Building a good business, be that online or bricks and mortar, is all about getting the foundations right. Building slowly and making sure you have covered the basics before trying to dominate the known universe may be boring, but it’ll save you a heap of time and money in the long run. When building a website people often overlook the basics, namely the design and structure of your website, followed by onsite SEO.
Onsite SEO can be broken down into roughly four areas, all of which I’ve described below. Get these four stages right and give it some work and a little time and you’ll see some great results for your website.
1. Meta Tags
Meta tags are small snippets of code in your site’s HTML file. Although your visitors don’t get to see your meta tags, they are important to the search engine spiders because they contain important information about your site. The meta tags you should pay attention to are the meta title, meta description, and meta keywords.
The title tag lets the search engines know what your page is about, and it should contain the primary keywords of your site. This will also be what is typically displayed as the anchor text in the search engine returns.
When you perform a search, you might notice that each search result will contain a 2 or 3 line blurb about the website. Most of the major search engines pull this information from your meta description tag.
The meta keywords tag is a place for you to insert all the major keywords of your site. This meta element isn’t as important as it once was, and Google has announced that they don’t take it into account whatsoever.
However, Yahoo and other smaller search engines may still take it into account.
2. Onsite Content
Perhaps nothing is more important than your onsite content. This is the heart of your webpage, and it is extremely important to all the search engines. One thing to pay particularly close attention to here is your “keyword density”. This is how often you use your keyword throughout the body of your content.
If you ask a wide variety of SEO experts what the optimal keyword density is, you’ll get a wide range of answers – anywhere from 1% – 5%. It is generally accepted that if you use more than 5% your site will be considered spammy.
3. Alt Tags
This is another invisible page element that can help the search engines. When you include photos on your site, make sure to make use of the Alt tags. This can allow you to show up in Google Image search.
4. Site Structure
You should make your site easy for the search engine spiders to crawl. Google has indicated that it won’t crawl all your links if you have more than 100 on a page. You should arrange your site in a hierarchical structure that appeals both to your users and to the spiders.
Onsite optimization isn’t that difficult, but it can make all the difference. A few of these tips only take a few minutes to implement. If you change them today, you will probably soon see a dramatic improvement in your search rankings.