I have lost count the number of times I’ve come across websites that have a superb, aesthetic design, but haven’t bothered to make a few simple changes for their on page SEO strategy.
It’s like this: you decorate your new shop inside with glorious interior design scheme and window dressing to die for, and then leave the shutters down 24/7. Well, that’s a valid analogy and should be taken seriously, especially if you’re a local business. If done correctly, it can help your business get seen and can bring in the extra cash flow you need to stay solvent.
So what do I mean by on page SEO (search engine optimisation)?
If people are going to find your website, you need to optimise your website;
Here’s a list of Do’s and Don’ts for on page SEO
1. Don’t copy your text from someone else’s website. Duplicate and non unique content is frowned upon by search engines and will do you and your website’s online credibility any good at all.
2. Don’t over optimise your pages and stuff as many keywords as possible into the body text or title tags.
3. Don’t use keyword density tools and aim for the highest possible density for your target keyword – this is old hat and will definitely result in an over optimisation penalty.
4. Do carry out thorough keyword research for all your pages. Write your page copy naturally, with keywords in mind whilst you’re writing. Obviously, if you’re trying to rank for a keyword, it should at least be on the page once.
5. Do be careful with your title tags and header tags; don’t over align them. So if you own an online battery store, avoid setting your title tag, your H1 header and your H2 header to ‘ Cheap Batteries Online’
6. Do avoid over doing the internal linking using keyword based anchor text.
If you’re a small local business, you can quite easily benefit from your on page SEO strategy for medium to long tail search terms. Especially for location related terms eg. ‘chartered accountants high wycombe’
I can recommend some background reading into the Google Panda changes and how to survive the Penguin updates, which were released earlier this year. In a nutshell, write naturally, engage your visitors through your websites pages and don’t over optimise – shows you’re not trying to manipulate the search engines.
Here’s a classic example of a company that has forgotten to even do the basic optimisation of their websites home page (the most important page on any ones site) and category pages. See the Zenbedroom’s home page – there isn’t even a brand name in the title tag and with a null description tag as well. The eCommerce project manager must have been half asleep on one of their overly expensive beds.
You can always acquire the services of a trusted seo company like Rankability and get them to evaluate and audit your website. If you have a number of websites, get them to do the first one, and maybe invest in some SEO training, so you can replicate the process.
A small degree of optimisation can go a long way. Neglect your website, and you’ll be neglected by the search engines.