Search engine optimisation needs to be tackled at two fronts: off-page and on-page optimisation. In this post we’ll talk about on-page optimisation because this is more important; when all is said and done, it is your website that matters the most eventually. On-page optimisation involves doing all you can do on your website so that it performs optimally in terms of getting targeted traffic from search engines and then converting that traffic into business.
On-page optimisation involves:
- Using the right information in the right Meta tags
- Creating the perfect title tag
- Generating the body text that conveys the right message to search engines as well as your human visitors
- Creating compelling headings
- Using the image alt text
- Using keywords in the anchor text, in bullets and in bold text
Let’s quickly go through these points.
Using the right information in the right META tags
Meta tags appear between <head> and </head> and they tell the search engine crawlers what lays ahead. Two better known Meta tags are:
- Description Meta tag: In this tag you describe what your web page is about. The content of the description Meta tag should be unique for every page, that is, no two pages should have the same description. This is a very crucial tag because its contents are visible on the search result pages. People of click the link when the find the description interesting and apt.
- Keywords Meta tag: It used to be an important Meta tag but now some SEO experts doubt its usage. Nonetheless, there is no reason to ignore it. In the keywords Meta tag you include the keywords most appropriate for the current page. You don’t have to use all the keywords under the sun. Just stick to 5-6 most important keywords.
Creating the perfect title tag
Make sure your title tag is the first tag in your <head></head> area. The entire personality of your web page reflects through your title tag. Your title tag carries the essence of your web page, and on the search engine result page, you can easily say that your title sells your page. The search engines use your title tag to rank your page, so your most important keywords should definitely appear in your title. On the social bookmarking websites like Digg it’s your title that prompts people to visit your website and then vote for your link. The title tag of your page is one of the most important aspects of your web page.
Generating the body text that conveys the right message to search engines as well as your human visitors
The body text, the content of your web page is where all the action happens. It is eventually the content that converts visitors into leads and leads into business. It is your content that is evaluated by the search engines to give you the deserved ranking. You need to generate high-quality content at regular intervals to produce value not only for the search engines, but also for your visitors. The concept of organic SEO (also called natural SEO) entirely depends on the nature of content, the body text, that you generate for your website.
Creating compelling headings
Headings appear within <h1…hn></h1…hn> tags and they make it easy for your visitors and the search engine crawlers to quickly scan your web page. If I collect all the headings and sub-headings on your web page, I should be easily able to make out what exactly you are trying to say through your body text. You should always organise your body text under various headings and sub-headings, as you can see on this page. You can see a heading exactly above this paragraph. This heading tells you what I’m going to talk about after the heading. Similarly, if you gather all the headings and sub-headings you can easily make out that I’m talking about “on-page optimisation” and how you can achieve it. Never forget to include your important keywords and phrases in your headings and sub-headings.
Your headings should be compelling. They should prompt your reader to read further. It should make the proceeding text sound as exciting as possible.
Using the image alt text
The “alt” attribute of the <img /> tag makes your page more accessible by letting the audio-browsers know what is there if the person browsing your website is visually impaired. Search engines love accessible websites. The alt attribute also gives you a chance to put your important keywords and key phrases there, but make sure you don’t sound deceptive because the search engines can easily make this out. So if there is a navigation icon on your web page and if that icon takes your visitor to your “web designing portfolio” page, you can include the expression “web designing portfolio” in the alt tag. Without this, the search engine crawlers will never know where you link goes to.
Using keywords in the anchor text, in bullets and in bold text
You can strategically use your keywords and key phrases to make your on-page optimisation more effective. For instance, if you use your keywords in the anchor text — text between <a> and </a> — it tells the search engines that the keyword is so important for you that you use a different link to talk more about it. Using your keywords in lists — <li>…</li> — also increases their importance and further, highlighting them using <strong></strong> helps too. But if you overdo it it will be counter-productive.
All the steps mentioned above collectively work towards a better on-page optimisation.