On-Page SEO Top Tips

Search Engine Optimisation Checklist

Top tips for site audits on-page SEO fundamentals.

Search Engine Optimisation ChecklistThis counts as a great starting place to ensure that Google finds you, finds everything, finds it all easily and indexes it into natural search results. This presumes you have already found a reliable tool or method of conducting keyword research. Keyword research is key to any Search Engine Marketing strategy.

1) Make full use of title tags.

On your website you can include targeted keywords and you have 70 characters to use. If you sell a particular product or brand it is especially important to include it & other keywords in your site’s title.

2) Work and re-work meta-description tags.

The description tag has little influence on Google search engine results page rankings, but you have the opportunity to motivate potential customers/visitors to come to your site as the description tag will show on the SERP (search engine results page). Check what your competitors are saying on both their description tags as well as their Google advertising (PPC). What you say in your description tag may be more enticing than the usual 20% off this-and-that.

3) SEO friendly URLs.

Depending on how the website has been developed, incorporating keywords into SEO friendly URLs can be the difference between a 2nd page keyword ranking and prime 1st – 3rd prominent search listing. Consider the following:

www.my-website.com/my-product/my-product-variation/
vs.
www.my-website.com/?p=1

4) Double check your CSS.

Cascading Style Sheets don’t just format your website and make it look pretty. Make use of H1, H2 etc headings and include targeted keywords, brands or products therein. The Google crawler follows the w3c standard in understanding your site so it’s important to be compliant. http://validator.w3.org/

(side-note: There’s plenty of debate about the value of H1 tags and some will suggest that ensuring your important target keywords are as high on the page as possible is just as effective – check out this great video from seomoz on the topic http://www.seomoz.org/blog/whiteboard-friday-the-biggest-seo-mistakes-seomoz-has-ever-made )  

5) Check the speed of your site.

No user/customer/visitor likes slow page load times. And in e-commerce fast page load times build confidence that your site isn’t going to stall during an important transaction (even if in reality your payment gateway has total control over that). https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/

6) Setup Webmaster tools and upload an XML sitemap.

An XML sitemap with all your website’s pages is very important. Google will never guarantee you that all the pages you include in your site map will rank highly in the search engine, but the crawler definitely inspects it with great interest. Keep it up to date! http://code.google.com/p/sitemap-generators/wiki/SitemapGenerators