If you make things difficult for Google right from the start then you shouldn’t be too surprised if you dont get optimal results. The list of SEO tips below is really just basic housekeeping. None of it is rocket science, nor is it particularly new.  If the layout of your high street shop was confusing, messy and badly organised then you would almost certainly do something about it.   You may notice that there is no reference to meta keywords – these are no longer used by Google to interpret and index content.

1. Good page titles:

These should be indicative of the content, clearly demonstrating to visitors and search engines what lies therein. The page title is part of the html code and can be found after the tag <title>. However, you don’t need to know that. A decent content management system should provide the option to set these without having make modifications of the html directly so there should never be any excuse for sloppy page titles. You can see the page title on the page tab at the top of your browser.

2. Meta description:

The text appears as the second lot of text in a search engine results page (SERP), therefore it is a wonderful opportunity to convince your potential visitor that you are relevant to them.  Consider it the strapline to your advertising slogan.  Like the page title, this will be part of the html code that makes up the page, but your content management system should enable you to set this for every page.  If you are using wordpress then consider using an SEO plugin like Yoast. Conventional wisdom seems to suggest that a meta description should ideally be around 130-150 words long as this works well with the SERP layout.  Meta, in case you were wondering, means about itself – so meta information is information about information.  

3. URL structure

URLs should follow an intuitive structure as much as possible and indicate the content so that it can be easily indexed by search engines.  For example http://www.examplewebsite.com/high-voltage-products/voltage-probes is much better than http://www.examplewebsite.com/products/800ei/ which appears generic and unhelpful.

 4. Alt text for images.

Since search engine spiders (aka “bots”) struggle to undertand images you need to give them lots of help.  Adding a description of each image in the alt text (alternative text) is a must.  However, you could enhance this by adding text labels and making references to images from the accompanying text on the page.

5. Use of headings

Headings are important for two reasons.  Firstly, Google uses the headings to interpret the content which it can identify because they are tagged <h1>, <h2> etc. in the html source code.  The second reason is that your visitors are likely to scan the headings BEFORE they decide the content is worth reading.  Poor use of headings is likely to mean lower search engine ranking and less engaged visitors.