Yes, hello everyone, this is Ralph Stulgies from F1RST and today I would like to talk about different SEO aspects as part of a four-part series. So, today we’re talking about traditional on-site SEO aspects and for this we will just also look at some real-world scenarios and translate those things to actual concepts that you can easily check on your own website. So, you can make sure that you’re ticking all the boxes when it comes to your SEO.
So, basically, what we’re first looking at, we’re going to our website here and I will just pick a blog post from our website. So, I’m just going here to the news section. Let me just pick possibly this post here. So, the first thing we are going to look at – so you see here’s the post and this one is called “Free Advice From A Coffs Harbour Website Consultant” – first of all, we are looking at the keyword / content ratio.
So, what we’re trying to do is, first of all, we do some keyword research. Then we come up with a list of keywords that is applicable to our business and also keywords that create a lot of traffic to our website. And we can base that on historical Google search history data. You can use the Google AdWords Keyword planning tools for that. So, basically what we’re looking at here is our focus keyword which is ‘website consultant’. And, if I just do a search for this on this particular page, and I just highlight all the occurrences of our focus keyword, you can see that we have sprinkled it throughout the content in various places. You got to just make sure that you don’t also overdo it. So, a nice amount of placement of your keyword is usually good. And if it feels naturally – like, if it feels natural to read your content, without it seeming artificially keyword enhanced, then that’s usually a good thing.
So, in this case we have our keyword here in the heading and we have it throughout the paragraphs. We also have it here in the subheading and, yeah, just basically in various places and this ratio between how long your actual website or page content is in relationship to how often your keyword appears on it, that is a very important consideration.
So, what we’re trying to do is basically really optimize each blog posts for a particular focus keyword. And, what we can see here is also we have a featured image here. So, in terms of images, which is our next point that we’re talking about, we will basically look at the alternative information that we have attached to these images.
So, if we just look here at the image info, we can see that basically with this particular image – I just got to close this – new image info now I just got to find this particular image, yes, so we have an alt text. The Associated text which is this text here. So, we have once again our focus keyword in the alt text as well which is great. And, also, if you’re looking through your website, just make sure that you provide all this kind of alternative information to or your images.
And, basically, yeah, if you just look at these images here and you right click on it and show the image info then what you should be doing is basically have nice descriptive text for each image. And that is also very beneficial for people that have disabilities and use screen readers. For example, if they are vision impaired and, also, of course for search engines. As search engines can also kind of mimic the behaviour of people that have impairments and then see if your website is nice and accessible for those particular groups.
As well what we’re also looking at is, if you look at your images, you would also like to have nice file names for your images so rather than just calling an image 123A, 123B or something in-descriptive like that, it’s nice if you actually use keywords for the filenames of your of your images. If you’re using WordPress, you can also just use spaces in-between your words and WordPress will automatically add the hyphens for you. And, that way you can also then place more keywords on your website.
And, what’s basically a good kind of guideline, is to describe what you can see in the picture, while still be relevant to the context of your business or your services or your products.
Now, what we also have to consider is, things like backgrounds. How we have this kind of slowly zooming background here and also this kind of dark grey background here. If we have backgrounds that are used for style purposes, we usually don’t need to attach any additional information such as alt tags or title tags to those images as they are purely just for styling reasons.
And, in this case, we can also use low resolution images so that they load quickly. And – yeah – just in this case, this would be an appropriate use for background images. In some cases you find websites that have essential images, like how we see for example here we have here our clients photos, and what is important with these photos is that they are actual foreground images and actually sit on top of your actual website so that we can use them for search engine optimisation.
In some cases, web designers get that a bit mixed up with background images and foreground images. And you might have a website that appears very nice, but actually the images, even though they are essential images, are set up as background images. And that basically means that search engines don’t really look at them properly and take them into much consideration as background images should just be used for styling reasons. So, that is an important consideration.
Another one is, if you have graphics that contain text, it is usually is better practice if you use text as actual text. And use graphics or images as images. But don’t use basically a graphic of a text because – yeah – that is just a bit changing the way that search engines will index that kind of content.
Even though search engines do recognise the content of images, it is just better to have the native formats for text being text and not use a graphic showing text. That is just a good consideration.
Now, next we will be looking at the semantic structure. So, we’re going back to our blog posts that we had previously. Now, the semantic structure basically means, we’re making use of headings and paragraphs.
