For your site to have a great ranking you need to consider not just the meta data, but also take into account the actual content you add to your site and the site layout in general.
We have already gone over the importance of having interesting, regular content added to your site. However each piece of content you create should also have a purpose.
Once way to do this is to create content that includes relevant keywords throughout the copy. The two main things to consider for this is density and placement.
Basically you need to have your keyword appear enough times to make the search engines recognize it is important. Google recommends a keyword density of 1-2% and Yahoo recommends a keyword density of 3%. If you go too much over it may be considered ‘Keyword Spamming’ and will probably harm your SEO efforts.
The best way is to write high quality website copy that is entertaining and engaging. The art of SEO writing is nowhere near as valuable as it once was.
This is more important than your keyword density. It is a good idea to have you keyword in:
Title tag of your website
Header area of your copy (H1 tag)
If possible also bold the keyword in your text to emphasize them – as long as it looks natural.
Having your keywords or key phrases towards the top of your copy and very close to each other (just a word or two apart) will make them appear to be significant in relation to each other.
Yes incoming links to your site are important, but did you also know that outbound links are also just as important. These links act like a vote from your site towards the sites you are linking to, however try not to go too over boards and only include a couple of links per page. It is also important to use keyword rich anchor text, and to only include links that are relevant to your site’s subject matter.
Like everything SEO related, if you go too over board with outbound links by having too many, or include ‘spammy’ / unrelated links you can seriously harm your brand. If you have a blog with a comments area try to make them all ‘nofollow’ as Google will see you are trying to not include them in your page.
Links are normally dofollow which means search engines like Google sees them and will take note of the page you are linking to when working out your SEO ranking. Nofollow is the opposite and tells the search engines that you do not want these links to be indexed with your site. Basically you are not voting for the page the link goes to.
Search engines can not tell what an image is so they have to take a best guess by using the detail you provide them. This means they are a very effective SEO tool. Rename the image to your keyword, add in the alt text / description / title of the image.
Note that these descriptions are displayed if a user mouses over the image – or if the images do not load so make sure they are still natural and of course not spammy.
Every site should have a sitemap. A site map contains a list of every page on your site, and can contain details of how often a search engine should crawl them (i.e. how often you update them). Google and Bing both use sitemaps to help them find all the pages on a website, and also to get an idea of when to re-crawl old pages.
Adding a sitemap is one of the easiest ways to ensure that your content is being checked by the search engines on a regular basis.
Make sure that you URL (or URL slug) makes sense and are ‘pretty’. Again it should be relevant to your page, contains your keyword and makes sense. The url is generally displayed underneath your result in the search engine results page so the keywords and text that you enter is very important.
In the long term, the ranking and traffic benefits of having attractive URL slugs will pay off.
The last thing to consider is internal page linking. If you create a piece of content that relates to another piece already on your site, take the time to cross-link them. This is great for SEO but is also important to help with your actual engagement. If a person is reading your text and sees a relevant link going to another relevant area on your site, they will probably click to read it as well.
Make sure you do pay attention to the text you use on this link – try not to make it say ‘Read More’ instead use the new articles keyword so Google can again see how it relates to your site
If you need a hand with getting your on page SEO correct get in touch. It is one of the most important things you can do to make sure your site succeeds
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