ORLANDO, FLORIDA — Some people assume that there must be some secret trick or magic involved in the search engine optimization of a website, but, according to SEO consultant Ali Husayni, on-page SEO consists of basic techniques, several of which he explains here.
“Search engine optimization is the ongoing process of making a website appealing to search engine spiders and readers alike through the site’s content, relevancy and popularity,” says Husayni, who is president of SEO firm Millionairium.
One aspect of this SEO process is called on-page optimization, which entails altering a website’s code to make it search engine friendly, explains Saeed Khosravi, the operational manager at Millionairium. While the internet has list after list of tips or tricks for doing that, sorting out the tried-and-true SEO techniques from outdated and detrimental ones is a never-ending process.
“Google’s algorithm is updated frequently, so what worked last month might be obsolete today,” says Khosravi.
The reason the search engine algorithms change frequently is because they are making adjustments to more effectively mimic the human behavior of reading, analyzing and organizing content. Husayni says some updates are intended to thwart exploitative SEO tactics used by black hat companies.
One of these big updates rolled out in the U.S. in Feb. 2011, and Google began “rating” websites on their content and user-experience. According to a recent article by Search Engine Land, the focus of the updated, named Panda, was to reduce the prominence of websites that have thin, low-quality and duplicate content. It also targeted sites that come up short based on other site-quality metrics, such as high advertisement-to-content ratios.
Where To Get Started:
Husayni says what he has said from the beginning of his career in the industry: that an ethical SEO company works with the Google algorithm instead of trying to take advantage of it. Here are some simple, current, effective and aboveboard methods that Husayni uses with his clients, ranging from the medical field to real estate to heating and cooling:
Easy to understand navigation. This includes the top menu, footer links, breadcrumb navigation and HTML sitemap. Do not make content hard to get to or structure the site in a way that only makes sense to experts in the industry.
Automatically updating sitemap. Set the XML sitemap to update automatically to keep the navigation current and the latest content easily accessible to search engine spiders and readers.
Utilize header tags to organize information. According to 3Schools.com, Header tags are used to define HTML headings with <h1> defining the most important heading and <h6> defining the least important heading. Using tags helps lay out textual information for the reader.
Link to other useful places within the site. This is also called friendly interlinking. Website content is supposed to be helpful for the reader. Linking to a page that expounds on a topic, issue or technique mentioned on a different page builds an internal link structure that benefits the business, the reader and the ranking on SERPs.
Use consistent URLs. Stick to one version URLs, redirecting all the other versions to the preferred one. For example, redirect non-www to www, https to http, and the one without trailing slash to the one with trailing slash.
Be informative with URLs. A short, keyword-rich URL is much more useful to readers than one that uses an ID number or another ambiguous parameter. Keywords need to accurately explain the page’s contents in a succinct way. This information shows up in the SERs and helps a reader decide if the information is relevant, which means Google is also factoring this into their algorithm.
Put unique page titles and descriptions in the code. The page title shows up at the top of the browser window, but the title and description also show up in the SER. Accurate, informative and short information helps a reader decide if the page is what they are looking for.
For example, search for “Google free optimization,” with Google on your browser. In my search, the Millionairium website listed as the third result after the ads. The page title and description, as well as the URL, all provide key information about what the reader will find on the actual page.
These SEO tips are designed to make a website easier and better for the user, not just make a page rank higher on Google’s search engine. Husayni says that on-page optimization is only about five to 10 percent of the total SEO work, so he will explain more on his blog in the coming months about the other components needed to create a site Google will love.