So, this here is a heading 1. There should be only one heading 1 for each page. That is the main heading.
We’re using paragraphs, these would be further down the hierarchy of the headings, the heading 2 and if you have subheadings that are in the hierarchy below these heading 2s they would be heading 3, heading 4 and so on.
Now, what we can also use, is lists. And, basically, there is ordered lists – so something that happens in a sequence – 1, 2, 3 – that would be an ordered list, or we can have just bulleted lists for items that are just listed where the order is not particularly important.
And these are the main building blocks that make up our semantic structure. So, we have headings, we have paragraphs, we have lists, ordered and unordered lists, and that is the basic foundation of any good document. And, in terms of that what I mean with ‘semantics’ is, basically, from the way we use that kind of formatting, search engines can then interpret the meaning or the importance of certain parts of the text.
So, we want for example now the main heading that is basically summing it all up in one sentence. That is the main statement of our piece.
We have paragraphs which form the bulk of our content and subheadings are basically indicating the subject matter of certain paragraphs and the same with lists. As I said, if something happens in the sequence, we use an ordered list or if we just kind of enumerate certain items, we can then just use a bulleted list or an unordered list.
So, yeah that is basically some great ways to use a semantic structure for your website.
Next, we are looking at the URLs. So, URLs basically are the address of your website or of a particular page or resource in your website.
So, if we look at this here, we have this nice keyword rich URL here. This is done with the help of WordPress.
So, what we’re trying to you to do is basically create URLs that are user-friendly, that are logical and then are keyword rich. So, what this means is, user friendly, is just it is a human recognisable format.
So, we’re just using words here, so we have basically our main domain or our main website address, forward slash and then a sub folder or a subdirectory with a nice name for our page.
And, also, it is nice to have this in a logical manner. So, what we see here for example when we look at ‘portfolio’ we have this called, basically, f1rst.com.au, forward slash ‘web design portfolio’.
Now, if we’re looking at, let’s say the content managed websites, then that section ‘content managed’ is in the hierarchy contained within the ‘web design portfolio’ so that also shows a bit how these certain pages relate to each other.
So, basically, ‘content managed’ is a subcategory of ‘web design portfolio’ and ‘web design portfolio’ is a resource or, you know, a subordinate directory within the main domain.
So, that is a logical structure. And what we’re also trying to do, is this to be nice and keyword rich. So, if we can include our main keywords in this URL that is always beneficial. As this is also a place where we can insert those keywords for SEO purposes.
Another on-site aspect for SEO is an SSL certificate. So that basically means, you have this padlock here in your browser bar and there is a secure connection between your website visitors and web server that serves up your website.
And basically you install an SSL certificate which a security company provides for you. And it is a form of basically high-end business-grade encryption that ensures that if sensitive information is exchanged such as, you know, personal information or payment details, credit card information and so on that it is nice and secure and can’t be intercepted by third parties.
And, basically, Google and other search engines have made a big push towards secure connections.
So, if you have an SSL certificate that will definitely benefit you in terms of your rankings.
Now we’re looking also at another aspect, which is hyperlinks. So once again we go back to our article that we had here previously, our blog posts, and, ideally, what we’re trying to achieve is, link this article to other pages within our own website so it makes sense to link to these are internal links.
You can also link to other resources or other websites on the internet which are basically external links. And what we also have to consider is that sometimes there are links that just result in a page-not-found-error or just, you know, you click on it and nothing happens. So, these are dead links. And what we’re trying to do is eliminate those and have as few or possibly no dead links at all in our website.
The last on-site SEO aspect that we look at today as part of the traditional factors is a site map.
So, if we look at this – this is a dynamic site map for our website, and this basically has a list of XML files. And each of those XML files contains another list of all the different pages that make up our website.
It also has information in there about when these pages were last modified, and this XML sitemap is basically a road map to our web site. Making it very easy and convenient for search engines to index our websites.
And what we do with this is, we go directly to Google Search Engine Tools or Google Webmaster Tools or in some cases Google Search Console and submit these sitemaps to the search engine. We can also, for the Microsoft version who are using Bing as a search engine submit it through Bing Webmaster Tools.
And that is just a very good way to work together with the major search engines to make sure our entire website will be indexed by the search engines.
And, yeah, that’s it for today. So, the next session we will be looking at the traditional off-site SEO factors. All right, thanks a lot. Thank you, bye.