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Page optimisation: is there a Golden Rule for search?

Yes but there is no single rule to follow for optimising search position.

  • Include links
    There should be at least 3 links to other pages that are relevant to the topic search. See Short headlines increase engagement, SEO
  • There is at least one relevant high-quality image (suitable for Social Media scrape)
    add the focus keyword in its alt description. See First impressions are fast
  • Have a compelling meta description
    This will show in search results so has to make sense.
  • Check for ease of reading:
    Main points first then elaborate in body of page. Make the reader's search for your article worthwhile and have them wanting to know more with short, sharp and clear points. 
  • On a web page 50 words presents in the same way as 100 words on an A4 paper page:
    This means you do not have to create as much copy. What you do create must be succinct and straight to the point.