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What elements of SEO should I look at next? [SEO Wednesdays]

Last Wednesday I looked at the most important aspects of SEO to concentrate on, and I hope that was useful. With any luck, you might have read that and said: “those are all under control here”. If so, well done, but don’t think I’m going to let you off the hook, because over the next two weeks, I’m going to bring you what I think are the “second division” of things to get right. There’ll be three today, and three next Wednesday.

Let’s start with structure and internal linking. Just as an external link to your page about “blue widgets” will position that page with Google as being relevant to that topic, so you can focus the search engine’s attention with your own links. If you’ve allocated a key search term to every page on your site, think about how the theme might cascade down. Perhaps the key search term for your page about “blue widgets” is indeed “blue widgets” – in that case, it might make sense to have a site structure where the page is a child of another page about the different colours of widgets you offer. That page, called “widgets”, would be linked to from the very top of the site.

And it’s not all about menu structures. You can highlight the key search term for a page with links from within the text on other pages. So on your page about red widgets, you’d mention in the text that you also do a range of blue widgets, and link that term to the relevant page. When you’re publishing a case study or a news story which mentions blue widgets, again, always ensure there’s a link to the product page. Search engines get this.

Finally, last week we mentioned the title of a page as being the primary way to tell the search engines what the page is about, but a similar (if slightly less effective) way is to use the “H1 tag”. Traditionally, this is the way the headline is indicated on a web page. Unlike the page title, the headline actually appears on the page. Unfortunately, bad web designers over the years have hijacked the H1 tag and used it for other elements of the page, such as the company name in the masthead, and you might be a victim of this wasted opportunity. Take a look at the source code of a few of your pages and see if the real headline on the page is enclosed in H1 tags, or if they’re surrounding some element entirely – or even aren’t used at all. If so, have a chat with your website designer.

The source of this blog entry, showing the correct use of H1 tags around the headline

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