Best Practices for On Page SEO
On-page SEO is the process of ensuring your website is readable to the search engines. Learning correct on-page SEO is not only an important step in ensuring Google picks up the keywords you want, it is an opportunity to achieve easy wins and improve the overall SEO of your website. This opens the door for better results across the board. On-page SEO includes the following considerations:
1. Making sure website content is visible to search engines.
2. Making sure your website is not blocking search engines
3. Making sure search engines picks up the keywords you want them to.
Most on-page SEO you can do yourself, if you have a basic level of experience dealing with websites. Please note, if you are not technically inclined: There are sections of this post that are quite technical. You should read these areas so you understand what has to be done to your website to achieve rankings in Google, but you can easily hire a web designer or web developer to implement the SEO techniques in this chapter, after you know what it takes to achieve top rankings.
How to structure your site for easy and automatic SEO
The best practices below will ensure your website is structured for better recognition by Google and other search engines.
1. Search engine friendly URLs. Have you ever visited a web page and the URL looked like something like this? http:// www.examplesite.com/ ~ articlepage21/ post-entry321. asp? q = 3 What a mess! These kinds of URLs are a quick way to confuse search engines and website visitors. Clean URLs are much more logical, user friendly, and search engine friendly.
Below is an example of a clean URL:
http:// www.examplesite.com/ football-jerseys Much better. Take a quick look at Google’s search engine results. You will see a very large portion of web sites in the top-10 have clean and readable URLs like the above example. And by a very large portion… I mean the vast majority. Most website content management systems have search engine friendly URLs built into the website. It often is simply a matter of enabling the option in your website settings. If your site doesn’t have search engine friendly URLs, it’s time for a ‘friendly’ chat with your web developer to fix this up.
2. Internal navigation There are no limits on how to structure the navigation of your site. This can be a blessing or a curse. Some people force visitors to watch an animation or intro before they can even access the website. In the process, some sites actually make it harder for visitors and more confusing for search engines to pick up the content on the site. Other sites keep it simple by having a navigation bar running along the top of the site or running down the left-hand side of the browser window.
This has pretty much become an industry standard for optimizing most websites. By following this standard, you make it significantly easier for visitors and search engines to understand your site. If you intend to break this convention, you must understand it is very likely you will make it harder for search engines to pick up all of the pages on your site.
As a general rule, making it easier for users makes it easier for Google. Above all else, your web site navigation must be made of real text links— not images! If your main website navigation is currently made up of images, slap your web designer and change them now! If you do not have the main navigation featured in text, your internal pages will almost be invisible to Google and other search engines.
For an additional SEO boost, include links to pages that you want visible to search engines and visitors on the home page. By placing links specifically on the home page, Google’s search engine spider can come along to your web site and quickly understand which pages on your site are important and worth including in the search results.
How to make Google pick up the keywords you want
There are many misconceptions being circulated around the Internet about what to do, and what not to do, when it comes to optimizing keywords into your page. Some bloggers are going so far as to telling their readers not to put their keywords in the content of targeted pages at all. These bloggers— I’m not saying names— do have the best intentions and have really taken worry about Google’s spam detection to the next level. But it is complete madness.
Not having keywords on your page at all makes it almost impossible for Google to match your page with the keyword you want to rank for. If Google completely devalued having keywords on the page, Google would be a crappy search engine. Think about it. If you search for ‘Ford Mustang 65 Auto Parts’ and arrive on pages without those words on the page at all, it’s extremely unlikely you have found what you’re looking for.
Google must be able to pick up the keywords on your page, and these keywords must be visible to your users. The easy approach is to either create content around your keyword, or naturally weave your keyword into the page. No, I’m not saying your page should look like the following… ‘Welcome to the NFL jersey store. Here we have NFL jersey galore, with a wide range of NFL jerseys including women’s NFL jerseys, men’s NFL jerseys and children’s NFL jerseys and much much more.’ This approach may have worked 10 years ago, but not now. Above all else, the keyword should appear naturally in your page. Any attempts to go well and truly crazy with your keywords is will not only look horrible, it may set off spam filters in search engines.