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On-Site SEO

The first of the two major factors in search engine optimisation is on-site optimisation. The foundation of your entire SEO strategy is what you do on-site. If your on-site optimisation isn’t right, your off site optimisation won’t be as effective.

What is on-site SEO?what is SEO

On- site seo is everything you can influence and manipulate on your website and as such is the easier aspect of your overall SEO strategy. What you do on-site accounts for
only a small proportion of SEO, approximately 20%.

Why so little?

If on-site optimisation had a much larger influence over where your website ranked in the search engines, then sites would be built to suit the search engines and not people.  If that was the case, the sites that topped the search rankings wouldn’t necessarily be the sites that those searching want to find. Search engines are constantly changing their algorithms in their pursuit of being able to give searchers what they want at the first attempt. Google update their algorithm daily.

These are the factors that make up on-site SEO

HTML Coding

These are the aspects of your websites code that to varying degrees effect SEO:SEO Metatags

  • Title Tags
  • Meta Tags
  • H Tags
  • Anchors
  • Image Alt Tags
  • Em & Strong

If you are able to edit the code on your website, then the coding element is relatively straightforward.

 Content & Copy

The most difficult aspect of on-site SEO is the creation of high quality content.

Without the copy on a page, search engine spiders wouldn’t know the subject of the page and therefore wouldn’t know where to rank it.

A search engine will know if the content on your site is copied from another site. Site that use copied content are penalised in ranking terms.

When writing copy, your first priority is to make it well written in the eyes of your visitors. Whilst doing that you should also keep in mind your keyword density.

So the search engines know that your site is active and well maintained, your content should be regularly updated. A website that is continually publishing fresh content, is more likely to be re-crawled by the search engines.

Images

Although search engines can’t see images, they still have a part to play in SEO.

  • If your image file sizes are optimised it will help reduce your page load speeds
  • The alt attribute of an image counts within the overall keyword density
  • Optimised image names can generate traffic from image searches

Page Load Speeds

The speed in which your pages load is factored into the search engines algorithms. You can analyse your page speed here.

Pages that take too long to load may well time out when visited by search engine spiders, don’t get indexed. If this happens regularly, the spiders may not return.

The first place to look when optimising your page speeds are the file size of your images.

Another area that you should look at is the “on page scripting” including JavaScript and CSS etc. It is advisable to run these scripts in an external file. Grouping these scripts together will reduce the number of calls that the web browser needs to make to download your JavaScript.

Other Factors

To a small extent, the location of your server is relevant. Having a website hosted in the UK that is targeting traffic from the UK is better than a website hosted in the USA web hostingtargeting traffic in the UK

Domain names also have an influence. If your domain has been around for a few years it will fair better than a new domain. Having a domain name which includes your main keyword or keyword phrase is also an advantage. When you do appear in a search, your domain will have relevance to the searcher and invite more clicks.

 Summary

If you know how to code, and understand the rules, the on-site optimisation of your site is relatively straightforward. On it’s own it makes up about 20% of your overall SEO strategy. The remaining 80% is hugely more difficult and time consuming. Off-site SEO isn’t a science. It is constantly evolving making it difficult to stay on top of. There is no manual to tell you how to do and the results of your efforts are never immediate. The only way to keep up-to-date with the best practices is to research, test and analyse, then research test and analyse some more.

On-Site SEO can be learnt pretty quickly, yet Off-Site may take years to fully master. SEO is a continually moving industry, keeping completely on top of it is very difficult.

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