This is a guest article by John Simons. You too can be part of this great knowledge sharing community. Take a look at our guest blogging guidelines
As we all know, Seo (search engine optimisation) is constantly evolving every single week and as a result it means that ranking factors that once were important in Google, Yahoo and Bings algorithms become either less important or essentially obsolete.
This makes online marketing a tougher process to understand because essentially there is no correct answer to any Seo strategy and even if someone did come up with the ‘perfect’ Seo strategy, it would soon become imperfect after a few weeks or months when the algorithm and ranking factors change.
What I want to look at today is what 3 of the most important on-page Seo ranking factors are in 2011 today in my opinion.
This is a very obvious and in many ways simple area of on-page Seo that sometimes is over looked. In basic terms a title tag tells the search engine what is inside the page and so it is important to have every title tag on your website unique, so each page on your website can rank individually. Also it is a good idea to format your title tags in such a way that the key words or key phrase you want to rank for is in the title tag.
Also your title tags should be no more than 70 characters long as Google does cut them off if they are any longer. So for example a health and safety company that is looking to rank for the key term ‘fire risk assessments’ would have a page on their website completely dedicated to fire risk assessing and a correctly formatted title tag for that page should look like this:
Fire Risk Assessments | Company Name
If they wanted to rank for another key term then there is plenty of room to have more keywords in the title tag as well.
A websites link structure in my opinion is of vital importance to both your human visitors and also search engine spiders. There are a lot of link structure options that you can decide upon however I am a big fan of keeping things simple and there is nothing worse on a website than an over complex link structure with too many categories. A website visitor should not have to click more than 2 times to find the product category they want otherwise you run the risk of losing them.
A good link structure is something that a website should really have from day one as it is much more difficult to alter once in place. Furthermore altering a link structure at a later date could mean that any inbound links you have built could end up going to a 404 error page because the URL no longer exists.
So when it comes to link structure, keep it as simple as possible and make sure that you think about your link structure for you human website visitors first and search engines second. In my experience if you get it right for the human visitors then you get it right for the search engines by default.
The aim for all search engines is to return the most relevant and up to date results for a particular search term and so with this in mind it makes sense to have good quality updated original content on your website. I personally think each page on a commercial website should have 100 to 200 words on describing the page and so the search engines have some content to index.
For this reason as well I think a company blog or company news section is a huge benefit to any website on the Internet trying to rank competitively. This would allow a company to write articles daily or weekly on topics in their business market that they could then submit to social bookmarking websites and gain traffic and links from the exposure.
It also allows a company to become a good online resource if they write good quality content which can increase their traffic hugely. So for example if the health and safety company I mentioned above were to blog about new safety regulations, interesting workplace safety legal cases and other useful health and safety related topics every week then they could become an online resource that other company managers and directors would read up on every week.
There are many online ranking factors that are all important to improve your websites exposure on the search engines, however I do believe that the 3 listed above are 3 of the most important factors today.