Optimize the content on your website: On-page optimization
On-page optimization refers to the methods you can use to improve the content and structure of your website. Read on for our tips for beginners.
Just remember to optimize each page of your website for a particular search term. For example, you could optimize the home page for “children's shoes in San Francisco," and a product sub-page for "Converse Mission District San Francisco".
Let’s take a closer look at how to do that.
Meta tags and more
You can add meta tags and a meta description for each individual page of your website. This is basically information about your website that only search engines can read.
Whether you use a website builder or a program to create your website, there is usually a menu option to edit your website’s meta tags.
This is a short description limited 160 characters that is displayed when potential website visitors search for certain keywords in search engines like Google. The description usually appears directly under the search result.
The aim is to entice visitors to your website, so it is a good idea to include some well-written copy that accurately describes the content of your site.
It’s official: Google and other search engines have now confirmed that they no longer give weighting to a website’s meta keywords for discovery (probably because too many people abused the feature). It is entirely up to you whether you want to take the time to add meta keywords. While it probably won’t make a difference, it can’t hurt either.
The page title is one of the most important elements of search-engine optimization. It appears in the title bar of your browser (e.g. Internet Explorer), and also in the search results from Google. If you want to rank highly for certain search terms in Google, you should make sure those terms appear in your page title.
Headlines throughout the text
Make sure to use headlines in your sub-pages. This serves two purposes: first, search engines are clear on which terms best apply to your site, and second, readers find the structure of your text easier to follow. The hierarchy of headlines is as follows: h1, h2, h3, etc. where headline 1 is the most important, followed by h2, and so on.
Search terms within the body of the text
To increase your chances of being found using certain terms or keywords on Google or other search engines, be sure to use these terms several times throughout your text. Don’t overdo it though - it’s important that your text flows naturally.
Use good-quality text links
Choose your words wisely when linking to other websites from within your text, and especially when linking to other pages within your own website.
For example, hyperlink the term “search-engine optimization tips”, rather than “more information here”. This will increase your chances of appearing high in the search-engine results for this term.
Related links to similar websites are also viewed favorably. For example, you could link to the Wikipedia entry for the subject you are writing about (but only where this would add value for your readers, of course).
For example, if your home page consists of a Flash animation, then Google will miss your entire website because it can’t read the link within the Flash element.
Here’s what you should do:
- Create content that is well structured and easy to read.
- Use relevant keywords within your text.
- Use headlines.
- Ensure your hyperlinked text is relevant.
- Structure your text so that visitors will want to read it.
- Break up longer chunks of texts with paragraphs or bullet points.
- Make keywords bold or highlight them in color