On site page optimisation

I know very little about website design and SEO. I think I need a firm/SEO guy to optimise my website.

xr5 writes here

The guy got a whole lot of replies about backlinks and fixing page content. I sent him a private message with my opionion for what to start with – on site page optimisation:

I am not associated with any SEO firms – however I am involved in managing a number of sites for my current employer.

The very first thing you should do is on page optimisation. On page is always in your control.

You want your page to have good structure and relevant content. The very first thing I would do for your front page is make sure there is only one set of h1 tags, currently there are two.

Think of the page like this.

title
h1 – relevant to the title
p – introduction
h2 – sub heading relevant to h1
p – body for h2
h2 – sub heading relevant to h1
p – body for h2

and so on.

I would make sure all the h2 headings have some context with the page. If you are aiming the front page at grannyflats/approvals in general then having granny flats, or a spin on it in each heading tag could be beneficial. The FAQ is also h1 – I would change this to h2 and change it to “grannyflat FAQs” or similar.

The set of boxes that contain why us / testimonials / gallery / contact us need some work. The white text are h2 tags, which is ok. However as mentioned in the previous paragraph they are not relevant to anything. The text underneath it in a seperate p. See below.

<h2><a href=”whychooseus.html”>Why Us</a></h2>
<p>Granny Flats<br /> Sydney</p>

To give this heading context for the page title and h1 I would change this snippet to resemble the below.

<h2><a href=”whychooseus.html”>Why Us
<span>Granny Flats<br />
Sydney</span></a></h2>

As you can see the entire h2 becomes a link (not a bad thing) and the “Granny flats Sydney” is included in the h2 tags to add context. You would restyle “granny flats sydney” using the span tag. This can be applied to all four call out boxes. The br is not ideal, however I was not interested in correcting everything, just giving him an idea of where to start.

To follow thing the page should be modified and each call to action should have a paragraph underneath it. Four headings with no content does not make much sense, correct? So make them contextual.

Why Us
Granny Flats Sydney
You should pick us for your granny flat because we are awesome and you deserve to be awesome too!

etc.

Next up – google apparently uses strong/b to decide important words on a page. Please do not go out and add strong to every occurrence of granny flat, however a few times per page would not hurt. To start you have orange text in your two paragraphs on the front page. They are currently rendered using the below.

<font color=”#FF8000″>Granny Flats Sydney</font>

I would suggest changing these to something a little more semantic to give more context to the page.

<strong>Granny Flats Sydney</strong>

You can style these however you like using the strong tags. Personally I am not a fan of the orange with green and would probably just bold them. This can be applied to most pages. If you want more than a few strong elements I would suggest using a span in place of the font tag you currently have. You can style them the same way, google has no idea.

This is not SEO: While we are on the topic of paragraphs and semantic markup, remove the font tags and make both the paragraphs on the front page the same size. Also play with the line-height, for best results it should be between 1.2 and 1.5em.

I posted yesterday about commented out content on the front page – It appears you have removed it. I would have edited it and left it on the page for visitors. It looked relevant.

One of the most important things to understand is that google likes new, unique content. The more you have the better. If you did not read the link in my previous post I urge you to do so.

The first step you should take is to understand that purchasing backlinks is a thing of the past. Create content that people want and it will get linked to. Going down the road of purchasing backlinks can have negative effects. I would recommend simply writing large pages to start with.

Lastly you have a PDF with some information:
http://grannyflatapprovals.com.au/mind_map.pdf

I would recommend turning this into a page somehow and expanding as much as possible on each point. For instance “Carry out site survey”. How long/how much/why/when/etcetcetc.

Pad it out and tell a story that will help people understand.

The final thing to understand is that each page stands on its own merits. In googles eyes The front page is no more important than the second page. While having contextual links between pages is beneficial, and linking from content that is similar is important, overall it does not matter all that much. You could build an internal page that has higher page rank than the front page if you wanted to. So give all your pages the love they deserve, not just the front page.

Also if you have not, read this:
http://www.seo-theory.com/2012/03/20/long-tail-content-strategy-for-people-who-dont-understand-the-long-tail/