Content is one thing. The code side of things is another. Here are ten vital attributes of an SEO-friendly web page from an html perspective. Get it right and you’ll help search engines analyse, rank and rate your pages accurately and fairly.
10 tips for an SEO-friendly web page
- include the topic of the page in the url. It’s logical – if I had a financial services copywriting page I’d call it something like financial-services-copywriting.htm to make the contents completely clear to search engines
- include the topic in the page’s title tag too, to make it even clearer what you’re on about
- include it in your image alt text to drive the message home
- make sure the top level header – your <h1> tag – mentions the page topic to keep the pattern going
- order your message so you cover the most important information immediately after the opening <body> tag, so Google and co can understand your priorities
- use subheads to break the information into sensible chunks and give search engines more useful clues
- mark up your content with the right tags so search engines can classify it properly
- embolden or italicise important points so search engines know they’re important
- keep your code simple, clean and beautiful in the mathematical sense. If in doubt, run it through a code checker
- keep your pages small and neat so they load as quickly as possible
You’ll notice all ten come with a benefit to searchers, which is what it’s all about. When you make life easy for search engines you naturally improve the user experience, and vice versa.
What else does on-site SEO involve?
There’s a great deal more to on-site SEO than meets the eye. Here are just a few of the things the experts take into account when analysing a website’s insides:
- url structure
- the number of outbound links per page
- breadcrumb navigation
- paginated content
- filtering options
- site search
- CSS validation
- site performance
- broken links
- errors, 404 pages and blocked urls
- follow/nofollow links
- crawl stats
- search engine index status
- duplicate page titles, content and meta data
- overall site architecture, navigation and useability
- the priority given to on-page information
- mobile accessibility
And there’s more… Luckily, as a rule the more complex your site, the more complicated your on-site SEO.