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So here are a few tried and tested, on-page "quick-fixes" that we implement when we bring a client on board. These basic SEO techniques can help to improve your position in the Search Engines and, more importantly, improve conversion rates on your web site.
1) Titles, Meta Description and Meta Keywords: Yes, I know we all harp on about this in SEO but it really is a no-brainer. Correctly optimised Titles, Meta Descriptions and Meta Keywords will improve your keyword rankings - that's a fact, it's indisputable. Here at I-COM we've seen it so many times in the past - poor Titles and Meta that are duplicated across the site or are missing the correct keywords in the Title and Meta Description. When these are optimised correctly we suddenly see a jump in rankings for the client.
2) Proper use of header tags: Time and time again we see web sites which are missing <h1> headings. A very basic error. It's important to ensure that the <h1> heading is both present and contains suitable keywords - keywords that are related to the actual content. There is an argument that the <h1> heading is not as important as it used to be. I don't hold with this - the heading is important for 2 reasons - a) It tells the search engines what the web page content is about and more importantly b) it tells the reader what the web page is really about. You wouldn't write a chapter of a book or a newspaper article and not name it would you? So why write a page of web content and not tell the visitor what it's about?
3) Make sure the first paragraph contains the most important information: I've seen lots of web sites where the first paragraph has little or no information about the page content. It's an immediate turn off and if I can't find some relevant information in the first paragraph then I can't be bothered to read any further. As Steve Krug famously said "Don't Make Me think" :D. The first paragraph is the most important paragraph in the entire web page. This is because it's the first paragraph visitors and search engines scan and they both assume that it's a summary of the content. Therefore it's essential to have the most important keywords of your page in the first sentence or two.
4) Clear concise content is essential: Poorly written, grammatically incorrect and difficult to understand content will only lead to one thing - visitors becoming confused and leaving your site in droves. If you are not very good at writing content then leave it to the professionals. Here at I-COM we employ several consultants with English related degrees but we leave the majority of the content generation to our 2 full time copywriters. Writing your own content is not a cost saving exercise - it takes a lot of time to write up web content (generally in the evenings after work) and very often it will end up being optimised incorrectly for search engines. Time and time again we've seen a clear increase in visitor conversions for client websites when content has been rewritten and optimised properly.
The "quick-fixes" above are very much the tip of the iceberg in SEO terms. There's often a lot more to do to make a web site more successful in the search engines and even these "quick-fixes" will prove time consuming and require some degree of prior knowledge to implement. Before you begin to implement any of these techniques you will need to research the correct keyword phrases for your business, understand what generally makes a good Title, Meta Description and above all what makes good web content.