Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the activity that you perform to enhance your website content in such a manner that search engines show your web page at the top of their organic search results for certain keyword combinations. And that’s quite beneficial for your online traffic. Curious how to work your SEO magic?
You can imagine that obtaining a place at the top of the search engine result page (SERP) example in the picture below brings getting more leads a step closer.
The combination of using the right keywords, title tags and meta descriptions is key. Every page on your website should contain a high-quality title tag and meta description, as you can see in the picture below:
Ensuring a high-quality title tag
The title tag is used by search engines to specify a page on the SERP. It tells people what they are bound to find on the webpage. Make sure to use this checklist for title tag-writing:
Your title tag should:
· be a trigger to click, so make the tag as inviting as you can
· be precise and concise
· contain at least one important keyword, related to the page content
· contain your business name
· be no longer than approx. 55 characters
· be unique for every page
PRO TIP: Google is smart and will recognize over-optimized content. Before improving SEO, ask yourself if the change you are making will help readability or not. It not: don’t make the change. Always create and write for your target audience and not for search engines.
Key elements of a winning meta description
Just below the title tag on the SERP, you will find the meta description. This snippet is basically a summary of the content on your page. What happens if you don’t fill out a meta description for your page? In this case, Google will create one itself. Take matters in own hands and follow this checklist for meta description-writing:
Your meta description should:
- be attractive and promotional
- be a summary related to the page content
- contain one or more important keyword(s) related to the page content
- be no longer than approx. 150 characters
- be unique for every page
Be aware that in some cases Google doesn’t use your meta description on their SERP. The search machine might consider your webpage suiting to the search query, but believes that a certain sentence from that page suits better as your tailored meta description. In that case, Google will use that sentence instead. Don’t let this get you down – it’s good practice to define meta descriptions for your pages, it gives you more insight and control of content.
Be sure to get your keywords right
Basically, keywords are the words – or combination of words – that people enter in search engines. You can imagine that using keywords the right way improves your ranking in search engines. And that’s what you want, right? Ending up in the top of the SERP.
Next to this, you ensure a higher conversion rate, the percentage of website visitors that perform the action that you want, by accurately matching keywords with potential search queries of the target audience. Above all, you want to reach the right people, don’t you?
PRO TIP: Not sure what keywords to use on your pages? Do your research! Try Google Keyword Planner for more info and Google Suggest to find useful keywords fitting to the subject of your page.
There are some guidelines to follow for incorporating keywords into website content. Important page related keywords should be used in:
- Headings (H1 to H6)
- Bolded subtitles
- Textual content
- Image file names
- Images title and alt tags
When used right, keywords function as a liaison between your prospected customers – your desired audience – and your website. Take your time to be spot-on.
PRO TIP: Did you know Google recognizes synonyms and related words?
Instead of using the same keyword over and over again, vary with synonyms. Pages that contain lots of different words that relate to the same subject will often rank higher.
This blog is part of a series about online marketing. Read more on how to improve your website usability, question-driven content, social media and the need for speed and security.