There are many aspects of optimising a website “off-site” such as link building, but there are just as many techniques you can use on site. There are so many on-site ranking factors in search that I couldn’t begin to give you an effective list without utterly confusing many reader. Instead I’ve formed them into 10 categories and found 10 easy wins for your on-site SEO.
So, here are my top ten on-site SEO tweaks.
Create Unique and Canonical Content
Unique content creation isn’t easy, I admit. But it can be made easier with some practice, for example taking a manufacturers product description and twisting it for your own audience. The first attempt may take an hour, but then practice means you can get it down to 5 or 10 minutes, including research. Creating unique content means you may rank higher than those with manufacturer descriptions only. Making canonical content is about minimising internal duplication, and where it is required using the “canonical meta tag” to say which piece of content is the original.
Write Unique Page Titles and Mix Them Up
Page titles are an easy win, and usually quite simple to form and change. If you are in the code of the website look for the <title> tag. If you are in a CMS, such as wordpress, take a look at your post or page title. Make these unique to your website, this is one easy win – make it attractive to read and something people will want to click on (it’s link bait). To mix up your Page Title is to think about them differently, if you are using a product your title may be “product name | site name” or “site name | product name” mixing it up may make it say “buy the product name today from site name”.
Write Unique Page Descriptions
As with content and your page title, making content unique is the key and making your meta description an elevator pitch is also key. Also as with the Page Title the meta description Google will notice these, which is why Google Webmaster Tools lets you know such things.
Shorten Your Page Title
Do you have your site or shop name in every page title? Then you maybe missing a trick. Shortening your page title can in some cases aid click through rates. For example in a blog you don’t need your blog name in each post page title, nor with products. Google knows your site name, your brand and what you do – try it, let us know how you get on.
Re-write Your Internal Anchor Text
You have control of your website, you can do what you want with it. So use it to your advantage, tweak your navigation to include your specified and targeted keywords and phrases. The more accurate you can make your navigation the better, though don’t over do it – it has to be user friendly, so don’t link to “home” with say “search optimisation” in your navigation, that’s just bonkers and spammy – Google may just ignore that link or worse you could get penalised.
Use Heading Tags Effectively
Use of H1, H2 …. tags is a great way to tell search engines that they are in a new section, or sub section of your content on a given page. Make them behave as Google expects (you can use CSS to change their physical appearance if needed), so H1 tag should show the heading / title of a given page, h2 should be used for sectioning and h3 to h6 for sectioning with the content. If you haven’t used these in the past you can still go back and edit those older pages, but remember to use it going forward is most important as Google may not “re-rank” your old pages just for a few heading tags.
Use the ALT tag effectively
The image alternative text tag, or ALT tag, is just that – for alternative text. This means that you are supplying a text alternative to your image, describe the image in a clear concise way. If it’s a red circle say so, if its a Google logo say so – but do not just keyword stuff it, Google has been known to ignore all alt tags on a website for spamming.