My previous SEO basics post discussing on page optimisation, which I posted two weeks ago, explained what on page optimisation was and the basics of how it could help your site. However, I didn’t go into too much detail on what you could actually do to optimise it.
So here’s some more helpful tips and information towards getting your on page bits right.
Firstly, let me please remind you that on page optimisation alone probably won’t send you shooting up the search results. All the same, it’s still a fundamental part of SEO and still important you carry it out.
The Title Tag
As discussed last time, the title tag is the most important factor for Google when looking at your page. It’s a vital tool that you should use as effectively as possible – without overdoing it and breaking into over optimisation.
So what about writing the title tag? You’ve 70 characters to play around with in which to market that web page to both Google and the users who see it in the search results.
There are a few tips and tricks you could take note of here, and once I point them out you’ll be able to see them in the example above.
Firstly, Google puts much more emphasis on the words that begin the title tag, so “SEO Basics” is seen as the prominent keyword, followed by “On Page Optimisation Tips.” While being relevant and briefly explaining what the article is about for the user coming across it in the search results, it also looks great to Google.
Secondly, your brand is best sat to the right of the title tag. This’ll ensure your page is seen as relevant for people searching your brand name, but it’s not taking prominence over the main keywords on the left.
The URL, appearing just under your title tag in the search results, gives plenty of opportunity for optimisation.
If someone is searching for a certain keyword that you’ve put into your URL, like in this example with “seo-basics-on-page-optimisation-tips”, not only is your page going to seem really relevant to Google – it’s also going to look relevant for anyone browsing down the search results.
It’s another fantastic opportunity to show Google and the users searching what your page is about.
Certain content management systems assign a new page’s URL with a bunch of random numbers – which isn’t going to help your page appear relevant, but they do usually allow you the option to change it to text.
The meta description sits right under the URL and title tag in the search results, and is your opportunity in 160 characters to sell your web page to the user. A brief description of your page and what it offers to someone who visits it could be written here, and using your keywords is also seen as a good idea.
It’s not an area really counted by Google anymore, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use it or avoid optimising it.
The robots sent to index pages by Google and the other search engines can’t see images – meaning you have to tell them what the image is all about. This is done through the images file name, its title and its alt text – all of which can be optimised.
For example; imagine you’ve taken a picture with a digital camera and you want to put it on your website. When the picture was taken, the camera would have assigned a file name to the image – usually a number that only has meaning to the camera. This file name sticks with the image after it’s been uploaded to your site, but that file name number means nothing to Google.
However, if you change that image’s file name so it describes the image Google will better understand what it’s showing and may show it for related Image searches.
It’s the same with the image title and alt text – but these are assigned when you’ve uploaded the image. The image title could be the same as your file name, whereas the alt text would go into a little more detail describing the image.
The alt text is for more than just SEO, though; if your browser can’t display the image, or someone is using a screen reader or text to speech software, the alt text is used.