WHAT IS SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. It is the process of optimising a website or webpage using specific methods which can help boost its page position.
The term “SEO” was created/mentioned in an article published by Bruce Clay. Which Danny Sullivan then promoted, as he published an article on his ezine titled “Congratulations! You’re a Search Engine Marketer!” Source: searchenginejounal.com.
So the concept has been around since 2001. Major developments in search engine technology and algorithms has made SEO a core piece of any company’s marketing strategy. Businesses are now beginning to understand the value of SEO and what it can do to help their business succeed online.
WHAT DOES “ON PAGE SEO” MEAN?
On page SEO used to be as simple as stuffing your page with the keywords you wanted to rank for.
This is no longer the case. In fact, it has become very important to do on page SEO, as search engine algorithms are becoming more advanced.
Back in the day, search engine algorithms used to just read your content, find your keywords and then try to rank you for those keywords based on your back links and other metrics.
Now, search engines take a look at your site as a whole, as well as the individual pages and can work out what niche your site belongs to. As well as fully analysing all of your on page SEO factors.
THREE FUNDAMENTAL FACTORS OF ON PAGE SEO
1. SEO Friendly Permalinks
You may find many websites out there have horrible URLs. To show this I will use IMDB.
So one way to help with this is to ensure that all URLs on your site describe and mention the keywords you want to rank for. As you can see, IMDB pulls no punches with their unreadable URL’s. The problem with this is crawlers – the robots that work for the search engines and have the job of checking out pages and introducing them into the SERPs (search engine results pages) – can’t understand what the page is about from just looking at the URL, which means they have to dig deeper and find correlations within their data.
Matt Cutts even mentioned in an interview that the first 3-5 words of the URL are given more weight. You can check out that interview here. So it’s quite an important feature that needs to be incorporated into your site.
2. The title of your page has to start with your keyword.
Your title tag is still the most important factor of your entire on page optimisation strategy. A recent Moz.com study shows the correlation between pages that had the keyword as the title of their page and the different weight it carried.
The closer the keyword is to the beginning of the title, the more weight/value it will have.
3. Keyword Density
Keyword density still plays a major part in any company’s optimisation process. Many people try to stuff huge amounts of keywords into one little 500-word article. Now the problem with this strategy is algorithms penalise your website for having high keyword density. Basically, if you’re inserting keywords randomly, then you’re doing it wrong.
The best practice for ensuring keyword density is kept low is to just write the article naturally. The whole algorithm is designed to stop people from unnaturally stuffing their keywords into an article.
What I like to do is start with the keyword in mind. So for instance if I were to write an article on “cat walking”, I would brainstorm the ideas for the article and create titles that are associated with the topic. It’s a great way of ensuring your producing quality content and keeping it all looking natural.
WHAT ARE THE ACTUAL BENEFITS OF EFFECTIVE OPTIMISATION?
Effective optimisation can help your website rank organically without the need of much link building. Algorithms are starting to reward people for writing quality content and contributing to their niche.
If you start to optimise your website you should start to see an increase in the amount of visitors as well as the amount of crawlers visiting your site. It can also help you reduce bounce rates. Bounce rates are where a user clicks on to your site, skims through, and decides to click the back button on their browser.
Effectively optimising your site can help reduce this as you can give them answers to the questions they have.
Over the next few months, we will be publishing monthly tips on how to improve your website and how to align it with an effective SEO strategy.
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