Sunday, 16 December 2012

SEO Best Practices: On-Page SEO Checklist

SEO Best Practices: On-Page SEO Checklist 


1. Title Tags

This is one of the most important on-page SEO fields related factors. The title tag tells search engines what the page is about and that the page on your website is relevant for that keyword or keyword phrase. Title tags should be unique for every page. In search results, search engines will highlight your keyword phrases if a user has searched for those terms. This increases visibility and click-through rate.

Best Practices:

  • Your title tag should be written like this: Primary Keyword – Secondary Keyword | Brand Name
  • Use a dash in between your keyword phrases and a pipe at the end before your brand name
  • Avoid duplicate title tags
  • Keep title tags at 66 characters or less in length, including spaces

2. Meta (Page) Descriptions

Meta descriptions, while not as important in search engine rankings, are extremely important in getting users to click through from the search engine results page (SERP) to your website. Meta descriptions should use keywords wisely, but more importantly they should include a compelling description on which a user would want to click on. Much like title tags, the SERPs will highlight keywords that the user searched for, increasing the likelihood of the user clicking through to your website.

Best Practices:
  • Write compelling meta descriptions
  • 150 to 160 characters is the recommended length
  • Avoid duplicate meta descriptions
  • Do not use quotes or any non-alpha characters (Google, cuts them out of the meta description)
Example of meta descriptions in search engine results:

3. Content with Targeted Keyword Phrases

Your content is the meat and potatoes of your website. With the latest Google Panda updates, it is extremely important that your content is unique and relevant. If you have multiple pages with the same content (or if you have your content on other people’s websites), you will run the risk of getting penalized by Google and your search rankings will suffer. We want to keep Google happy, so keep your content unique.
Best Practices:
  • Create content that is extremely relevant for that keyword phrase
  • Use your keyword phrase 4 times within your content
  • Use multiple variations of that keyword phrase – singular and plural versions, abbreviations, acronyms (SEO vs. search engine optimization) and synonyms
  • Include links from other pages within your website that point back to this page (see internal page linking below)
  • Create unique content for every medium (press releases, blogs, guest blog posts, etc…). If you send out a press release, do not copy and paste that press release onto your website. If it gets picked up in multiple publications, the search engines will see that you have duplicate content and penalize you for it.

4. Header Tags and Keyword Phrases

A header tag, also known as an H1 tag, is much like the subject line of your web page. You should only use your keyword phrase once in the H1 tag. This should be included on a page to which you are trying to drive unique traffic to. You can also use H2 tags (second header) if there are multiple sections.
Best Practices:
  • Use your keyword phrase once in your H1 tag
  • Use H1 tags on pages you are trying to drive unique traffic to (SEO page)
  • Use H2 tags if there are multiple sections

5. Internal Page Linking with Anchor Text

Internal linking refers to a link on a page that points to another page on the same website. Internal linking is important because it helps strengthen those keywords internally for those pages, it allows users (and search engine robots) to navigate through the website, and it tells the search engines that the page is relevant for that keyword phrase.
Best Practices:
  • When linking to another page on the same site from within content, select good anchor text (keywords) to use in the actual link and do this often. For example: “We offer a wide range of web design services,” rather than “Click here for our services.”
  • In the above example, you would link “web design services” to your web design services page instead of linking “click here.”

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