I’ve been contacted by a few companies in the last few months regarding our SEO basics posts. A common question we’ve heard centers around which SEO elements should they implement on-page (on the website)
It’s important to remember that you’re not trying to game the system. SEO and Google have the same goals. To get the top listings you just have to fulfill the criteria that Google uses to rank you… Google is very much customer focused. Build for the customers then you’ll build a site the search engines like.
Classic Website Mistakes
Fresh content – I’ve stated this on many occasions but fresh content is a key-factor and a mainstay regarding the Google algorithm. This hasn’t changed and probably never will.
Why Google Likes It – The simplest indicator of a useful website is fresh content. Fresh content means the site and information is up to date and most importantly more than likely you’re still trading. This is done by the Google spiders revisiting the website.
e.g. You’re a HR company that has no fresh content or news on the website. Alternatively, you update the site with the latest HR information and proactively provide good content that adds to the readers experience. Which version is Google going to want to refer? Google knows you’re still trading and most importantly you’re probably more relevant. The more the search engine spiders analyse a website, and you’ve added to it, the better you’ll rank.
H1 Tags – You should have a h1 tag on each page that gives a good description of the service you offer. Great for placing keywords but better for telling the customer what the page contains.
Why Google Likes It – Simply, it enables clear navigation and direction to customers. Search engine wise, it very clearly categorises each page and adds context to the meta data.
Over optimisation of homepage text. You’ve seen those sites, lists of keywords that are hyper-linked to internal site pages. Their is no context to them. Most of the time, they’re not even written in constructive sentences, just placed in lists.
Why Google Hates It – Google not only looks at the keywords, and those that are linked, but it uses the text around to provide context. Lots of hyper-links and sitelinks is indicative of linkfarms and untrusted sites.
Personally, you shouldn’t optimise a homepage for more than three keywords.