SEO Basics

Here is our simple SEO guide to help get your website ranking well. This guide is meant only as a basic SEO guide and can be used as a starting point for your SEO campaign on your own website.

The guide will run through various ranking factors for on page SEO and off page SEO.  All of these elements can be checked using our SEO reporting tool and you can also check out a sample of our branded SEO PDF reports.

So let's have a look at some SEO basics...

 

On Site SEO Factors

Title Tag

The title tag on your web page is one of the most important elements of on site SEO.

Search engines will use the title tag in their search engine results pages (SERPS) as well as using the title tag to better understand what the page is about.

You should have your target keyword phrase for that particular page within the title of your site. This should then be followed by your website name or brand name. So it would look something like this:

My Target Keyword Phrase - My Brand

Ideally, your title should also be no longer than around 55 characters. It should be short and punchy.

Google currently has a display limit of 512 pixels for title tags, so depending on the words and letters used in your title tag, Google may truncate the title when used in its SERPS.

Meta Description

The meta description is also vital for on page SEO and allows you to tell Google and the other search engines exactly what the page is about.

Google will often use the meta description within its SERPS, but may sometimes use a snippet of the content on your page instead.

You should have your target keyword phrase within the meta description as well as 1 or 2 synonyms if you can squeeze it in (without keyword stuffing of course).

A meta description should be between 100 and 150 characters.

H Tags

H tags are used as headings to help separate sections of content on your page. They give a hierarchy to the content on your page.

The headings should be short and punchy and not be used for lengthy pieces of text.

The H1 heading tag is the largest of the headings and holds the most weight in regards to SEO. You should aim to have your keyword phrase or a synonym in the H1 tag.

H2 tags are next in the H tag pecking order and can be used to benefit your SEO strategy. You should have several H2 tags on the page and they should contain your keyword phrase and some synonyms - again without keyword stuffing or appearing spammy!

Flash

Flash is dead! End of story.

Search engines don't read any info within Flash files so essentially Flash is useless for SEO purposes. If you have Flash on your page you should get rid of it. Flash files tend to be fairly large, adding to the overall size and performance of the page so just get rid of them.

Frames

Frames or iframes (inline frame element) are no good for your SEO either. Google can't get to within a frame to read it's content so iframes are worthless as an SEO addition to your page. Get rid of them!

But, sometimes frames can not be avoided and are necessary for the page - although rare. But if you can avoid the use of frames and iframes.

Alt Attribute

Images can't be read be Google or any other search engine, which makes them pretty useless for SEO.

This is where the alt attribute comes in.

The alt attribute allows you to write about what the image is. It is a field to describe the particular image and tell the search engines (and screen readers for the visually impaired) what the image is about.

Google and the other search engines will read the alt attribute and give it some weighting for SEO purposes.

How much weight the search engines give the alt attribute is anyone's guess but you should include keywords and synonyms within your alt attributes - but only if it is actually describing what is in the picture.