On Site Optimisation
Once we know what our ideal keywords / key-phrases are, we set about displaying their results accurately. If you do not set out your meta tags properly, the search engine will randomly select text from your site to display under the search term.
The Title Meta Tag appears at the top of the browser window, or can be described as the heading of the search result. Carefully worded, it can be used to differentiate your result from a competitor’s.
The Description Meta Tag displays the description of your site in the search engine results underneath the Title Tag. The maximum number of characters that can be used is 250, so it is well advised to short and crisp, but accurate with keyword rich copy that best describes the content of the site.
The Keyword Meta Tags were once very powerful because they were sought by the search engines and converted into the results of their searches. The major search engines no longer take any notice of the Meta Tags, but some smaller search engines might still do so, so it is worth addressing this area, but as a low priority.
When you hover your mouse over an image or text link, if coded, the text you see is called the Alt Tags. They are considered as good coding practice because search engines can only read text, NOT images. Alt Tags can aid the optimisation process by allowing the search engines to match the descriptions to the search.
It is vitally important to consider two main elements when writing the copy of your website. In order to satisfy the needs of the visitor to your site, and the requirements of the search engines, it must be easy to understand have the correct keyword density and placement.
This is the ratio of a keyword or keyphrase to the total number of words (referred to as the depth) on a page. It is a major influence on search engine optimisation. To improve search engine ranking, your keyword density must not be too high, but then again, not too low.
Try to aim for a keyword density of between 2% and 7%. Don’t try to stuff all your keywords together, separated by commas. Search engines may see this as spam, and consequently, will penalise your rankings.
Ensure that your keywords and keyphrases appear towards the top of the page, but one good tip is to end the copy with the relevant keyword in the last paragraph also.
Validation is the process of minimising coding errors and fixing broken links. This is a part of SEO that you are unlikely to notice, but will have a dramatic effect on your ranking; so clean up any errors on your web pages. Generally, mark up languages such as HTML or XHTML will be used to write the pages.