Many businesses often focus on too many other factors before first addressing the basic SEO foundations. First you need to make sure the URL structure of your site is solid and optimized for the keywords you are trying to rank for. Secondly, the content of your pages must be well laid out and optimized. This includes titles, descriptions, headers and tagged images. Your should also make sure your keywords are sprinkled throughout your site with the correct density and you have relevant inner linking within your site. Again, Google is looking for purposeful navigation and a great overall experience for the user.
- URL STRUCTURE
The way your URLs are structured is very important. The keywords you are trying to rank for should somewhere in the URL string. If you don’t have the keyword in your domain name, then it’s advisable to get them in the inner pages. Your site should have a clear structure that is easy for search engine bots to crawl and even easier for potential clients landing on your site. The video outlines best practices we use for our client sites and gives examples of potential structures you can use if you are stuck with your domain name.
Page titles for search engine bots can be manipulated easily by adding an SEO plugin to your website. We use Yoast SEO for the majority of our sites as it is very user friendly. Your title for your page should include the main keyword you want to rank for in its exact form. You can include anything else you want in the title but we just tend to use the brand name of the site.
Again, these can be created and edited easily with an SEO plugin. The description is the two lines of prose that are listed below the title and URL on the SERP (search engine result page). You should try to get a variation of your keyword in the description. If you are trying to rank for a location, I would mention that in the description too. Descriptions should be a true summary of what the page is about but also be keyword rich where possible.
As mentioned in a few places on this site, Google is always looking to reward content that is unique and valuable. If you have just cut and paste pages of your site from another, the algorithm will be able to tell. Also if your content is riddled with bad grammar and spelling mistakes, Google’s bots can spot it a mile off. In both cases, you will be punished for sloppy and un-original content.
Let’s not forget that Google is a computer, so (at the moment) it cannot read images. When the bots scan your site, they can only read code. For this reason it is important that your images are optimised correctly. This means getting your keywords in your image file name and also populating your ‘alt tags’ with keywords or variations of those keywords.