Onpage SEO Tips

If you’ve gone to the trouble of creating a wealth of useful content, but nobody actually knows about it, the website isn’t reaching its full potential. Offpage tips have been stated elsewhere in the blog but it you fail to optimise ompage elements too, then you on’t receive the full benefit of your promotional efforts.

Here’s a quick run through of the most basic elements that need to be in place:  

H1 tags – The index page and preferably every page should have a H1 Tag. This, along with the page title <title></title> and URL helps google to asscertain the meaning of the document. Of course it must relate to the main text of the document. Having the title “James Bond” on a page about industrial drills, probably won’t do you any favours.

Keywords Density – If you’re looking to rank for a specific keyword or key phrase in google, you will need to include the key phrase within the document a number of times. Also words related to the keyword topic should feature too. This will hopefully demonstrate to google that your article is very much on topic and not ambiguous in nature. Overkill can be a problem though. If your document lacks meaning and is stuffed with keywords and lacks depth, this may count against you. It will also be less likely to be linked to by others too if it’s gibberish.

URL – If your document about popular horror movies is at  the document is at http:///www.yourdomain.com/?p=258  you’ll receive less credit from the search engines than if the document is titled http:///www.yourdomain.com/top_horror_movies.html . Basically it’s just another indicator to google that the document relates to the topic in question. It’d be silly not to take advantage of this. Again though, overkill is to be avoided. If your URL is “top ten horror movies” , the H1 title is “top ten horror movies” and the document includes that term numerous times, beyond a point you may be penalised.  Mix it up a bit and use slight variations on these phrases and keywords.

Meta Tags – All pages can feature a title tag, meta description tag, and meta content tag. Not only do these tags once again help google to categorise your content, but in the case of the meta title and description tags, they are used by google/yahoo etc within the search listings so are the first thing that a potential visitor will see in relation to your site. Keep it on topic, short, snappy and descriptive, else users may pass by your site and visit a rival instead. Many search engines now auto extract meta info from the page, so it’s not essential but is still good practice.

Image Tags – Adding ALT tags on images is quick, easy and good practice. It allows your site to be more accessible to the visually impaired and can be used to reinforce keywords within the content. It terms of SEO iimportance, it’s not very high up on the list, but for the time it takes to do it’s well worth the effort.

Should you run a static html site, all of these changes can be hand coded. If you run a blog there are various plugins to help you feel with these issues. It’s best to start as you mean to go on, rather than try to correct sloppy habits at a later date, so don’t delay.

Link Exchanges

Much like networking in the real world, it’s important to make your presence known on the net. Whilst it’s no substiture for earned inbound links, link exchanges can play a meaningful role in any website promotion process. Exchange links with website in the same niche as yours, or in related topics can really benefit your site in terms of search engine ranking. The below tips link should give you a basic understanding of link exchanges can benefit you:

1) Exchange links with sites in the same niche as yours

Google and co like to be about to present relevant content to visitors. What better way to prove to them that your site is relevant then to be linked to by a series of sites in the same niche as yours.

2) Attempt to exchange links with authority sites

Of course this won’t be achieved overnight. In fact, if you have a new or not so popular site, approaching a site with high in the raking for your keywords of choice will likely not even gain a reply. If you can build your site popularity over time though, this may eventually appear to your to-do list.

3) Scan the top 30 or 40 listings in google for keyword terms you wish to rank well for. These sites may be worth approaching

Similiar to the previous point, but if you’re approaching sites on the top 30 or 40 it may allow you to get a foot in the door ranking wise. From here at least you have a base to build from.

4) Try to exchange links with sites of similiar popularity to your own (check out alexa and extreme tracking if available)

Whilst you’re attempting to work on SEO do not simply discount sites on SEO value alone. It may be useful to you in the short term to approach sites of similiar worth as it should filter some visitors your way. SEO work is a long term project so it occasionally helps to feel that you are moving forward in a short term sense too.

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I would suggest that site wide link exchanges are not always the way to go. If a link is sitewide it is not naturally occuring (like a link within an article for instance. Excessive sitewide links may could against you with google and co. I would instead suggest that you either go the route of exchanging links on index pages, or set up a link partner page.

Google Trends

Google trends was launched 4 years ago and shows the popularity of searched terms in graph form. Whilst it can be used as a novelty tool it also offers many insights for SEO purposes. It allows you to compare a number of keywords and key phrases for search volumes, which can be useful when deciding what keyword
google trends chart

google trends chart

terms to optimise for. When comparing terms such as “funny stuff”, “funny clips” and “funny videos” it’s possible to see whichs ones are most searched for, and as importantly how popular or unpopular they are becoming.

To further refine a SEO strategy, why not browse through the first 10 or 20 results in google for these terms and try to ascertain the general quality and popularity of these sites. This can be done by checking the page rank, number of backlinks and alexa rating of the site in question. You can also use the google trends for websites to gauge site popularity. If one groups of results for a keyword phrase looks particulalrly weak that they may well be a good angle of attack.

Finally, a SEO advantage can be gained by optimising for terms of the moment, or as google call them “hot trends“. This hot trends page highlights the top 100 searched terms for the last hour.  If you run a blog type site, it’s often worth browsing through the list and working in a word or phrase if it happens to relate something you intend on writing about.