Quality up to date content is a key contributor to optimised web pages, however, if those pages aren’t optimised in a way that search engines understand then you could be losing out on improving your rankings through content.
There are several attributes that make up a well-optimised web page, some hold more weight than others, however all are worth working on to ensure your site is not only readable by search engines, but also readable by your potential users.
SEO Optimised URLS
Your URL is made up of your domain name and then suffixed with any number of possible different combinations. Our personal preference – particularly when updating sites such as wordpress with regular blog posts is to suffix the URL with the name of the post. The name of the post and the URL should both contain the keywords you are targeting for that particular page.
Whether this format works for you or not – one of the most important things to remember is to keep your URLs short and tidy and (without stuffing) get the keyword in.
The page title isn’t usually seen by the end user – unless they are glancing at the tab on their browser, but it is a key tag that is visible in the code on the website between the <title> tags. This page title is important as search engines will crawl your website looking for the <title> tag and this will be the first piece of information they pick up about the content on your site to determine its relevant to a search.
With this in mind make your title tag relevant to your page content and a clear indicator as to what the page is about. Use your keyword in the title tag. Think about what people will search for and what questions they will ask when they search. Will they search for “Best SEO tools for 2016”? Or will they search for “Best vegetarian restaurant in Cambridge”? If that is the case – then use this in your title.
Make Full Use of <h1> Tags
When you write in wordpress it isn’t quite as clear what the <h1> tags actually are but an <h1>> tag is when you use “Heading 1” in your post. Search engines will look for the <h1> and use this as an indicator of the main content to follow. For example, if you are trying to rank for the words “Best razor for a wet shave” and you have this in an <h1> tag or as a “Heading 1” then google will know that the following content will be about the best razor for a wet shave.
Don’t just stop at the <h1> tag. The <h2> tag is also important and is usually used for sub-headings (also known as “heading 2” if you are formatting your wordpress post). A well formatted page with <h1> and <h2> tags gives off the impression of being organised and informative. Keep using the keywords within the heading tags to reinforce the relevance of your content. We would recommend using one <h1> tag and the rest as <h2> tags to give more weight to your main title rather than spreading this across several <h1> tags and diluting the impact of it somewhat.
Mention Your Keyword in the First Sentence
Without sounding unnatural, because then you lose readability for your visitors, try to include your keywords at the beginning of the paragraph – this will further reinforce your <h1> tag. The search engine will see your paragraphs opening with the keywords and your content will be deemed more relevant to those people using those keywords when they search.
Include Images, Videos and Infographics
The more images, the more varied your content and this will help to increase time spent on site by the visitor. The more time spent on a site the more the search engine will see your content and therefore your site as relevant.
If you can imagine many visitors coming to your site but instantly bouncing off again somewhere else, then search engines will start to think that the information either isn’t very good or isn’t very relevant to what they were actually searching for and despite all of your other efforts you will start to slip from the rankings. Keep people on your site for longer however and your content looks interesting and relevant. It is important to note however, that when you are including any kind of media that search engines cannot actually read media, so, make sure you fill out your <alt> tags when you upload any pictures with the relevant keywords. Without the <alt> tags, google will have no clue as to what the media is about.
Include Internal Links
Another way to help improve time spent on site is to include relevant internal links. If you have an article about the “Best wet razors” but there is a specific way to clean them and you have a second article about how to clean razors – link the two up. Try to aim for around two to three internal links in each of your pages if you can.
Use External Links
Incoming links from an authoritative site will really help to boost your own website’s credibility. By having an incoming link from a highly credible website – this will work almost as a recommendation and carries a great deal of weight amongst search engines.
Optimise Your Site Speed
It sounds technical but there are simple things you can do to optimise your own site speed – for example when you are putting images up and you are saving them in photoshop – make sure you are using the “Save for web” option and that you are keeping the file size to 72dpi. (A quick tip – change the image size to 72 dpi and before closing the dialogue box resize up the image so that it appears much larger despite being only 72dpi).
Overall there are many things you can do to optimise a page – most importantly, keep your content fresh, up to date, interesting and varied and keep it relevant to what you think your potential visitors will be searching for.