How to Optimise Your Website

How to Optimise Your Website (H1)

There are many things you can do to each page of your website to improve it's chances of being found in the search listings. This is called Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and there are two types of optimisation - on page and off page. Here we will discuss how to optimise the pages of your website. Each web page within your website has the potential to be found, and rank in the search engines, as an individual page in it's own right.

What is website optimisation? (H2)

The best way to explain it is to use pages on this website as an example, and we will refer to places on a web page to help you understand what we mean.

Below you will find a list of areas within a web page which you need to 'optimise' - this means to add keywords in such a way that it enables your website to be found and ranked by search engines. The specific areas on a web page include the meta tags, navigation and page content. To some extent, your page URL's also count.

Each web page within your website should be unique. To view meta tags, go to any web page and in your toolbar, select view>page source. You will see a list of meta tag details near the top of the page.

You should be looking to optimise each 'useful' web page with no more than 3-4 keywords, though I personally would suggest 1-2 for best results. If you have a lot of products or services you want to be found on the search engines, then give them their own unique web page. When we say useful, we mean any page you want to be found during a search.

You do not need to optimise web pages such as Privacy Policy, Contact Details, Terms, etc. After all, they are not what your potential customers are searching for.

What are Meta Tags (H3)

Meta Title Tag - look right at the top of the website (which is right at the top of your computer screen) and you will see a bar with some words in it. It should ideally contain no more than 66 characters. You should put your main keyword right at the beginning of the title bar and if you have to, put your business name last, if at all.

Meta Description Tag - This is a short 'snippet' which should briefly and concisely describe the content of a particular web page on your website. When you do a search on Google, have a look at the list of results. You will see each listing has a title (this is the Meta title) and then a short description underneath it.This description is the meta description tag. If you don't add a description, Google will pull information from the page and in no order that it makes sense.

The purpose of the description (as well as describing what the page is about) is to hook the web visitor to click through to your website. The words in the description should be relevant to the content of that particular web page and include the keywords as used in the title, including synonyms. You should use no more than 150 characters for the meta description. Put your main keyword right at the beginning of the description and only use it once.

Meta Keywords Tag - now whilst Google no longer uses this tag in it's algorithm as part of it's search tactics, some search engines such Yahoo still use the keywords meta tag so it is still useful to add them. Use only keywords specific to the page (not specific to the website as a whole) and use synonyms too. Use no more than 8-10 relevant words per web page. You cannot see the keyword meta tag anywhere except the page source.

Header tags - H1>H2>H3 right down to H6. These are headings for your page content, starting at the top with H1. H2-H6 are  generally used for sub headings. At the very least, use a H1 tag and perhaps even H2, but the further down you go in hierarchy, it loses SEO value so most people don't go much beyond using H3. The important thing here is to use them wisely and use only one of each in a page. You should use your keywords in the header tags but they should not be a direct copy of the title tag, and each header tag should be different, but using your web page's keywords or its synonyms, in a wider context.

For the purpose of demonstration we have added H1, H2 and H3 to our heading and sub headings in this page.

Use Good Navigation and Page Structure

Navigation is used to enable your website visitors to navigate themselves around your website and ideally be able to jump from page to page with ease. However, another silent visitor - the search engine spider - is also navigating your website, except it finds it's way around by recognising relevant keywords from the meta data and content on each page. You should also link to other pages within your website so it can quickly navigate your website too. Make sure your navigation is also search engine friendly.

Navigation Menu

Whether you use formal navigation menus or hyperlinks to move around your website, you should make sure that you use keywords to describe the page you are taking the web visitor to. You can see in our website we use a horizontal menu for the main information about our company, however the left side navigation menu uses keywords that describe the content of each informational web page we want to be found on the internet by the search engines - these are the keywords that our potential visitors are searching on. I am also able to edit these through my content management system (CMS) if I want to.

Site Map and Internal Links

A site map is the best thing to use to ensure all your web pages are indexed however, you should also internally link your web pages using anchor text. This means using a hyperlink to a web page in your website and in the hyperlink, you insert the keyword for the page you are sending them to. We have hyperlinked the word 'site map' so you can see how easy it is to now click on it, it tells you what the page is about before you click on it. If we use the anchor text Keywords Analysis and hyperlink this to our web page which is about keywords analysis, you can see again how we have used 1) the actual keyword of that page and 2) used a hyperlink to make it easy for you to click through to that page.

Site Structure

You should try to structure your website so that visitors can easily navigate around your website. Don't make it complicated. Use a breadcrumb trail if you need to however, that's only really necessary for a really big website that has dozens or hundreds of deep linking pages. For SEO purposes especially, your visitors should go no further than 2 to 3 clicks away from your home page to find information.

You only need to make a maximum 2 clicks to get to any page on the Indizine website. The further away you go from the home page, the more you dilute the importance of those web pages. It's like saying that the further away your hotel is from the beach, the cheaper it gets! If your home page is the beach and your remaining web pages are hotels, consider the proximity of them to the beach if you were a property developer!

Write Good Page Content

Relevance and quality is what matters. You now have a group of unique web pages, each with its own set of  keywords. Now you need to make sure you write content relevant to those keywords, and also make sure it is good quality - for the purpose of retaining your visitors. If it's not what they expected to read, they will leave. When you clicked on 'How to Optimise Your Website' from the main menu you expected to find out more about web page optimisation. We hope you did!

Keyword Density

When writing your web page content you should ensure you use your keywords just a few times times within the copy, usually in the opening paragraph, once or twice in the middle, and in the final paragraph.The number of times it should appear will depend on your page copy word count. The general average is 3-4 times per 500 words. Whatever you do, don't stuff your web page with keywords. It will not help and it may well hinder you - overdoing it by literally spamming your own web page could get your website penalised. You could drop in the search engine rankings and lose PR (PageRank) score as a result.

How the spider crawls the page

As the spider works its way down the web page starting at the top with the title meta tag, it goes through the description and header tags. It then needs to see your page is still relevant to the search, so you remind it by dropping the keywords in every so often. You should also use synonyms and other relevant words connected to your product or service. So whilst we might use web host, website hosting and free web hosting as our keywords on our Free Web Hosting page, we will also use php hosting, Linux server, bandwith, cPanel or other appropriate and relevant words to our subject matter for that page.

Here is what a back link should look like:

Bouncy Castle Hire Byfleet

Soft Play Hire Byfleet

Soft Play Hire Doncaster


Web Page Content Checklist

If you are happy to write your own, make sure you use:

  1. good grammar
  2. punctuation
  3. engaging content
  4. content that flows
  5. frequent paragraphs
  6. a font type and size that is easy to read
  7. headings and sub headings
  8. anchor text or internal linking
  9. synonyms
  10. other relevant words
  11. occasional bold, underlined or italic font
  12. a good headline to attract readers attention
  13. short and snappy lines in between short paragraphs
  14. around 300-500 words per page if possible
  15. spellchecker!

If you'd rather not do this yourself then take a look at our web page optimisation service.



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