How Wikipedia’s on-page SEO is almost perfect by default

I’ve been asked many times what a really well-optimised web page looks like, and perhaps the best example I can give is a typical Wikipedia page. We know it works, because the Wikipedia page is invariably the top result in Google for an exact match search on the subject. So let’s see what we’ve got. Do you have all of these in place?


The page ranks number one in Google for the search “pressure sensor”. From the top, we have the “Title” tag as “Pressure sensor”. We have the page file name as “Pressure_sensor”. We have a headline (in an “h1” tag) of “Pressure sensor”. The text begins with “pressure sensor” in bold, and mentions the term several more times. The image is captioned with “pressure sensor”. The image filenames are things like “digital_pressure_sensor.jpg”. I could probably go on.

Now, of course, you’re never going to get all the external links which a typical Wikipedia page has. But then again, you’re not trying to compete with Wikipedia on searches where it has an exact match result, unless you’re deluded. You’re going to be competing with other manufacturers in your field, and there’s no reason why you can’t do better than them.

The observant might notice that Wikipedia doesn’t use the description meta tag, which I still recommend we all take the time to create on our major pages. This is because it’s hard to automate (Wikipedia doesn’t want its contributors and editors to be writing stuff for SEO), but also because it doesn’t need to. If Google doesn’t find a description meta tag with the exact match search, it will use a “snippet” of text from the page for its description lines. And in Wikipedia’s case, that would normally be the first sentence, or part of it, which works just fine:


You, on the other hand, can’t be so sure that Google will find something as good on your page, and it’s worth the time taken to craft a good description meta tag.

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