Top On Page SEO Factors

This is the first articles on a two part series on search engine optimization for beginners. Here are will be going over all the factors you need to consider on each page of your website in order to get the best rankings you can with Google and Co.

Key Factors in Search Engine Optimisation

  1. URL and Domain Name

    Keep it short, google doen't pay attention to your url if it is too long. Keywords in your domain are given a higher priority than any others on your site.

  2. Title Tag

    Second most important are the keywords in the title tag. A good title tag should be of the format 'PAGE_NAME - SITE_NAME' or 'PAGE_NAME - SECTION_NAME - SITE_NAME'. Bear in mind that google only pays attention to up to eight words here.

  3. Description Meta Tag

    The meta description should be a short description of the information found on this page. Keywords are important here but do not sacrifice readability or the quality of the sales pitch for force more in un necessarily. Some search engines will use this text to describe your page in search results.

  4. Keywords Meta Tag

    Meta keywords used to a lot more important than they are now. Only a small number of search engines use them to determine the content of your site. However you will still be penalised for using keywords here that don't appear in the page. Like the meta description you should use at most 30 keywords.

  5. H1 - H6 tags

    H tags are used to indicate page body titles and sub titles. For large documents H tags should be used to imply the structure of the document. Keywords in H tags are also given higher important than other keyword tyes lower down this list. H1's are the most impportant, H6 are the least important. Although you can get a boost in rankings from intelligent use of H tags if you abuse them you will be penalised harshly.

  6. Body text
    The majority of the text in your page will be normal body text. You should aim for about 2-5% density for any individual keyword or phrase and no more than a 20% density for keywords in general. Some spam sensitive topics have a lower density threshhold.

  7. Keyword font size

    The size of the words in you web page document also affect how prominent they are considered.

  8. Keyword proximity

    Keyword phrases such as 'easy diet' also count if the their are other words spearating dividing them, for example 'easy fast diet' would also benefit you for appearing for the search 'easy diet'. The closer keywords in a key phrase are to each other in a sentence the better you're site will perform.

  9. Keyword phrase order

    If the ketwords on your page are in the same order are the search words typed into a search engine your rankings will improve.

  10. Keyword prominence

    How far down a document a particular keyword is will affect how much importance is placed on it.

  11. Alt text

    Alt text has two purposes. The first is to describe to the search engine what is going on in a picture, the search engines aren't yet capable of dtermining this for themselves. The second is to provide a description of the contents of images so that text to speach translators can describe the contents of images to visually impaired visitors.

  12. Internal link text

    The text you use to link to ther pages in your site is used to both determine the subject of the current page and the page being linked to. In this way internal link text is essential for defining the subject of your site as a whole.

  13. Broken links
    Broken links reduce the usability of your website and msot search engines will penalise you for not correcting them promptly.

  14. Linking structure

    How you link around the various pages of your site helps the search engines determine which pages are related and which are of greater or lesser importance.

  15. External link text
    The text you use to link to pages outside your site is also important. The link text should be relevant to the subject of your page as well as the content of the page you are linking to.

  16. Outbound link quality

    The quality of the pages you link to is also a factor. Only link to reputable pages on similar topics as your own. Never link to link farms, directory sites or sites with known malicious intent. Linker to spammers will almost certainly get you blacklisted the same as them.

  17. Link stability

    If the links on your pages are constantly changing you will be marked down. If your links remain the same over a long period of time your page will be considered more reliable and so will rank better for your chosen search terms.

  18. Top level domain

    .gov, .edu and .org TLD's are given the highest priority. .info domain are also currently ranking quite well. .com on the other hand although very popular is given the highest level of scrutiny as most of the spammer site use this. If you are planning to use a national TLD such as .co.uk or .co.fr make sure to use the right one for your site, if you put a spanish site on a french TLD you will lose points.

  19. File size

    Try to keep your filesizes down. Smaller web pages load faster which gives you a boost in the rankings. If possible break larger pages down into severl sub pages.

  20. Hyphens in URL

    Hyphens in your domain name are a great way of helping the search engines differentiate words in an area where you can't use spaces. However, do not use more than 2 or you will be flagged as a potential spammer.

  21. Page age

    Domain names receive a rankings boost for the first three weeks google is aware of them, after that they are heavily penlised for an estimated 6-8 months before they start to recover their rankings. An old domain name shows that you are providing a serious service by the time you have invested. A common spammer tactic is to continually buy new domain names and discard them once they are discovered. Having said that newer pages on a particular domain name rank better than their older counterparts. To get the best results continually add new content to your sites and hold on to your old domains, changing domain names will lose you your search engines presence.

  22. Site layout

    Google pays attention to the interface of your website. Sites with a consistent interface across all of their pages rank better.

  23. URL length

    Keep it short, long URL's are pelised by search engines and difficult to remember or communicate verbally.

Definite Do Nots

  1. Omit any meta tags.
  2. Have duplicates of any meta tag type.
  3. Stuff keywords into every crevice un necessarily.
  4. Link to criminal/spam sites, link farms or to pages on un related topics
  5. Use images to convey text, search engines cannot read what images say and will not rank you for the words the contain.
  6. Use meta redirects to move users on to a different pages where you could just as easily update the link.
  7. Change your domain name, all your search engine presence is tied to your domain.
  8. Use hidden text, 1 pixel image links or keyword stuffing in alt or meta tags.
  9. Use more than 2 hyphens in your domain name.
  10. Plagerise other peoples content. This will get you black listed which is very hard to reciver from. Do not even re use your own content from other pages.
  11. Their are several hundred distasteful words that search engines will penalise you for, don't use any offensive, violent or racist language.

Next in this series we will be going over off page factors that can affect your search engine rankings.

 

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