Overview: This guide has been written with Google specifically in mind. Google currently holds around 65% of the search engine market and is the second and third most used browser in the world (Chrome and Firefox).
Page Title: This is one of the most important SEO factors as it tells the search engine and therefore your customers what the page is about. From Google’s point of view, the first word is the most important, the second word the next and so on. The alias or slug is the title Google sees, so this should include your keywords and top search terms.
Meta Description: This should be a unique accurate description of the page, the recommended size for a description is around 160 characters although Google will choose the most appropriate sentence from longer descriptions to best suit the customers search terms. You should think about this as an advert on Google that will result in you getting as many clicks as possible. Whilst these should be written for the customer as well as Google, you should try and include keywords in your page description that are also in your keywords and on page text. Google will then see this as more relevant which in turn will help your rankings.
Keywords: You should aim for in between 5 – 11 keywords that are relevant and you want to optimise, any more than this can be seen as keyword stuffing and can be detrimental to your ranking in Google’s. Whilst the use of meta keywords are said to be no longer used by Google still helps define the page and tie your SEO together. Once you have a list of keywords you can run them through Google’s keyword analysis tool (Edit: Now only available to Adwords customers), this will show you how many searches are being completed on your keywords. We would recommend ranking these by local monthly searches and using the highest, most relevant keywords for this page. All keywords should be lower case and be separated by a comma.
Body: Each page needs to have what Google calls ‘Good Content’, don’t forget that you are writing for real human beings. When they are doing a Google search, they are looking for useful and relevant content. Whilst you must ensure you include your keywords frequently on the page, it must be in a correct and normal way and all content must make sense. You should be aiming for between 2% – 6% keyword density on you page, anything over this runs the risk of being seen as keyword stuffing and being blocked by Google. Again, you want it to read like normal English, and embed the target keywords as many times as would make sense. But be sure that there is a correspondence between your target keywords and the page content. After all, you cannot optimize on a keyword if you do not include that in your text. It can be useful to change the text to ensure it is more SEO friendly – as long as you don’t change the message.
Images: Images can’t be ready properly by Google so you need to make sure their alt tags or Titles are correctly labelled, this will enable them to been seen and will add to the relevance of the page. These can also come up when search in Google images which is another good way to bring interested customers to your site.
Links: At the moment all the outgoing links are set to no follow, this way you won’t be giving your ‘Google Juice’ out to anyone. Getting other well ranked and relevant sites to link to your appropriate pages on your website will greatly add to Google’s perception of the importance of the pages and the site which in turn should increase your rankings and search position in Google.
(Editers Note: There have been several big updates to the way Googles algorithms work so we will be producing an updated version of this very soon!)1