Published on April 27th, 2012 | by Amy Edwards0
10 quick on-site SEO wins
By Amy @BubbleJobs
Lots of people I know hear the phrase SEO and their eyes immediately start to glaze over with either a. confusion or b. fear. If this sounds like you then I’m here to tell you that actually… the thing is… it’s probably not as hard or as confusing as you think.
While SEO in general can take a while to perfect, you don’t actually have to spend months swotting up on SEO books and blogs before you can make a start on optimising your site. With a few quick fixes you can instantly change the dynamic and credibility of your website. Interested? You’d better read on!
1. Unique and useful page titles: Your page titles do just what they say on the tin – they tell Google and potential customers what your page is about. Before you create your page titles do a bit of keyword research to see what people are searching for and try to include them naturally in your titles. Created a default page title you want to use throughout the site? DON’T DO IT! Default page titles are a big mistake as they suggest to Google you’re being lazy (which realistically you are!) – instead spend time crafting unique keyword-rich page titles for every page on your site – it might take a while but believe me, it’s worth it.
2. Unique and useful metadescriptions: Just like your page titles, Google uses your metadescriptions to work out what your page is about and where it should rank. Try to correlate your page titles to your metadescriptions in terms of keywords and… you know what’s coming…. make every metadescription unique!
3. Keywords: If you’re trying to target a particular keyword or phrase on a page then you need to make sure you have the keyword or phrase on that particular page – this might sound obvious but you’d be surprised at how many people miss this out. Now when I talk about including keywords on a page I’m not talking about spamming your page with keywords – if you go too OTT there’s a good chance Google will give you a nice little penalty. Instead try to include them naturally in your page content.
4. Unique content: If you’re a total SEO newbie then I’m hear to tell you that ‘Content is King’ in the eyes of Google – that means fresh, unique, useful content is name of the game when it comes to SEO. Is your content duplicated across your site? Tsk, tsk – that’s soooo not a good move! You need to have fresh, unique content on every page of your site if you want the best chance of success with the search engines.
5. Internal links: Internal links are a great way to strengthen the internal architecture of your site but be careful! Linking to non-relevant pages or to too many pages at a time can be bad for business. Instead try to come up with a strategy which ensures all pages get linked to in equal measure and that only relevant pages get linked to. In terms of anchor text, always remember to use a useful phrase which tells Google what the page you’re linking to is about ie. ‘Usability Jobs’ instead of just ‘Click Here’.
6. Page load speed: Page load speed can have a massive effect on your site’s traffic and rankings. If you have a slow page load speed not only do you risk turning off users but you also risk being given a low SERP as a penalty. The answer? Test your developer! If they know their stuff they should be able to tell you exactly what’s causing the slow load up speed (ie. image format) and what they can do to fix it.
7. URL set-up: A URL in the correct format and style can do wonders for your rankings so it’s important to get it right. Try to ensure your URL includes the keywords you want to rank for and ensure all site URLs follow a similar structure. Need to change some of your existing URLs? While this shouldn’t be too much of an issue, you need to ensure you 301 your existing URL to your new URL to avoid losing traffic.
8. External links: Just like internal links, external links are essential for great on-page SEO and can win you valuable Google brownie points. Many people are afraid of external links but linking to quality external sites shows Google that your site is useful to your customers and suggests you are adding relevant links to support your page.
9. Usability: Your page usability and site usability as a whole should definitely be on your hit list when it comes to tackling your on-page SEO. Whatever the aim of your website, you want users to be able to quickly navigate your site to find exactly what they need. Not only will great usability increase your site’s overall SEO appeal, it should also help to decrease bounce rate – double whammy!
10. Social sharing: If you don’t include social bookmarks and links on your key pages you could be missing a trick! Social bookmarks are there to actively encourage users to share your pages when they find something they like – the result? Lots of lovely Google-friendly social shares and free links! Woohoo!