Creating a search engine friendly web page is surprisingly simple; let’s take a look at some of the core on page elements you need to consider for your websites SEO.
The Title Tag
<title>UNIT4 Business Software</title>
In your web pages HTML code the title will look like the example above, and appear in the top of your browser window above the web address bar as well as in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) as the blue clickable link.
- Less than 70 characters are recommended for title tags as this is the limit Google displays in search results.
- Title tags must be present and unique on every page of your website.
- Include your primary keyword for the web page where possible, but do not repeat it within the title tag and make sure you craft a title which is relevant and helpful for potential visitors.
- Title tags should be descriptive and readable, don’t just think about optimisation and keyword usage, and consider the user experience.
The HTML Description Tag
Consisting of a short summary of the page, an accurate and relevant description can help users identify your page amongst others.
- The metadescription should be unique per page.
- The description should be a maximum of approximately 155 characters, be unique to every page, employ the keywords intelligently and create a compelling description a user will want to click.
- Always consider the end user, do not place keywords in the tag without considering how well it reads for someone reading it in the search engine results pages (SERPS).
Although description tags are not important to search engine rankings they can be extremely important in gaining user click-throughs from the search results.
The HTML Keywords Tag
Keyword metadata is not used by Google to rank a website, however Bing does use it therefore it’s still an important addition to a webpage. Aim for a maximum of 4 keyword phrases per page, each page should have its own unique keyword target.
Always separate each keyword phrase with a comma (,).
Have A Strong URL
A good URL should describe the content of the page, web users will find the URL example above much easier to find through search engines because the content is hierarchically organised and uses the right descriptive keywords for folder names. In the URL above you can easily see you are looking at a product page about mens jumpers. Below is an example of a poor URL structure.
URL structure helps search engines understand relative importance and adds a helpful relevancy metric to the given page. They also appear in important locations such as:
- The display results – URLs are used in ranking, pages which use names included in the search query term receive some benefit from proper, descriptive use of keywords.
- The web browsers address bar – generally considered to have little impact on search engines but poor URL structure can impact on user experience
When you look at the URL is it easy to understand what that page is about? Can you predict the content you’d expect to find on the page?
- Use hyphens (-) instead of underscores (_) to separate words
- Do not try putting multiple keyword phrases into your URL; overuse could result in the page being marked as spam by the search engines
- You can set a URL for a new web page in the Site Structure module > required fields tab > and enter the details in the ‘Page Address’ box.
IMPORTANT: If you are changing the URL of an existing web page you MUST set up a 301 redirect from the original URL to the new one, you can do this in both the Site Structure and Quicklink modules. If you have any question about setting up 301 redirects please contact me, I will talk about setting up 301 redirects in more detail in a future article.
On Page Factors – Keyword Usage
- Use the keyword in the title tag.
- Once prominently near the top of the web page
- Use the keyword around 2 – 3 times in the main content of the page, including variations, remember though this may change depending on the amount of text content.
- If your page has images, use the keyword in the ALT text where suitable, this can also help with image search.
- Use once in the URL
- At least once in the metadescription tag, but remember to make it user friendly, do not over use keywords.
And finally, create great content! Great content that is useful and interesting to visitors will not only improve your SEO but also encourage sharing on social sites too!