Effective search engine optimisation (SEO) requires both on-page and off-page optimisation. This article focuses on some good habits to adopt when creating content to get found for key themes in your inbound marketing strategy.
Improving your on-page SEO will help search engines ‘read’ your webpages and decide what they are about and how valuable that content is. The search engines then know how to present your site in search listings for your key terms.
Get into good On-Page SEO habits
This article gives you some tips to follow when creating content – blogs, articles, web pages, PDFs, your LinkedIn profile. Whilst search engine algorithms are increasingly sophisticated, there’s a simple rule for on-page SEO – if a specific phrase isn’t clearly present within a page, you’re not going to appear in search results for it.
Optimise your navigation ‘real estate’
On many websites, un-optimized navigation sits on every page, representing a wasted SEO opportunity. Include key phrases in the links, remove unnecessary levels of navigation and avoid generic terms. For example, change ‘Services’ to ‘SEO Services’. This makes your intention for that page clear to search engines.
Make URLs work for you
The SEO rules for optimizing URLs are very straightforward – minimise gobbledegook and make sure the target keyword is included. For example, if you have a page to target “inbound marketing uk”. The good URL is easy to read for humans and search engines. The bad URL has too many levels (folders) and the string of numbers (parameters) that perplex the search engines.
- Good: inboundmarketingblog.net/inbound-marketing-uk
- Bad: inboundmarketingblog.net/europe/countries/uk/services.php?id=34567&template=6
Ensure TITLEs are unique and descriptive
Often a website will have the same page title for every page. It’s amazing how many websites have “Welcome to the Acme website” or something similar across the top of the browser bar on every single page. This is because the person putting the content into the site viewed their role as functional – loading the content into the site – and, anyway, who reads the title bar. Well, search engines do. Make each page’s title unique and descriptive of the what the page is about and make sure the page’s target keyword is included.
Use headings and subheadings
Search engines pay particular attention to the words used in headings and subheadings on a page, and assume they are key to your topic or theme. Make sure your keyword or phrase is at least present in your H1 tag.
If it’s appropriate to do so, include it within a H2 or H3 subheading. Not only do subheadings highlight important words and themes from an SEO point of view, they break up your content and help humans understand it too.
Optimise the body text
The content of a single page should be focused on one idea. This is good for readers and your messaging but it’s also good for your SEO. The key to page optimisation is using your keywords effectively without over-doing it and looking like “key-word stuffing”.
Include an image and optimise it
Whilst the web user can’t read the code behind an image just by looking at a page, search engines can. Name your image files with appropriate keywords and create meaningful ALT tags to describe the image. For example, most digital cameras name images in a standard, generic format like “DSC002.jpg”. However, before using an image in your website or blog, rename the file and include the keyword, using hyphens in place of spaces. Also, make sure you use the keyword in the ALT text.
Do your keyword research and be disciplined
Each page should be optimised to one term. It’s crucial not to try and cram multiple terms into each page, especially not important terms that you want to get found with. In time, you’ll learn to almost subconsciously write your pages and blogs in line with good SEO practice.