SEO Basics For On Page Optimisation

SEO Basics For On Page Optimisation
by guest author Tim Grice

There are many common myths that float around the SEO industry often confusing the less experienced SEO’s and in some cases seriously misleading the newbie webmaster. One such myth surrounds on page SEO and it’s effects on search engine results. There are 2 common myths that exist and both are false:

  1. On page SEO is useless for Google Optimisation
  2. META Tags are the only important aspects of SEO

OK, let’s start with the first fallacy. It is true to say that Google weighs off page factors pretty heavily, however it is false to claim that on page optimisation doesn’t figure. The truth is that recent research shows that Google gives around 60% weight to off page factors and the rest to on page. This clearly leaves a great amount of importance on on page search optimisation and it is important to understand how to use it to increase your sites online presence.

This post is going to highlight the most important areas of your page to optimise and how to do it. Once you have your page optimised you can then start building the necessary off page factors as doing off page first may lead to relevancy issues and Google is all about relevancy. (I will deal with the META tag myth within this post.)

Title Tags
Title tags should never be underestimated and play a huge role in where your pages are indexed for relevant keywords. However the 2 most important reasons for optimising your title tags are:

  1. Search engines put a good amount of weight on keywords within them.
  2. It is the first part of your page searchers see in the search engine results page (serps), therefore it needs to attract a click.

Your title tag is the most important SEO aspect after your anchored inbound text and should be used as follows;

  • Only have 1 title tag per page and use your relevant high traffic keywords within it.
  • Make sure it is directly under the header tag (adds to relevance).
  • Use a unique title tag for each page of your site (Google ranks pages not sites).
  • Try to create title tags that are between 3 – 10 words and around 75 – 100 characters.
  • If you are targeting local traffic, ensure your title tag includes your location.

META tags
First thing to get out of the way here is that META Tags have no bearing on ranking, none at all. This was largely due to the fact that spammers were manipulating the algorithms and messing up the Google index. Saying all this META tags do still serve a valid purpose as part of your campaign. The most common META tags are the keywords and description tags. The keywords were originally used to determine the content of your site however as I have hold little or no weight now. Despite this I still encourage clients to add their top 3 keywords and 3 – 5 variations, as you never know what Google might tweak in the future.

The description tag is used to list your page within the serps and therefore can be used to entice a click, after all SEO is all about driving relevant traffic to your site. If you do not use the META description tag Google will simply make one uping your content. This may not do the page justice and you could be missing out on clicks.

Heading Tags (h1 etc..)

The heading tags were originally designed to help you organise your content and it has become more and more apparent that Google use them to determine the content of your page. In fact Google gives a lot of weight to the keywords within your H tags and you should use this knowledge to your advantage. Use your main keywords in your tags and variations of the same keywords. Use the most relevant keywords nearer the top of the page as they will receive greater weight.

ALT tags
If you use a lot of images on your site it is important to show what they are about. The Google crawler cannot read image scripts and therefore using the ALT attribute will allow you to tell the crawler what the image is referring to. This once again helps to increase relevancy and allows your page to be fully crawled without missing vital content.

On page optimisation is still an important SEO aspect and needs to be given time and attention. Doing this will maximise your overall SEO efforts.

If you are looking to learn more about SEO then please visit SEO Wizz, where you will find quality seo tutorials that you would normally have to pay for elsewhere on the net.

Related posts found in this blog:

Getting the perfect link

Writing effective blog headlines

How to fix alt and title tags in the new

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39 thoughts on “SEO Basics For On Page Optimisation

  1. Thanks for the fast reply!

    Are there any chances I can do a gust post on this blog regarding on SEO topics? You name the topic and I’ll do my best to provide some quality content.


  2. Hy Tim,

    I’m glad you raised awareness on the importance on page optimization still has in the SEO process. It definitely lost a big chunck of the popularity it once had.

    If you permit I want to make some sidenotes concerning some sections addressed in this post:

    Title tag – in Google, keyword being present in the title tag isn’t a tweak that improves rankings of that particular webpage, due to back link ranking power.
    – should be limited to 65 characters. this is the maximum lenght that Google shows in its SERPs.

    Keyword Tag – currently isn’t used by Google in its algorithm and it won’t be due to high exposure to spammying.
    – I don’t agree with including your top 3 money keywords in this section because competitors could very easily (accessing the “view source” in the browser) steal your hard researched keywords.

    Description tag – it only shows up in the SERP if it contains the searched keyword.

