Search Engine Optimization is the array of techniques and tactics used both for onsite and offsite optimization of websites for relevant search queries that prospective site-users type in search engines to find products or information.
The objectives of SEO are to:
- Technically optimise the website so search engine bots can crawl it and find all the content on the page and analyzes it.
- Optimise the content of a website so search engines deem it worthy to index it.
There are 3 major components of SEO which are critical to meets this objective:
- Technical SEO
- On-Page Elements & Content Optimisation
- Off Page SEO (also known as Link Building or PR)
On Page Elements & Content Optimisation
Onsite SEO is designed specifically for crafting website copy around targeted keywords, refining website architecture (XML sitemap navigation), image optimization and building a well thought and SEO-friendly internal link structure. Keyword placement is the key factor of a well optimized page. It is important to incorporate your most valuable keywords into sensitive areas of a web page like:
- URL (permalink) structure
- Title tag
- Meta description
- H-heading tags
- Image ALT tags
Writing SEO-friendly text actually means texts that are search engine friendly. But since the user is becoming increasingly important, you definitely should not lose sight of the person that reads it. When writing texts, you should therefore take into account: SEO (search engine are able to find you), your objectives and your audience. Writing texts is called copywriting. Good copywriting can enhance readability. On a screen one reads very different from paper. Reading from a screen is generally tiring, people read more slow and online readers are impatient.Large texts with long sentences will certainly not contribute to this. People search for information and scan through the information. Headings, checklists and images are all very important.
- Use short, powerful and convincing sentences of up to 15 words
- Create short paragraphs, text blocks with a minimum of 3 and up to a maximum of 6 sentences
- Use a clear font and color, and choose a size of 12 points or larger
- Make sure the text color is in contrast with the background (preferable black and white)
- If possible and relevant, use summaries
- Use the same font as the logo of the website
- Do not use capital letters all the time.
Avoid duplicate content
Thanks to attractive texts, visitors are persuaded to buy your product or service. Duplicate content (copied content that is also available on another website or even the same page within your own website), is labeled as plagiarism by the search engine and is not recognized. It is therefore important to create new content and not copy texts literally. Make sure your content is unique.
Use Heading tags
In order to keep texts organized and manageable, it is important to insert headers. The big advantage of headers is that you need to incorporate the most important keywords. Heading tags such as h1 and h2 are used to create web texts. This is how search engines know when they are dealing with important keywords in the text. Keywords in a heading tag are more valuable to search engines than words that simply appear in the page text. If you create your page correctly with headings and optimize with the right keywords, the page ranks higher in search results.
It is recommended that the main headline (this is usually the first) gets the H1 tag. In fact, the H1 tag is considered as very important to the search engines. If your main keyword is in it as well, it is even more perfect, as people are able to find you better in their search. It is smart to use several tags instead of just making them bold. The tags give information to the search engine, while bold text does not. A H1 tag can be applied once on each page.
As the H1 tag can only be applied once on every page, it is smart to use the H2 tag for other (sub)titles. When you have multiple keywords, display them in the other titles with a H2 tag. These tags also enable visitors to find your website by entering relevant keywords.