22 Apr 2012

Onsite SEO tips for a search engine friendly website

Onsite SEO TipsThere are a range of things you can do to make your website as search engine friendly as possible. It all starts onsite.

Today I’m going to detail several onsite methods that will help you on your way to SEO greatness.

At this stage it would be expected that you to have completed some pretty in depth keyword research; which is the foundation of a successful SEO campaign.

Website Structure Optimisations

If you spend a little time planning the overall structure of your website you can ensure that it is the most search engine friendly structure as possible.  The website structure should make sense logically and to end users.

If your using dynamic technology, use server side tools to ensure search engine friendly URL structures are in place at all times.

e.g. Mod_rewrite to create URLS /widgets/red-widgets/

It’s a good idea to key your desired sitemap / site structure into a spread sheet so you can see a complete and visual overview of the intended structure.

Semantic Coding & Semantic Markup

Ensure the pages are semantically correct, Make use of h1 tags (only use once) to define the purpose of the page, follow this with h2 tags for appropriate second level headings and so forth.

This of it as a page of contents specific to the page you’re viewing.

e.g

Internal Linking Schema

Many people underestimate the power of a well-planned internal linking schema. This comes back to solid planning; essentially selecting the appropriate pages you wish to rank for each keyword and building internal links to that page for the desired keywords.

You need to be consistent with this strategy for it to be very effective. Ensure you additionally utilise the title tag on the internal links

Meta Tags

Optimising Meta tags should be one of the first things completed for any onsite content.

Crafting tags that not only rank well but convert well takes time, patience and plenty of tweaks before going live. It’s a good idea (if possible) to get them into a spread sheet – use your site structure spread sheet. This way you can plan them in bulk and ensure you’re not cross competing on pages / keywords.

Keywords

While they say Google doesn’t use this tag for SERP weighting, many other online properties still use it. It also acts as a great base for your title and description Meta tags. Only aim for 2 – 3 connected keywords per page.

Title

This is a fairly important tag; it should contain your main keywords for that page and look as attractive as possible (not just random keyword stuffing). Keep it under 60 characters

Description

When Google uses the description tag in search results (most of the time) it’s the best opportunity we have to entice the searcher into our website. It should contain the main keywords and a strong call to action. Keep it under 160 characters

A well-crafted description can make all the difference in both ranking and click through rates (ctr).

Execution

The common theme through each of these points is taking your time and planning your onsite SEO strategy before execution. You will save yourself a lot of time in the long run and yield faster results. Always be prepared to make a few tweaks here and there as you execute your strategy