On-page SEO is that area of search engine optimisation that depends on how you use web technology to build your site. In particular, search engines are interested in how you use HTML and URLs to organise your content. The more ‘semantic’ your use of HTML, the more optimised your site is for search. Small business SEO is both an art and a science. Good use of technology for strong on-page SEO should be balanced with quality off-page SEO. In this way, you can enhance your business’ web presence, drive traffic and build conversions.
13 Basics of On-Page SEO
- Keyword-rich content Keyword repetition is important, but don’t overdo it; it’s more important for the content to be readable and flow naturally.
- Keyword-rich anchor text Anchor text is the visible text which appears in a link. For example, if you are creating a link to a page about basins, use the word ‘basin’ in the anchor text.
- Interweave content with links All the pages on your site should be accessible to the search engines, which work by following links from one page to another. So ensure that every page has at least one inbound link from somewhere else on your site.
- Keep it real! Ensure every page is unique; search engines penalise duplicate content.
- Validate your HTML Use a validator tool to check that your HTML code is syntactically valid. Invalid code might appear correctly on a user’s browser but be unreadable to search engines.
- Keyword-rich friendly URLs URLs should be short and human-readable and should not contain punctuation other than dashes to separate words. They should describe the content if possible. For example, a URL like plumbers.com/plumbing-services/monthly-plan is better than plumbers.com/services.php?id=23.
- 301 redirects Ensure all your pages are reachable by using a 301 redirect if you need to rename a page. The 301 code should preserve the search engine rankings for that page. You should also use 301 redirects for any duplicate URLs so there is only one version. This is most important on your home page where you might have a www version and a non-www version. You should use a 301 redirect from the duplicates to the primary version for maximum value.
- Nofollow If you allow readers to post links on your site, use the rel=”nofollow” tag so any links to unethical sites which are penalised by search engines do not drag down your sites ranking.
- Title and meta tags Supply keyword-rich title tags and meta tags on all your pages. They should be concise and human-readable descriptions of the content on the page. The title tag should be around 62 to 65 characters in length. The description should be less than 148 characters long.
- Absolute URLs in inbound links When linking internally, use the full URL including the domain name, rather than a relative URL.
- Semantic HTML Structure HTML headings correctly. There should be one H1 heading per page and it should be the first heading on the page. This heading should contain your primary keyword. Use headings in the correct order (i.e. don’t use an H1 and H3 without first using an H2).
- Keyword-rich image names Use descriptive URLs for images and other media, including keywords if relevant.
- Keyword-rich image alt attributes The
imgshould always include the
altattribute, which is the text equivalent of the image rather than a description of it. For example, the
altattribute on a picture of a basin could be ‘high quality basin’ rather than ‘photo of a basin’. This attribute is used by the screen readers used by vision-impaired users as well as by search engines.
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