There are many common myths that float around the SEO industry often confusing the less experienced SEO’s and in some cases seriously misleading the newbie webmaster. One such myth surrounds on page SEO and it’s effects on search engine results. There are 2 common myths that exist and both are false:
- On page SEO is useless for Google Optimisation
- META Tags are the only important aspects of SEO
OK, let’s start with the first fallacy. It is true to say that Google weighs off page factors pretty heavily, however it is false to claim that on page optimisation doesn’t figure. The truth is that recent research shows that Google gives around 60% weight to off page factors and the rest to on page. This clearly leaves a great amount of importance on on page search optimisation and it is important to understand how to use it to increase your sites online presence.
This post is going to highlight the most important areas of your page to optimise and how to do it. Once you have your page optimised you can then start building the necessary off page factors as doing off page first may lead to relevancy issues and Google is all about relevancy.
Title tags should never be underestimated and play a huge role in where your pages are indexed for relevant keywords. However the 2 most important reasons for optimising your title tags are:
- Search engines put a good amount of weight on keywords within them.
- It is the first part of your page searchers see in the search engine results page (serps), therefore it needs to attract a click.
Yourtitle tagis the most important SEO aspect after your anchored inbound text and should be used as follows;
- Only have 1 title tag per page and use your relevant high traffic keywords within it.
- Make sure it is directly under the header tag (adds to relevance).
- Use a unique title tag for each page of your site (Google ranks pages not sites).
- Try to create title tags that are between 3 – 10 words and around 75 – 100 characters.
- If you are targeting local traffic, ensure your title tag includes your location.
First thing to get out of the way here is that META Tags have no bearing on ranking, none at all. This was largely due to the fact that spammers were manipulating the algorithms and messing up the Google index. Saying all this META tags do still serve a valid purpose as part of your campaign. The most common META tags are the keywords and description tags.
The description tag is used to list your page within the serps and therefore can be used to entice a click, after all SEO is all about driving relevant traffic to your site. If you do not use the META description tag Google will simply make one uping your content. This may not do the page justice and you could be missing out on clicks.
Heading Tags (h1 etc..)
The heading tags were originally designed to help you organise your content and it has become more and more apparent that Google use them to determine the content of your page. In fact Google gives a lot of weight to the keywords within your H tags and you should use this knowledge to your advantage. Use your main keywords in your tags and variations of the same keywords. Use the most relevant keywords nearer the top of the page as they will receive greater weight.
If you use a lot of images on your site it is important to show what they are about. The Google crawler cannot read image scripts and therefore using the ALT attribute will allow you to tell the crawler what the image is referring to. This once again helps to increase relevancy and allows your page to be fully crawled without missing vital content.
On page optimisation is still an important SEO aspect and needs to be given time and attention. Doing this will maximise your overall SEO efforts.