So the series of SEO and Online Marketing has hit the halfway point, driving your sales, profitability and performance of your online efforts is the end result that I’m taking you toward. Following on from my blog “I want to do my own Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) where do I start?” this series covers each of the seven areas in a little more detail so that you can really boost your rankings online.
Web Page Structure
By ensuring that your web page structure is set up correctly this will allow Search Engines to read your web pages and rank them with increased success. Through implimenting a number of key features will enable your website to continue on the firm foundation the previous 3 articles cover.
Below I’ve highlighted six of the key areas I have seen make a huge difference in web pages ranking greatly, for myself and most importantly my customers.
- Meta Tag – Description
When you’re doing SEO it’s a good idea to bear in mind what Google thinks of meta tags the description tag, based on my own research and what Google specifies in their webmaster tools guidelines all point to the Description tag and having good descriptive tags that help your customers and visitors to find what they’re after rather than mislead them and add to their frustration when searching online.
What Google say’s:
“While accurate meta descriptions can improve clickthrough, they won’t impact your ranking within search results. We frequently prefer to display meta descriptions of pages (when available) because it gives users a clear idea of the URL’s content. This directs them to good results faster and reduces the click-and-backtrack behavior that frustrates visitors and inflates web traffic metrics.”
Other useful Meta tags:
- Meta Keywords – The keyword attribute should provide a list of approximately 10-20 key words about a web page’s content. Other search engines still use this tag for ranking websites although its effectiveness and relevance has declined over recent years.
- Meta Robots – The robots attribute is used to control whether search engine spiders are allowed to index a page, or not, and whether they should follow links from a page, or not. If it is not used web pages are simply set as default to allow search engines.
- Meta Author – The author attribute is any person(s) or entity(s) that originates and assumes responsibility for the content creation of the web site or web page.
How to find these meta tags and what they look like:
- Title Tag
The Title tag again is very important and helps with both guiding your customers and the search engines as to what each particular page on your website is about, you normally find the title tag appearing in the top left hand side of your browser, a blue bar with white writing on a pc and grey bar with black writing on a Mac.
What Google says:
“Make sure that each page on your site has a useful and descriptive page title (contained within the title tags). If a title tag is missing, or if the same title tag is used for many different pages, Google may use other text we find on the page.”
So by reading what Google state, its good practice to have every web page on your site with its own unique page title, and more importantly it’s a good thing to do as each web page effectively allows you to optimise each web page so that it can perform as a possible landing page for any new visitors to your web site.
My tip: When creating your page titles start with your main Key phrase and seperate any additional phrases with the bar character “|”
What Page titles look like:
- Header Tags, H1, H2
Behind your web page content and text, lies HTML, the building blocks of your web page.
All page header titles should use
This identifies the page to the search engines and it is useful putting your key phrase in as part of your page title as Search Engines will use this in their ranking factors of your web page. Header tags work in a hierarchical method, so you would normally start off your page with a single Header tag H1, then any sub titles required you would use H2, H3 and so on, depending on how sectioned your page content needs to be.
- Emphasising text; Bold and italics
The use of bold on your web pages is not only good to direct your web browsers to the areas of importance when reading your content but they also have a positive effect on search engines. Emphasising certain sentences or phrases highlights to the search engines reading your web pages, the words that you are giving importance. This gives a similar effect as to what a direct mail letter would have on the person reading, where you highlight the words that you want your reader to pick up on most, this is basically the same for search engines when using bold on your web pages.
Use the bold HTML tags on your web pages to emphasise key phrases in your content
- Search Engine Friendly Page Names (SEF URL’s)
Notice the web page file name above, search-engine-friendly.html. Having SEF URL’s in place makes it easy for search engines to read your web page file names and this also makes more sense to users who look at the URL on a SERP. Coupled with the fact that search engines take the web page URL into account when ranking a page indicates the importance of using SEF URL’s
- Images and pictures – Alt tags, File names
Images should be used in conjunction with ALT tags, and they should also be named using a good descriptive phrase so that this can also be read and analysed by search engines.
The overall impact of using ALT tags, in terms of SEO, is low. As they have become abused by webmasters who fill alt tags with streams of keywords, the major search engines have lowered the importance of ALT tags in their algorithms. However, ALT tags are a required element for standards-based HTML coding. Every image must have an ALT tag, and each ALT tag must be properly implemented.
So here we’ve tackled some of the technical requirements of setting up a good web page, from this point on you’re headed in the right direction with getting your web pages ready for good rankings. Not only will this help with your online marketing but this can significantly improve your web page rankings online. Just changing the above points to my own web pages has produced big improvements in my rankings on search engines and has in most cases produced page one rankings along with top 3 positioning.
Read the follow up to this blog: SEO 5 of 7: Your Website Structure.
I would love to hear from you and your views on this topic, if you’ve got any great comments or advice to add to this please do below now. Good luck with your online marketing.