Really, search engine optimisation is knowing how to tell search engines that what you’re talking about is the same as what people are looking for. This can be done via a range of methods, all of which should be utilised for the best results – after all, the ‘right’ search results don’t just happen.
Obviously, you need to have the right content within the code so your pages can be indexed and ranked, but it’s also the stuff that people can see on the page that counts too – and this is often overlooked by people who are smug in the fact that they’ve got their tag data right.
Here are a few things to consider for on-page optimisation…
- Title – Know what keywords you are targeting and include these in the title of your content. It is generally accepted that the closer to the front of the title your keywords are, the better. It also helps for people building links to you, as they are more likely to use those keywords and hence signal to Google that your page is about that particular subject.
- Meta description – Think this through carefully, as it is the copy that appears below the title of your search result and will have a huge bearing on whether or not you get the click-through. Use it to reassure viewers that they are coming to the right place and you are indeed holding the content that they are looking for.
- Content – Frequently updated and unique content that is tightly centred around your topic is the best way to win with search engines. Don’t be too stingy with words either – aim to have at least 300 words in your body content.
- Keyword frequency – How many times your targeted keywords appear on a page affects your ranking. Be careful though not to pack those words in their too tightly in terms of their ratio to your other content. According to knowledgeable sources, ‘a keyword density greater than 5.5% could find you guilty of keyword stuffing, and your page could be penalised by Google.’