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One of the key aspects of SEO is coding the pages correctly to target your chosen keywords most efficiently. The key to optimising a web page to the optimum level is covered through many different onsite SEO techniques which utilise areas on your website which are favoured by search engines.
Selecting Web Pages to Target
To ensure the visitor reaches the most appropriate page on your website, it is important the keywords to be targeted are allocated to the most relevant pages and not scattered throughout the website. You will know you have got it right when a ranking report is run and you have the relevant internal pages appearing in the search results.
It is best practice to manually review each keyword and select an appropriate page for it, as opposed to relying on software such as ranking report software to reporting which pages to target. This is because without suitable SEO from the start of a website, search engines have a tendency to select pages which aren’t as relevant as others.
Manually allocating pages to keywords is a process of carefully studying the pages available in your site and seeing if they are appropriate for targeting your chosen keywords. If a page is not available onsite for the terms you want to target then new pages need to be created with unique content geared towards your chosen keywords.
Structuring your Website so Strong for Search
The final part of coding your website pages is to ensure the structure is solid for future development. Factors you will need to look at are typically the URL build-up, page titles, Meta descriptions, Meta keywords, h1 headers, h2 headers, images and videos.
Below is a brief note about each of the highlighted page elements and what you need to know for each element.
Optimised URL Build-up
When analysing the page URL you need to take into account the following:
- Ensure the target keyword is mentioned within the URL slug. So if you sell ‘key rings’ on your site you would have www.domain.com/key-rings/ as opposed to www.domain.com/1234.
- If the website follows a hierarchy structure of service -> sub service (or category -> sub category) ensure this is reflected in the URL build up, of parent and child. Example www.mydomain.com/service/ (parent) and www.mydomain.com/service/sub-service/ (child).
- Refrain from the use of capitalisation within URL slug, or special characters.
- Should you need to separate words within your URL slug, this can be done by the use of a hyphen, rather than an underscore or a space.
- If you happen to change any of your URL’s based on the above, it is important that all internal links within your site are amended to reflect the latest change and a 301 redirect of the old URL to the new URL is implemented.
Page Title Optimisation
The page titles should follow the following formula:
- Avoid repetition and attempt to make each tag unique where possible.
- Do not exceed the maximum character limit of 65.
- Refrain from using segments of repetitive text, such as strap lines or company branding apart from the homepage.
- Ensure your page title includes the most competitive keyword at the beginning and include variations where character limit will allow.
- Title should be descriptive, and not just a list of keywords. Ideally top phrase mentioned and then a short description of the product (although still acceptable to have both)
For the Meta description it is important to be aware of the following:
- Maximum character limit of 156, any longer and it will be trimmed down in the search results.
- Keep unique page to page and always avoid repetition between web pages.
- Although not imperative, mention a relevant keyword within the description to engage consumers they are entering a website relevant to their query in the search engine.
- Make description a segment of descriptive text, not a list of keywords.
- Use the Meta description as an advertising billboard. Use capitals, slogans, useful facts to entice the end user to click on your listing as opposed to the competition.
- NOTE: whilst the Meta description is not required for SEO, it is recommended to have them unique and relevant to conform to Webmaster Guidelines set out by Google.
Meta keywords are no longer important for SEO and are ignored by many of the leading engines. Our recommendation is to remove the keywords Meta tag from the website altogether.
Should you wish to use these however, below are our recommended guidelines:
- Keep unique page to page.
- Keep them relevant to the page.
- Avoid using grammatical variations of the same phrase.
- Do not overload the tag and only allow a maximum of 6 keywords per page.
Headers are important for SEO and ranking. The important headers for SEO are the H1 followed by the H2. Each page you wish to target for certain keywords need to have these headers in place within the content. Our guidelines are:
- Code one unique H1 heading on a page.
- The H1 heading should not be identical to the page title where possible.
- The H1 heading must include the priority targeted keyword for that particular page.
- Only use one instance of a H2 heading on the page.
- The H2 heading should follow after the H1 heading and exist within the content.
- The H2 heading should be slightly descriptive and include a target keyword. Refrain from using the same keyword as mentioned within the H1 heading if possible as good to get variation.
- Where possible it is best to separate the H1 and H2 heading with a short segment of text, so not to have the headings sit directly on one another.
- The H2 is not required for every page in your website. Should you wish to do this for uniformity that is fine, however our recommendation is to ensure the H2 appears on the pages targeted for the SEO campaign
- Should you feel the need to use more headings in the page to break up the content flow, you can use lower level headers such as H3-H6. Multiple instances of these header types are fine.
Images appear on page one Google for different types of keywords. Images are a useful way of optimising your web page further and can be a useful avenue to generate more traffic to your website. It is important to optimise your images as search engines do not ‘see’ an image like a person can. Techniques to get the most out of images are:
- Ensure your image filename is descriptive and relevant to the page the image is on (such as the name of the service, category or product).
- If spaces are required to separate words, use hyphens as opposed to underscores.
- Be sure to tag your image with descriptive Alternative Text, commonly known as an Alt Tag; which will also include the relevant targeted keywords where applicable.
- Ensure the directory, or directories, where your images are hosted can be crawled and are not blocked or disallowed by your robots.txt file.
- If possible, generate an image xml sitemap that points out where an image can be found on your image and submit this to your Google Webmasters.
Videos can also appear on page one Google and need to be optimised accordingly. Video is another powerful tool for customer engagement, lead acquisition and traffic generation. Below are basic tips:
- Should you be utilising videos in your web page, it would be best to have these directly embedded into your web page as opposed to being a YouTube embed.
- Ensure the video filename is descriptive and mentions phrases you want to target.
- Generate a video xml sitemap that points out where a video can be found on your website, how long the video is, a thumbnail for the video and a little bit about the video. This can then be submitted to your Google Webmasters.
Onsite SEO Audit
To identify any areas on your website where you may have onsite SEO issues, we will run a thorough SEO audit on your website which will pinpoint any areas that will require correcting to improve your websites search engine rankings. Each area is important for SEO which is why it is crucial these areas are amended appropriately.