On Page Seo | 7 Search Engine Optimisation Factors You Cannot Afford to Ignore
Seo, search engine optimisation, can be defined as all of the things that you do to improve the chances of a website (or web page) ranking at it’s optimum in the search engines results pages for specific phrases used by searchers.
To give a simple example, say you are a management consultant and you naturally wish to have your site rank well in search results when someone types “management consultant” into their search box.
Clearly theses searchers are more than likely looking for a management consultant and if your website is ranking well in the serps (search engine results pages) for the phrase “management consultant” you will grow your client base rapidly.
Firstly remember you always need to keep in mind your target market.
If you are a management consultant in Ireland for example, you may only be concerned with seo in Ireland and ranking well in Irish search results pages. It is unlikely to be of any benefit to you if you are ranking well in Google.com or Google.au or .co.uk if your target market is in Dublin.
However the same factors in terms of on page seo will apply in ranking well in Google.ie.
So, how do you ensure that your website is well search engine optimised?
Two components of seo
Broadly there are two aspects to search engine optimisation-on site/page seo and off site seo.
On Page Search Engine Optimisation
There are many factors involved in good on site seo but most respected search engine optimisation professionals are agreed on these 7 factors which are listed below in order of importance..
1. Post/Page Titles
The titles you use in each post/page on your site are critically important form an seo perspective.
Put simply, whatever your post/page is about should be reflected in the title with the phrase or keywords you would like to rank well for early in your title.
For example, if you would like to rank well for “management consultant” and you write a piece about 7 things you should consider when hiring one the first title below is the best one from an seo viewpoint.
Title 1-Management Consultant-7 Things You Must Consider Before Hiring a Consultant
Title 2-7 Things You Must Consider Before Hiring a Management Consultant.
2. Permalink structure
The best permalink structure should be set to ensure that the title of the post/page is in your permalink.
For example: http://yoursite.com/?page_id=7, which is the standard permalink structure for a WordPress installation out of the box tells neither the searcher nor search engines anything about the topic of that post or page.
Contrast this with http://webdesigndublin.org/free-search-engine-optimisation-video-tutorial which has a custom permalink structure and tells the search engines and searchers that this page is about search engine optimisation.
3. H1, H2, H3, H4 headings
The hierarchical structure possible by using the “h” tags in your content means that “management consultant” in our example should appear in a h1 tag with subsequent h2, h3, h4 tags containing phrases related to management consultancy.
4. Keywords and phrases in the post/page
Obviously if your piece of content is about management consultancy and engaging the services of one then your content should contain the key phrase “management consultant” throughout.
Not in a spammy way but naturally interwoven into your copy with plenty of related phrases and synonyms.
This is easy to do if you are publishing good, informative, well researched content and genuinely know what you are writing about.
If you don’t you had better do some good research!
5. Alt text in images
If you are using images in your content, and you should, you should tag each image with relevant alt text which gives you a further opportunity to let the search engines know what that page is about.
Search engines cannot understand the images but they can read the alt text.
6. First sentence
The first sentence in your piece should contain the phrase/keywords that you are wishing to optimise your page for.
In our example this would be the phrase “management consultant” and as the first few sentences will form the description in Google search results pages it is a good idea to have related phrases in your description also.
Bear in mind that, whilst it is not strictly an seo issue, you should make your description attractive to searchers who will come across your page in the search engine results pages and will be competing for the eyeballs of searchers with other page results.
7. Anchor text links
Any anchor text links, and there should be some depending on how long your piece is, should be relevant.
For example you many link out to a professional body from your piece to demonstrate your expertise in the area of management consultancy and your qualifications.
Linking out to non relevant sites, for example football results, will not do your on page seo any favours.
If you write great content for your readers and take care of the seo housekeeping factors above both your searchers and the search engines will be sufficiently impressed to rank your content and website very, very well.