on your own site, then you should have some idea of how your website should be optimised by others.
What you Should Know
I’ve included a brief list below of what you need to know when considering Search Engine Optimisation.
• Add your targeted keyword into the title tag. It also needs to be one of the first words in the tag. Do NOT use your targeted keywords repeatedly in the page title as the search engines may interpret this as spam. The keyword you use should be the exact keyword you want to optimise for.
• Use only one canonical tag. This tag will refer any duplicate pages to a single canonical URL.
• Do NOT keyword stuff on your pages. The search engines could easily consider this as spam, which would have a negative result in your rankings. Besides that, it is hardly an enjoyable read for us humans.
• Ensure your page has only one page title tag and is less than 70 characters. Any longer and search engines will either truncate it or replace it with alternative text.
• Make sure your keywords are in the meta description tag. This makes it more likely that the search engines will use it as a snippet that describes your page. Do not spam it with excessive keywords as this could be seen as spam, not only to the search engines but also to potential visitors to your site. Although the meta description does not directly influence rankings in search results, it will, if done correctly, improve the click through rate of potential visitors to your site.
• Provide enough written content on your pages that provides relevant information for your visitor as well as search engines.
• Do not use your keyword more than once in the URL or search engines may interpret this as spam. Do not make the URL longer than it has to be as this could also have a negative effect. Make sure that the length does not exceed 75 characters, as most search engines will truncate any longer ones, which will result in less keyword value.
• You must use your targeted keyword at least once on the relevant page as both search engines and potential visitors will be looking for them. Do not overuse the keywords, as again, this would be interpreted as spam. Neither would it be an enjoyable experience for any visitor.
• Avoid too many internal links. Too many won’t get you a penalty but it could affect your pages ability to have the search engines crawl, index and rank link targets. Try to keep the amount of internal links lower than 100.
• Get good quality, relevant external links. Don’t buy them; don’t get involved with the many link schemes that are out there, it will only end up with you getting a penalty.
• Using targeted keywords in H1 tags helps visitors navigate the page efficiently as well as providing a slight value in rankings. It should be treated the same as title tags.
At all costs avoid keyword cannibalisation. This usually happens when you have multiple pages on your website targeting the same or similar keywords. This sometimes happens when the website designer or even your SEO agency believes that this will make the website appear in search engines multiple times and therefore increases the chance of attracting more visitors. It doesn’t. This is called domain crowding and Google killed it years ago.
What it does do is confuse the search engine. As a result, it will pick one of the pages that is optimised for the keyword and feels is the more appropriate result for the search query. This often leads to the wrong page ranking for that particular query. On top of that the quality of your content will suffer and links diluted. We’ll be covering more about this in a future blog.
Remember, if all this sounds too labour intensive or complicated, use an online marketing agency who is a Google Partner. You’ll be glad you did!