Tutorial Details
Subject: Search Engine Optimisation
Difficulty: Beginner
Updated: January 2, 2014

There are many aspects of your website that you can improve which will enhance your overall online visibility. It’s important to view your website in two perspectives; as a user and as a search engine.

The user expects a website that looks professional, neat, organised and above all simple. The content of each page needs to be engaging and of a good standard. Spelling and grammatical mistakes are not acceptable.

Search engine look at all of these aspects of a website. If users are spending a lot of time on the site, clicking through to different pages and engaging with the content, Google will know that this information is useful or interesting.

When considering SEO it is vital that you think about how you can make your web pages more usable. Include your keywords in order to increase your websites ranking but remember to keep your pages user-friendly. An abundance of keywords will look forced and won’t benefit the reader; search engines and users will identify spam, so steer well clear from poor practices.

In this guide, we have listed areas that you should focus on improving within each page of your website.

H1 – H6 Tags

Headings are very important; search engines use these to identify what your page is about. Your H1 tag is used to signify the most important heading on the page, and H6 the least important. Use different levels of heading tags throughout each web page. Try not to use the high importance tags multiple times on the page as this will confuse search engines.

Page Titles

Each page title should be unique and not contain the same wording. Google will view duplicate page titles as duplicate content – not a good SEO practice.

The Opening Paragraph

Search engines crawl web pages, starting with the first paragraph. Algorithms use human psychology and traits to produce an accurate response to their search query, and as first paragraphs act as introductions, they should give a good idea about what the page is about.

The Last Sentence

You should include keywords within the last sentence of each web page. Search engines select key areas to pick out keywords and the last sentence of the web page is expected to be one of those places.

Strategic Repetition

We have witnessed great results when keywords are included within every 150 words of copy. Incorporate the words as naturally as possible, keeping sentence structure in mind to avoid nonsensical and dense text.

Synonyms

Search engines understand synonyms. This is a great way to avoid forcing keywords into text. If you’ve said ‘value’ a number of times, try changing a couple to ‘low-cost’, ‘bargain’ or ‘inexpensive’, for example.

Domain Name

It’s becoming less important, but there is no doubt that a web address that contains the keywords will have a higher natural search ranking.

Sub-domains

Inclusion of keywords within your URLs can make a huge difference to your website’s overall ranking. It will help signify to the user what the page is about, and encourage them to click through to your site over other results. Concise and well-organised URLs work best, but don’t be afraid to include your keywords.

Alt Tags        

It’s important to include a description of the image you insert within a web page. This description should be about the image itself rather than stuffing the Alt tag full of keywords. That said, if they’re relevant, feel free to include some keywords.

Search engines still struggle to understand what an image is. By referencing to the image in the content or including a description in the Alt tag you are helping the search engines understand what the image is.

Anchor Text

Internal link building allows you to incorporate keyword rich anchor text. The anchor is the clickable text that hosts the hyperlink. Most high quality blogs or any website you are trying to build a link from will not allow you to use keyword rich anchor text for a link, but when you include links on your own site you can set the anchor yourself.

Remember that each additional link will dilute the value of each page. Avoid overloading your content with too many links, as the page will quickly look spammy.  A maximum of three links per page is about right, unless there is good reason to use more (citations or a bibliography, for example).

Footer Links

If your website has a footer, try including links pointing to important pages of your website. While footer links are of less value than others, they still have their place and in some instances we have seen this enhance a websites ranking.

They will also help navigation, making your site more user-friendly.

Meta Titles

Each web page will have its own meta title; it’s important that you include your brand name and your keywords here. Search engines display your meta data within search results pages. The meta title tends to be large clickable blue text at the top of the search result.

Including your keywords helps Google rank your website for relevant terms and it will also increase your websites click through rate (CTR) as people will see that the term that they searched for is included within your meta data. Search engines tend to use bold to highlight the search term with the matching words in the results.

Meta Descriptions

It is important to include keywords in the meta description, although unlike the meta title, your meta description should be more conversional. This will give users a more clear idea of what the page is about, and if it’s what they’re looking for.

Meta Keyword Tags 

Some would claim that meta keywords tags have become redundant. I have seen little evidence that the meta keyword tag has a positive impact on your websites search ranking, but at the same time, I am yet to see a negative effect. As meta keywords are easy to implement, and there are no negative effects, it is definitely worth including some.

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