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How to optimise the elements on your webpage for on page SEO

SEO stands for Search Engine optimization.  This refers to various strategies and techniques which can be applied to increase a website’s ranking on a Search Engine Results Page (SERP).  The higher the ranking on a SERP the more chance you have of visitors accessing your website.

Search engines evaluate sites in two categories

a) On page SEO
This refers to optimizing elements of your website such as page titles, headings, URL structure, meta tags

b) Off page SEO
This is evaluated in terms of how your website is regarded or valued across the internet.  The main contributing factor is backlinks to your website such as through guest blogging and social networking.

This post focuses on how to optimise the elements on your webpage for on page SEO as follows:

1 – Page Titles

An important point to differentiate from the beginning here is that a page title is what appears in the header of the source code.  The page heading on the other hand is what the visitor actually reads on the web page.

Your page title contains keywords for a page and needs to accurately reflect the content of the page as it is one of the key ways Google determines a given page topic.  It is the first thing a searcher reads in the SERP.

Title pages are 70 characters in length.  Anything longer will be shown as ellipses.

Page Title

Tip:  Find the sweet spot between keywords which encourage click throughs and keywords which optimise the page for ranking.

2 – Meta Description

The meta description is the information which appears in the SERP after the Page Title.  While this does not directly impact on your page ranking, it is nevertheless important to put strong keywords which motivate your searcher to click on your site.

The meta description is a160 character snippet that appears below your page title in the SERP.  Words which correspond with your search words or phrase appear in bold on the results page.  The aim of the meta description should be to provide a succinct overview of the page content.

Meta Description 

3 – On page Headings

Headings play a role in creating a user-friendly experiencing, providing structure and making the contents easy to read.  In this time of information overload, a visitor often needs to get a quick idea of the relevancy of your page to a search.  By having a title and subheadings, your web page allows the reader to make a quick decision as to the page’s value.

Headings play a role in SEO, enabling a search engine to establish content hierarchy in terms of what is indicated as being significant by the different headings and their content.

Tip:  Find the balance between writing a heading which keeps the reader informed, rather than only focussing on SEO value of your word choice.

Main heading is <h1>, while subheadings appear in the HTML code as <h2>, <h3> etc. 

4 – URL Structure

Use words which are clear and to the point in describing your topic.  Words should be separated by hyphens.  Best practice is to opt for a URL of about 5 words, using your primary keywords, while giving a good description which illustrates what your page is about.

5 – Keywords

One of the most important elements of SEO is keyword research.  This research provides insight into what your target market are looking for by typing into search engines – their challenges, pain points and what they find interesting.   And if you are wondering where you can find this hidden treasure – the simple answer is:  search engines.  Additionally, search trends and keywords can be discovered using Google Trends, Google Keyword Planner or the alternative keyword planner equivalent to Google, or Google predictive text.

The saying, “the proof is in the pudding” holds true for SEO.  This means that the effectiveness of your SEO strategy can be measured in terms of your website’s listing on the SERP. The higher the listing, the more effective  your SEO efforts.  For an in-depth understanding of the  according to results which are obtained on the site.

One point to keep in mind is the fact that SEO is a dynamic process.  It is an interesting, never ending tweaking in response to the success of your SERP results.  It is also a key strategy for gaining visibility on the internet which in turn leads to visitors who are potential leads for the services and products which you offer.

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