It’s no secret that search engine optimisation takes time. All the link building, social sharing and SEO campaigns can be a slow process. However, on-site optimisation of each page is also a large factor that helps determine how your site ranks.
Each page on your site needs to be fully optimised in order to take full advantage of all your other SEO and digital marketing efforts. The good news is that unless you make major changes to your site or targeted keywords, you only have to optimise your site once.
Here are five things you can do to optimise every page on your site now:
1. Use Your Keywords Correctly
If you are trying to rank for certain keywords, it only makes sense that those keywords are used on your site. Disperse them throughout each page, being careful not to keyword stuff. Also make sure the words you use are natural and make sense, otherwise you run the risk of driving visitors from your site. The keywords you are using should also be included as meta keywords for each page or blog post.
2. Write Title Tags and Meta Descriptions
Each of your pages should have solid title tags and meta descriptions. Depending on what kind of content management system you use, you may be able to use a simple plugin to help you input this information. The results of most search engines display a page’s title and meta description, so remember to make them informative and enticing. It’s also a good idea to include keywords here.
The title and meta description for your pages appear in search results.
3. Include Keywords in Header Tags
Header tags are more popular in blog posts, but can be included on any web page. Use headers that include keywords and that make your page easier to read. When people read online content, they tend to read headlines and skim, so make your content easy to digest and your information and message easy to find.
4. Optimise Page URLs
If your site has pages with URLs that have lots of numbers or strange words, they are less likely to achieve high rankings. Stick with URLs that include keywords and that make sense. Logical and memorable URLs can also help in other marketing and awareness efforts.
5. Create Some Internal Links
Internal links (links to other pages on your site) keep search engines crawling your website. Include some links to other pages on your site and use your keywords as the anchor text. Another benefit to doing this is that your readers will be more likely to spend more time on your site and possibly respond to your calls to action.
On-site optimisation is vital to your success in earning search engine rankings. It is also something you can do in a relatively short amount of time, and normally just once for each page.
Plans are currently in place to roll out Semantic Search for Google over the next few months. After some adjustments to the Google search algorithm, the search giant will begin to ‘learn’ and be capable of making associations between search terms.
So what exactly is Semantic Search?
According to Wikipedia, it’s an improvement on accuracy, but if you peruse any Internet forum or message board, they will tell you it’s a way to make search even less relevant. The theory behind this form of search lies in the way we search for particular pages on the Internet. While Semantic Search won’t make any difference to ‘Navigational’ search—where the user utilises search to find a particular page—it will, however, be beneficial to those with a ‘Research’ style. In this case, the user doesn’t know which exact page they are looking for, but instead has an idea of the kind of information they want to find when they get there.
Search engines like Bing already use Semantic search; claiming to take some of the decision making process out of the debacle of searching. But do we really want to relinquish this kind of control? And will this make it even more difficult to find accurate results for exact phrases. Sometimes you don’t want a search engine to guess what you mean, you just want it to return results containing a particular phrase.
Google has been under fire since the decision to make +1’s—a feature of their social network—an influential part of search results. Will this most recent change mark the beginning of their fall? Google got to where it is today by having few competitors, and by doing a pretty good job. But, Internet users are a fickle crowd, and it would only take a few poor search results to send people elsewhere.
How do you feel about Semantic Search?
Google sure is stirring up quite a storm; from the recent revelations about tracking users on Safari, to their decision to include +1 content in search results. This decision has effectively left Twitter out in the cold, as Twitter feeds will not be indexed by Google.
Despite protests from Twitter:
“As we’ve seen time and time again, news breaks first on Twitter. We’re concerned that as a result of Google’s changes, finding this information will be much harder for everyone.”
And you have to admit, they have a point, have you ever heard the BBC news team say “let’s see what’s trending on Google+”?
Not one to walk away from a fight, Twitter has teamed up with Google’s Russian rival, Yandex to make Russian Users’ tweets available through search, paving the way for this to be rolled out elsewhere. Users tweeting in Russian, Belarusian, Ukrainian and Kazakh will be able to search by @username and #hashtag on the Yandex blog search, or by using a dedicated social media search Twitter.yandex.ru. This is quite a step forward, as Google doesn’t currently index the ‘@’ symbol in their searches.
It’s also a clever marketing step for Twitter, according to the Moscow Times, as this move will raise the profile of Twitter and strengthen its position in Russia.
So Russia’s going to be fine with their amazing Twitter searching abilities, but where does this leave us?
It’s apparent that the inclusion of those ellusive+1’s in search results will skew the results in favour of the most popular sites on Google+. It’s fairly intuitive really—a more shareable site is more likely to be relevant—so the ‘share-ability’ of a page is indirectly linked to the CTR. So in addition to your regular search results, you’ll also see how many people have given the site the equivalent of a ‘stamp of approval’.
How do you feel about social media affecting search results?