Preening Pages – Styling Your Onsite SEO

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With Christmas heading our way at an alarming rate and winter fashion hitting the shops, it could well be time for a little style makeover. I know what you’re thinking; you’re thinking woollen bobble hats, fluffy ear muffs and one piece long-johns, aren’t you?

Well I’m not. And if you’re a canny website owner you shouldn’t be either. If we all screw on our business heads for a moment and look to the coming  months, it’s clear that higher search rankings and increased traffic could really boost sales, both at Christmas and in the January spending spree beyond.

With this in mind, I’ve come up with a trim here and a snip there that should bolster your website’s SEO campaign. Get out your hair products and switch on the hair dryer for a crash course in straightening out your on-page SEO.  

Hair Style

It’s a fact often overlooked by those in the industry, but your page titles are crucially important to your SEO. Ask a representative selection of women what most attracts them to a man and many of them will say that it’s his hair (or lack thereof, depending on preference!) Google is similar, in that the title tag is one of the first things it looks at. 

When you’re looking for your favourite DVD amongst your vast collection, how do you find it? By browsing down the list of titles of course, and Google’s bots are no different. 

The title tag is your first chance to label your site and help ensure that Google associates it with the industry, and more importantly, the keywords, that you want it to. It should not be crammed with keywords, but should contain them in a considered and structured way. Examples of the form that this should take, both for national and regional campaigns are as follows –

National: Keyword 1, Keyword 2, Keyword 3 – Company Name

Regional: Keyword Area, Keyword 2, Keyword 3 Area 2 (If space in 70 character limit company name could be added)

Colour Co-ordination

We’ve all heard the old saying ‘blue and green should never be seen,’ and the reason why it’s banded about so much is probably because it’s true. Like the different components of an outfit, onsite internal linking should be ordered, matching and uniform throughout.

Go to your homepage and make sure that there are references to alternative keywords there, taking care to link to these to the correct sub pages. There should also be references to homepage keywords on minor pages; this all provides a matching image which Google and the other search engines can index clearly, easily and properly.

Accessories

Any budding Gok Wan will tell you that looking good is all about accessories, accessories, accessories. From jewellery to hairclips, it’s important that you have the right trimmings, and websites are no different.

Keywords

Your main accessory is you keyword/keywords, which should be sprinkled delicately throughout every page of the site. Even if the page is filled with multiple ecommerce listings, make sure you still have a little keyword rich text at the top. This attracts the search engines and gives users something to look at when they get to your site.

Imagine a person who is covered from head to toe in bangles, piercings or scarves (a Google image search could probably save your imagination the job). Not pretty?

This is probably similar to what Google bots see when they visit a keyword stuffed site; avoid overdoing it at all costs. 

Alt Tags

These little beauties are the forgotten charm of the SEO world. They’re like eyeliner, lipstick or strategic stubble, (which accentuate the eyes, lips and jaw-line respectively), they bring out a worthwhile feature of any webpage – your images. Label these with your keywords to make the search engines take more notice of your images – this way they will be returned in an image search, as well as enhancing your over campaign (as a non spammy way of including your keywords).

Confidence

While I am striving to stay away from falling too heavily into the self help genre, this is the finishing touch to any outfit. If you look great, you have to feel the part too, and project this feeling onto whoever you meet.

In SEO terms this means striving for W3C compliance, and any other industry accreditations that you see fit to secure. List these on your website, as well as any links to proof of your accreditation to project an impression of your expertise onto visitors.

This shows search engines and browsers alike that you’ve taken a pride in the appearance and constriction of your site, which can lead to quicker indexing times and more trust in your company.

Taking care of these minor on site considerations could lead to real changes in your rankings this Christmas. Internal SEO should be the first port of call for any internet marketers, as without these basics there’s little chance of success, either this year on in those to come.  

Guest post by Joel Tarplin who is a Content Writer for Creare; specialists in SEO, web design, ecommerce, internet marketing, email marketing and video production.



About

Hi, my name is Mark and I'm the owner of SEO Manchester.

I started in SEO in 2009 and have gradually built up my business solely from organic traffic generated via high search engine rankings (mainly Google).

I love building highly optimised WordPress websites and optimising Google Places listings. I am also constantly building on my knowledge of the uses of all forms of social media for marketing effectiveness, particularly Google+.

When not helping clients improve their online presence I enjoy walking the dog around the hills where we live, reading, real ale and (surprise) spending more time on the web.

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