Monday, 21 December 2009

Death to 2005; SEO for 2010

By Jon Paget
2005 was a great year. Gorillaz were top of the charts and the UK was enjoying a booming economy (seems like a long time ago doesn't it). Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) companies had already started to promise the world (a trend that unfortunately continues) and keywords were crucial to Google's assessment of your site.
And as we approach 2010 things have certainly changed. Social media has greatly influenced this year's Christmas No.1 (Rage Against the Machine) and we're still in a recession. So, 5 years on and a lot has changed around the world; including SEO.
Over the next three weeks I'll be reviewing three of the most (historically) important on-page SEO factors to determine what you should and shouldn't be spending your time optimising.
Part 1 starts with the HTML Title (Title Tags)
What is a title tag?
This is the string of words that sit at the top of a web browser and, in windows explorer, are written in white font on the blue browser bar. See below.

So should you optimise your page title?
Yes. It remains the case that the page title is important to on-page SEO. In fact it's still one of the most important factors the search engines will use to assess relevance and establish a ranking.
How to optimise your title tags?
Here are some useful guidelines:
  • Ensure your most important keywords are included at the beginning of the title (decreasing importance placed on every word after the first word)
  • Try to keep your title to 70 characters so make sure every word you include adds value
  • Keep punctuation, capital letters and grammar consistent on all of your page titles
  • Add geographic locations - can be a good way of getting fast results (if applicable)
  • Don't stuff your title with all your keywords*
*Remember that each page of optimised content should be specific. Very specific. Don't water your page's relevance down by stuffing too many keywords in it.
Next week: Part 2 - Optimising your meta description.

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