You may think that SEO techniques involve some kind of trickery, or perhaps some top-secret steps that only search engine optimization professionals know about. In fact, search engine optimization is not extremely difficult, it just involves following some simple rules. There are some very simple steps that even a novice webmaster can take to optimize their website for search engines.
I’m not saying that SEO techniques are so easy that even a caveman can do it (yes I know, it’s a bad joke). Because although the rules are basic, following them requires some knowledge and technical skills. But anyone with beginning web programming skills can certainly do their own basic search engine optimization.
If you’re ready to get started, you can optimize your first web page in less than an hour. Because the first steps in any SEO project begin with on-page factors. Unlike off-page SEO, on-page SEO is easy for a novice webmaster because it only involves changing or updating elements that are actually on the web page, elements under his control. Let’s take a look at the most common on-page SEO techniques.
** Create keyword-rich title tags.
I should point out that web page title tags and headlines, header tags, and file names are not the same thing. The title tag is the phrase that appears in the upper left corner of your web browser. Your title tag is only visible in the code of your page. You can take a look at your page’s code by hovering your mouse over your web page, right-clicking, and then choosing “view page source code.” Somewhere towards the top of the code, you should see a Meta title tag.
Showing up in the browser window is one thing, but the real reason your title tag is so important is because it shows up on search engine results pages. When a web surfer enters their search term into Google and Google gives them a list of web pages to visit, the blue underlined text in that list is taken from the title tags of the web pages. Since this is the first information web searchers will see about your web page, you need a title tag that will entice your prospects to click through to your website.
Also, your title tag tells search engine bots what the content on your web page is about. So you want your title to contain your keywords to give Google an idea of what your web page should rank for. And you want to use a unique title tag for each of your web pages.
** Create attractive meta descriptions.
Now that your web page titles have been updated, let’s take a look at your meta description tag. You won’t be able to find your description tag in the browser window anywhere. Or anywhere on your website. The only way to see your description is to view your source code, just like we did to view your title tag. Once you’re in your web page’s source code, search for “meta description” to see the content of your description tag.
Even though your description doesn’t show up anywhere on your web page or in the browser window, and even though it doesn’t technically factor into your search engine ranking, optimizing it is still one of the most important SEO techniques. Your description appears on search engine results pages below your title tag. Without a compelling page description, you won’t get many clicks to your website.
Writing high-quality title tags and Meta descriptions is a definite art form. It is actually similar to writing classified ads. You need to pack a big punch in a small space. Your title tag should be no longer than 60 characters and your description should be no longer than 160 characters. When creating your titles and descriptions, place your keyword phrases as close to the beginning as possible. When your listing appears on search engine results pages, the search terms will be displayed in bold.
** Create Headlines that are Headlines.
Now we want to take a look at your title tags. It sounds silly, but headline tags can be tricky. You may think it’s a headline when you look at it, but Google may not agree. Your text may be bold and it may be large, but if it’s not contained within a title tag, it doesn’t count as a title as far as search engines are concerned.
If you are not sure about your title, you can check it again in the source code of your web page. Take a look at what your title says; you might even want to highlight it with your mouse and copy it. Just like you did to view your titles and meta descriptions, simply hover your mouse somewhere on your web page, right-click, and then click “view page source” in the popup menu .
Once you’ve opened the web page’s source code, click Edit, then Search in the menu bar, and type in your title text. When you find your title in the source code, you’ll want to see the beginning of it. The start tag should say H1. You may see a “p” tag instead of an “h1?” tag, indicating that your text is a paragraph and not a heading. For maximum search engine optimization, you want your titles to be contained in title tags and not paragraph tags.
Replace “p” tags with “h1?” It is the first SEO step you will take with your web page titles; next, you’ll want to see the actual content of the title. You should include your keywords or keyword phrases within each of your titles. Using “Welcome to my website” as your home page title is pretty weak when it comes to search engine optimization.
** Always use image ALT tags.
And the last on-page SEO factor to pay attention to is image ALT tags. The ALT tag is the text that is displayed when a browser has the display of images disabled. Basically, your ALT text describes in words what the image is about.
ALT text is not specifically for SEO, it is for usability. However, it can also support your search engine optimization efforts. You never want to put keywords in your ALT text if the keywords don’t actually describe the graphics, or the usability of your website will suffer.
Even though these on-page SEO techniques are easy to overlook, they will have a definite impact on your search engine ranking. However, if your website doesn’t include unique keyword-based content, all the on-page SEO tweaks in the world won’t help your SERP position. In addition to addressing these on-page factors, the most crucial SEO technique is to post content based on keywords that your target market will find useful.