    If you’re looking for more details on the topic, here’s a post I’ve made 3 months ago []

    Hope it serves you well!

    Thanks, Tim and hope we could brainstorm on other ocassions.

    • Hello there,
      Tim published this guest post back in February of this year and your post is 3 months old. The next time Tim stops in I’ll draw your comment to his attention.

  3. Pingback: Creating a new blog « one cool site: blogging tips

  4. Pingback: Blogging: How to lose me as a reader « one cool site: blogging tips

  5. I’m so excited – I am already on the second page for using the same strategies you mention here.

    You have a great following here – I found you on the first page for SEO Basics, so is most of this traffic and comments to your site organic? I am building a local network of business owners and internet marketers to form a blogging/commenting community. I will try to check back with you and let you know how that goes… I am subscribing to comments also because I see you will respond!

    Take care, great article!

  6. wow…. very great information. I enjoyed reading your Post. SEO never die…if talking about seo, usually i use all in one seo pack plugin for my wordpress blog because wordpress is my best blog engine

  7. Nice article to read on SEO. Really the basics about seo is interesting. Moreover can you post any good seo books for reference purpose. I need to learn more about SEO . I want to build up my career in SEO too. please guide me well.

    What is the career path for a SEO Person ?

  8. @lunaticg

    Image code usually looks like this

    simply input the ALT at the end of you code and close it with “/>

  9. @Sayz , I haven’t attempted using any outline CSS I am don’t know if it will work on a custom blogger template. I have simply bordered a few things to make them stand out. Blogger is limited as far as design is concerned, I have been messing around with my H tags for a while and it is a knightmare as I have to adjust all the attributes. I simply find it is easier to rank blogger blogs not to mention the free referral traffic, I have had 25 blogspot referrals today, and I haven’t even posted :)

  10. @buddha,

    Some aspects of SEO are more difficult than others. If you find you are struggling with anything simply drop me a line, I’m always happy to help :)

  11. @timethief : Oh, yeah… now you mentioned it, but everyone who host their own blog can use that plugin… :D

    @buddha : No, it is not… or maybe I am too geekish, LOL~

    @Tim: Yeah, blogger platform really give us a lot of control except one thing, an inline CSS… :D, if only we can use an outline CSS…

  12. @Doc – Glad you enjoyed. This is the very basics of on page optimisation and when it comes to blogging all you really need is the on/off page basics, unless your pages are loaded with graphics.

    The most crucial element to get right with your blog is to ensure you create link juice to all of your pages and not just the homepage. I try and build a minimum of 40 – 50 links to each of my posts to enure a good flow of PR – Once I am assigned it :)

  13. @Sayz – Yes it is really important to make each page of your blog unique I’ve used the wordpress plugin before. Now I use blogger platform but a little tweaking with the template provides this perfectly.

  14. @Tim’s reply to me:,

    I have very little or no technical knowledge Tim! I didn’t tamper/fiddle with the code. It is a made-up image posted like a normal image in sidebar hyperlinked to my feed subscription. Feel free to suggest if I need to improve something on my blog. Thanks.

    P.S.: liked the phrase ‘grey hat’!

  15. @Sayz
    This is a wordpress.COM free hosted blogs so we can’t use plugins. On my personal blog wordpress.ORG self hosted install I do use the plugin you suggest. … lol :D

  16. @Vikas lol, I just took a look at your source page, I see a little fiddling with the code. Not black hat, may be a little grey :)

  17. @Tim’s Reply,

    75000 readers is a made-up image Tim! Just for fun! That is why it has the title ‘What’s life without humour’! But I have got many emails and queries on that by visitors! Kinda harmless black-hat technique, you can say! :)

  18. Thanks Vik. I guess with 75000 subscribers you don’t really need to worry about SEO. How did you get that many???

    TT – Much prefer this layout, thanks again :)

  19. Thank you Tim for these on-page SEO basics. SEO is indeed highly mythicised. I have a very personal blog and don’t really care much about the SEO thing unfortunately.

    I will surely keep the ALT tag and heading tags in mind, just the same. I have really been ignoring these aspects. Timethief has also discussed the importance of ALT tags in an earlier article that I have bookmarked.

    P.S.: Timethief, the new theme is cool! I had predicted in the morning in my comments to the WP admin announcement on the new theme that this theme is going to entice many! It got a high-profile convert! The header looks cool (blogging tips instead of WP blogging tips is an improvement).

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