SEO Tips For Beginners
Always remember a page is a page, a website is a website.
To optimise a website you 1st need to optimise individual pages
Treat each page as an individual project but keep them related and well structured.
Site Structure and Navigation
Individual well optimised pages need a good site structure and navigation system to rank well.
Visitors (and Google) need a clear navigation structure that helps them get to the page they are looking for in as clear, quick way as possible.
Create a navigation system that makes it easy to get to the end product/service page with as few a hops as possible.
Keep Your End Pages Static
You sell hats, your end page URL is /id-12345
Product ID 12345 is a Large Red Trilby, no matter how people get to your page, if they come from; Red hats, large hats, trilby hats, large red hats, large red trilby hats, etc. the final end page they land on should always be the same URL /id-12345
If you can’t make it so the URL is always the same, use a rel=canonical tag on the other URL’s pointing to the correct one.
Tell people what the pages are about within your navigation structure
It may be obvious to use what Red means, your visitors may have an idea what Red means, but search engines can be incredible dumb at times.
If you sell Red Hats don’t just use Red as the anchor text in your navigation system pointing to your Red Hats page, use Red Hats.
Likewise don’t use Red Hats in your Navigation system when pointing at your Red Trilby Hats page, use Red Trilby Hats.
You need to make it clear what the page is about within your navigation system before the search engines actually reach the page.
Make it clear what your page is about instantly
People are fickle, search engines are fickler.
As soon as a visitor or search engine lands on your page they need to know what the page is about.
The key points in telling search engines what a page is about after landing on it are;
Well Optimised Page Titles
Going back to our Red Trilby Hats page, the title of this page shouldn’t be “Company Name – Suppliers of Hats, Coats and Scarves” as that doesn’t tell Google the page is about Red Trilby Hats, a better page title would be “Red Trilby Hats in small, medium and large from Company Name the hat specialists”
Well optimised headings
Most well optimised pages tend to be divided up a little with different sections having different headings.
H Tags are generally used for the main headings of these sections with H1 used as the main heading, H2 as a secondary heading and H3/H4 tags as less important headings.
It is important not to waste these headings and to use them to talk about the content of the page rather than generalising about the content of the website.
On our Trilby Hats page the obvious title of you main heading, and what should be used in your H1 tag is “Trilby Hats” if it was the end product page and it was a large red trilby hat the H1 tag would be “Large Red Trilby Hat”
Likewise with your H2 tags – If the section is describing the hats don’t just use description in your H2 tags use something like “Trilby hats features”
Note: Something you need to bear in mind here, and what I will come to later, is that your “Trilby Hats” page and your “Red Trilby Hat” must not be too similar.
Well optimised content
SEO isn’t about getting your keyword on your page as often as you can anymore, the key is to have well written, well balanced, informative content which is still clearly about the product.
Read the content out loud to someone who has never seen your site and ask them what it is about, read the content out to a child and ask them what it is about.
If they don’t say “Red Trilby Hats” try to think of better copy that makes it more clear.
Well optimised photos
Remove all the text, show the page to someone and ask what the page is about, if they don’t say “Red Trilby Hats” get some better photos.
Well optimised Alt attributes
Remove all the text, add a broken image link (an image that doesn’t show because the link is pointing to wrong place), show the page to someone and ask what the page is about, if they don’t say “Red Trilby Hats” make sure you are using “Red Trilby Hats” as the alt attribute to the image
Build your Trust
Would you buy something expensive online if you didn’t know who you were buying of?
Make your pages trustworthy by letting people know all about you.
Have terms and privacy pages clearly linked to from every page, have an about section clearly linked to from every page, display your address and contact number clearly, and particularly important if a location based business, keep this consistent every where your business is mentioned online.
SEO isn’t rocket science
Learn the basics of SEO, be enthusiastic about SEO and be approachable and half the battle is over.
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