On Page SEO Basics
On page SEO or search engine optimisation is making sure that your website is as search engine friendly as possible. If your website is not optimised then you have less chance of getting good results in the search engines, here is a quick guide towards good on page SEO:
- Make sure that all of your web pages can be indexed by search engines - make sure that they all have at least one link from somewhere on your site.
- Make sure that you have unique content on every single page.
- Make sure that your meta-tags are arranged correctly - your page title tags and description tags should describe the content of your different web pages. The page title tags should be less then 68 characters and the description tags more detailed but less then 148 characters.
- Make sure you label the different headers on your web pages using H tags.
- Make sure that your web page URLs are SEO friendly, use mod re-write for Linux and Apahche hosting or use IIS redirect for Windows. Ideally make it so that the URLs describe your content i.e. use domain.com/blue-widgets.php as apposed to having something like domain.com/product.php?cat=146. Use hyphens or underscores to separate words in the URLs.
- Make sure that the links within your site are complete i.e. if you are linking to the blue widgets page link to domain.com/blue-widgets.php as apposed to just blue-widgets.php.
- Make sure that you use descriptive URLs for your images i.e. use blue-widget.jpg as apposed a bunch of numbers and or letters .jpg.
- Make sure that you label all of your images with descriptive alt attributes.
- Make sure that you make good use of anchor text links within your content - if you have a page about blue widgets, use the phrase blue widgets in the text that links to it.
- Make sure that there is only one version of your site - 301 redirect all non www. URLs to the www. ones or vice versa.
- Make sure that there is only one version of your homepage - 301 redirect the index or default page back to domain.com.
- Use the rel="nofollow" tag in the links to websites that you do not trust, you think maybe using spamming techniques or you do not want to help in the search engines.
- Make sure that your code is valid, in some instances bad code can lead to search engines not being able to properly read a page. Use the W3C validator to check your markup.
If you follow these guidelines you are on your way towards good on page SEO and to good rankings in the search engines.
This SEO article was written in 2007 and updated in 2009 by David Eaves, a UK-based search engine optimisation specialist. You are free to publish it on your own website as long as you provide a link to this page.