Tag Archives: google

SEO Basics

Get the basics of seo right

Quite a few people have been doing SEO for many years now, however for those new to it, there is information overload and a lot of that info’ is actually either old and outdated or just downright wrong! I’m going to touch on a few of the basics here:

Whilst gaining back links is absolutely essential for every website (unless that is, you have found a niche with no competition whatsoever), I still believe that the title tag is probably the single most important signal to Google, regarding what the page is about, this is confirmed by Eco SEO on their blog too. Try to get your main keyword right at the start of the title tag and your company name at the end (it’s shown again in the url anyway in listings so doesn’t need to take up the best spot) also use it in the URL and again in the h1, then just a couple of times on the page itself, but of course we are going to be using synonyms and other related terms on the page too, aren’t we?

Of course, before you can even attempt to create a page you need to know what it’s going to be about, so it’s wise to do keyword research first. I just use the Adwords Keyword tool as it’s free and relatively easy to use, just remember to sort by your region and tick the exact match and un-check broad match or you will see wildly misleading results for this purpose.

You must also get a rough idea of where your/your clients website stands in comparison to the competition, this can be measured in a number of ways, however I just use the SeoMoz tool-bar, it’s free and has a handy graphic bar so you can see both the page and domains authority at a glance.  Authority doesn’t appear to simply be about how many links you have, although I suspect who links to you is a factor. It’s likely that how many pages of unique content they have is also a factor, this can be checked easily with bings link command.

Of course all this may be too much work if you are already running your own business, so you could find a good seo company, UK based if you are over this side of the pond too, even better if you can find a seo company who are close by, you can then meet them face to face either before or during the work.

About On Page SEO

There seems to be quite a bit of confusion about what does and does not work when optimising the factors on a web page, just to be totally clear about this, when we refer to on-page optimisation we are talking about changing the code on a page, usually aspects which are not seen by the average site visitor, but they help the search engines determine what a page is about.

Probably the single most important factor is the title tag, it’s essential that this has your keyword at the start, it’s a common mistake to put the company name first, however the first words carry more weight, so save the company name for the end of the tag (if at all), unless that is what you are optimising for.

Don’t fill the page with keywords, use your keywords by all means, but whatever you do, don’t use them every second word, it will look bad to the visitors and the search engines will just ignore it anyway.  If you need some ideas for alternative words which would sit well on the pages have a look at the Google wonderwheel it will give you alternative, but related terms you can use on the page.

The keywords tag is virtually useless, although it’s a good place to put them, so you can easily remember which terms you are optimising a page for, I also tend to chuck in a few regional terms too, something like Swindon, Wiltshire, UK, I’m not sure why I bother, probably just force of habit I suppose.

Same with the description tag, although this can be used to encourage more clicks, as although it has no SEO benefit, it does get used for your listing on Google, so a well written description can help indirectly by increasing click through.

Bold an italics used to help, but I’ve not recently seen any difference in using them or not, so just use them to lay your pages out well instead and actually highlight anything which does not fit in your header tags.

Of course there are options available if you aren’t comfortable doing this type of work yourself, you can either just hire a local company, or read the blogs from the experts such as Googles matt cutts, although if you are a beginner, you may well find his posts a bit technical.