THE KEY ELEMENTS OF ON-PAGE OPTIMISATION
3rd August, 2010
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Following a conversation with a client a couple of days ago, in which we discussed the fundamentals of on-page SEO for technical companies, I thought it might be useful to summarise the key points in a Blog post.
The essence of good on-page work is to describe what your page is about, in the most honest way possible, to the search engines you are trying to impress. There is no need for trickery and no need for anything more complex than that. The key is describing your site in the right places.
To summarise, here are the key points on your site where you need to include descriptive content:
The title bar: This should be a description of the products or services being sold on the page. Write it in key word format but if you can make it a readable sentence that helps.
The copy on the page itself: Most companies get this about right, but don’t forget to ensure that the copy contains key phrases such as your location and the categories into which key products fit. This should always be readable copy, potentially including bullet points, and should never SPAM the key words.
The ALT attributes on the images: If you have used the correct images, which is to say pictures of the things you want to highlight, you should be able to put naturally written, key word rich descriptions of the photo here and get good results. ALT attributes can be added by filling in the ALT= “description” element of the HTML used to describe an image. I would also advise adding tool tips as well as ALT attributes. And don’t forget to provide attributes for every image – not just the photos! The logo, the navigation, the buttons and any other ‘eye candy’ on the page can usefully be tagged.
In the meta name=‘description’ tag: This will determine the text that appears below the title and above the link when the page is returned as the result of a search engine query. You should limit yourself to 160 characters, write this in the form of a message to the searcher and remember to include a telephone number!
In internal links in the copy: It’s well worth linking from your ‘red widget’ page to your ‘blue widget’ page using an embedded link in the copy. Remember, it’s all about telling the search engines what they should be looking for.
The title tags on the links: Again, these should be honest descriptions of the pages you are linking to (and remember, a page can quite legitimately link to an anchor point on itself). These can be added using the title=“description” command.
In the first and last link on the page: The first link is normally a properly attributed copy of your logo and lots of sites get this about right. However, most Web sites have a link to the Web design company as the last link on the page! The horror, the horror! This is one of the most important links on the whole page and should be a text based link back to an anchor point on the page itself using the page’s key search term.
I think that pretty much summarises the essence of on page optimisation for me. There are other things you should do in terms of onsite optimisation, such as adding site maps, social media links, RSS feeds and so on, but on a page by page basis this will be enough to massively improve your rankings if you apply all of the tactics described here.
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