The basics of SEO
Use these basic tips to start your site's journey to the top of the search engine rankings.
- Page title
Page titles are one of the most important things on a web page. Keep the length between 50-60 characters and make sure they are accurate, relevant to the content and concise. Titles are displayed on search engine results and are one of the first things that visitors will see so they should tempt users to click them. Place important keywords close to the front and place the company name at end as search engines view words closer to the front more important. Make sure the page titles are different for each page.
- Meta description
Descriptions do not improve search engine rankings, however they are important to get people clicking through from results pages. Without a description search engines will grab text from the content of the page, and this may or may not be the ideal text to persuade visitors to click through to your site. Keep descriptions between 150 - 160 characters and use important keywords but avoid overstuffing. Make it informative and accurate to the content of the page and ensure they are unique for each page, search engines do not like duplicate content.
- Meta keywords
Keywords are no longer deemed as important as they were once were, especially by Google but other search engines do still use them. Refrain from stuffing all keywords into all of your pages, making sure they are relevant to the content of your page. Ensure that the keywords are also included within the content of the page or you can be marked down by search engines.
Headings are tags used to title paragraphs and other content on pages and multiple headings can be used within the same page. They are very important for optimising your pages as search engines will read any headings on page an categorise these as more important than the rest of the content. Try reading the headings out in isolation to the rest of the page to make sure they highlight the important parts of the page and the terms that users may search for.
- Page content
It is important that the content of the page reflects the title, description, keywords and headings on your page. Keep the content informative, using clear language and above all make the page useful.
These tips should give your pages a first step into optimisation but do not be tempted to make your pages so search engine friendly that is becomes unreadable to humans, remember your target audience.