On-page optimization is becoming more and more important nowadays. It set as the fundamental in order to rank high. Based on my observation, majority of the websites in Malaysia are not optimized yet. You still can see plenty of website with their company name as their title or even just “Home” as the page title. Visually it looks perfect but it is poorly design in SEO point of views. You may spend 5 or 10 minute works to make the changes but may potentially help your website rank high if you are in low competition niche industry. Here is the basic but important on-page optimization you should check.
Site Meta Tag – Title and description
The first rule must be followed in on-page optimization is put a valid title and description tag. There are many Malaysian companies make the biggest mistake to put in their company name as title tag. E.g. “Welcome to Larry Trading pte ltd” or “Welcome to LarryTrading.com”. Then, never put description tag in their web page. As mentioned in my e-book, search engine weight heavily on title and description to find relevant website based on user input. If you never use any related keywords, search engine will never able to find your website.
Description tag should include your primary, secondary keywords and provide descriptive information to explain your site contents. Do not put in adjective words like “the best” and “cheapest”.
Find out more on how to use meta tag here: http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2067564/How-To-Use-HTML-Meta-Tags
Navigation structure and URL with keywords
The navigation of a website is important in helping visitors quickly find the content they want. Avoid putting all pages in one root directory. I highly recommend having at least 2 or max 4 levels. It’s depends on your content and number of pages. You should try to put your target keywords as part of your URL.
Navigation menu also play an important role to make sure search engine can crawl all your pages. Always go for text link or css menu link instead of Flash menu, Silverlight menu or java applet. This is because search engine do not understand them. The other important factor is never ever use frame or iframe in your page.
Why heading tags are important for Search Engine?
Heading tag in HTML are refer to special code, <h1>, <h2> to <h6> tags are designed to define headings. <h1> defines the biggest heading text and <h6> refers to the smallest heading text. You can find out more about heading text at http://www.w3schools.com/TAGS/tag_hn.asp
There are few reasons why we use heading tag. Heading tags are used by search engines to identify words which are more important than the rest of the page text. The theory is that headings will sum up the topic of the page, so they are counted as important keywords. Multiple heading sizes used in order create a hierarchical structure for your content, making it easier for users to navigate through your document too.
When come to optimize content of your page, you will need to use heading to define your content title and sub title. Personally, I recommended using heading from H1-H3. Here is an example how to layout your heading tag:
Offer cheap online shopping on clothes and fashion product in Malaysia (H2)
Body content goes here…Shop online and get free delivery (H3)
sub title content goes here…October Promotions (H3)
sub title content goes here…
However, heading tag need to be used wisely. There are things you should not do:
- Placing text in heading tags that wouldn’t be helpful in defining the structure of the page
- Using heading tags where other tags like <em> and <strong> may be more appropriate
- Erratically moving from one heading tag size to another
- Over use of heading tags throughout the entire page
- Putting most of the the page’s text into a heading tag
Note: You may find that the default styles aren’t exactly what you need. In particular, the default sizes can be quite large. You might like to define your heading styles using CSS.
Optimizing web page content for user and search engine
Since Google implement Google Panda and Penguin in their search algorithm, content is becoming more and more important factor in order to rank high. Creating compelling and useful content will likely influence your website more than any of the other factors discussed here. Users know good content when they see it and will likely want to direct other users to it. This could be through blog posts, social media services, email, forums, or other means. Organic or word-of-mouth buzz is what helps build your site’s reputation with both users and Google, and it rarely comes without quality content.
Nevertheless, it will be even better if quality content is optimized with keywords rich and search engine friendly. The trick to optimize your page content is using most important keywords frequently and in the right places without compromising the readability of your content. But do not over optimized you content with all keywords. Google may penalize as keyword stuffing. Here are some few tips on how you can achieve the goal.
What is the word count should be?
- The word count of your page should be between 200-1000. Too much or too little is not recommended to search engine as well as your user.
- Articles with word count<200 is known as “thin” content. Google may penalize your site if the percentage of thin content is high over your total articles. It won’t hurt if you only have few of them.
How frequent my keyword should be?
- First, never fill up every keyword in a single page. This simple dilutes your site’s relevance and reduces readability. The search engine will see your site as spam, and visitor to your site will find it hard to read.
- A good guideline is tried to keep your site-wide average keyword density of around 2%. Density is a measure of frequency in relation to the total word count of the page. If your page has 500 words and your keyword phrase appear 10 times, its density is 2%.
- It is best to only target one main topic keyword per page. If you need to target more than one topic keyword, simply create a page for each.
Layout position of the content
A good rule of thumb is always placing your important content with rich keywords on top-left position. This is because search engine will assume the top content is the most important content. In fact, visitors do always read from the top to bottom. Newspaper always has the headline news on the top of it. So, make sure your important content always is at the top of each page.
The benefit of having good and fresh content
I personally help various types of websites to implement SEO campaign in the past. Similar works have been done to clients in the same niche industry but noticed that website with rich content and update regularly often able to rank higher and faster. This is the proven facts and indeed matches Google’s intention to rank high on web page with good content and update regularly (See more about Google freshness algorithm here). So, content is an important factor in order to rank high.
Conclusion, all the guidelines above are simple and easy to do. It definitely can help your site rank better if you do it correctly.
Read more about image optimization.