BASICS OF SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMISATION
Search engine optimisation is all about making sure that your site is optimised so that it ranks highly in search engines. Search engines are constantly trying to match the best content to the keywords the customer is searching for. In this article we discuss some of the changes you can make to your site to ensure you rank at the top of the search engine results (SERPS).Search engines want to provide the most relevant content. They do this using complex algorithms that take into account hundreds of criteria to generate a prioritised list of results. The criteria can be divided into “on-page” and “off-page” criteria.
On page criteria
On-page criteria refer to all those aspects you control directly as they are on your website.
- Use a domain and URL that reflect the keywords you are trying to target
- Avoid using flash, tables. This prevents search engines from accessing your pages
- Use keyword-rich links to the page within the site. Google and other search engines will know what the page is about even before they get there
- Add your page to the sitemap, and upload your sitemap to the search engines
- Use only one header tag (H1), and ensure this reflect the keyword you are targeting
- Add your keyword to title tag, meta description, meta keywords, at the top of the page
- Optimise the keyword density on your page
- Off page criteria
Search engines give very high importance to the quantity and quality of links to your site. Every link is considered a vote, and more votes you have the higher the ranking in search engines.
Again, it’s all down to relevance – search engines assume that if you have a lot of sites linking to you, then your site must be worth while visiting. The main off-page criteria are therefore:
- the number of sites linking to your site
- the quality of the sites linking to yours
- the description of the link – try to have relevant keywords in the links to your site