Search Engine Optimization. Noun. Definition: The process of maximizing the number of visitors to a particular website by ensuring that the site appears high on the list of results returned by a search engine.
It doesn’t take a digital marketing guru to realize that, if you don’t come up on page one of a Google search result, you’re not going to get a lot of organic clicks. With the major search engines (Google, Bing, and Yahoo), changing their algorithms more often than most people change their hairstyles, it’s tough to keep up. However, there are some basic tips and tricks that have been fairly stable for several years. Let’s take a look at each.
On Page SEO Tips
The first thing that Google will notice are the keywords in your page URL. A good example is the URL of this page. I want to rank higher in search engines for people who are looking for search engine tips & tricks that one could do on site, so the URL for this page includes those keywords: https://qballdigital.com/on-site-seo-tips-&-tricks.
A page title is the second thing that a search engine recognizes. Each page should include keywords that people search while accurately describing the content of the page. For example, the page you are reading now has a page title of “On Site SEO Tips & Tricks | Search Engine Optimization | QBall Digital.” Hopefully, you would agree that the page title is on target for this page!
Be careful, though. The worst thing you could do is misdirect people to a page that doesn’t have the content that you page title suggests. For example, if the content of this page was really about Search Engine Marketing and Pay Per Click Google Ads, it would be misleading to have a page title of SEO Tips & Tricks.
The most effective page titles are about 10-70 characters long, including spaces. Here’s a snippet-optimizer that allows you to see how your titles look on Google and other search results.
Have you ever noticed that a search engine result page (SERP) listing contains some very basic information about each organic link. Those include the Page Title at the top, next is the URL, then a brief text description about that page. That description is the “Meta Description.” If you don’t take control of each page’s meta description, Google will take a best guess and display the area of the page that returns the most keywords that the searcher entered. I recently did a search for “Best Dog Groomers Indianapolis” and this is what a result looks like with no meta description:
Not very effective. Take control of what users see by creating a meta description on each page that is between 160 and 300 characters (including spaces.) This is a much better meta description for “Dog Groomers Indianapolis”:
Although the meta description doesn’t directly affect your SEO ranking, a good description will get more clicks that a poor meta description or no description at all.
There are many heading sizes that you can use in HTML. This page contains 3 different heading sizes (so far!) At the very top is “On-site SEO Tips & Tricks” that is considered an H1 tag. This is the biggest size you can have on a web page. Next is an H2 tag that says “On Page SEO Tips.” Each of the paragraphs under the H2 have an H3 tag, including “Page URL” and “Page Title.”
Every page should use the H1 tag at the very minimum. As with the page URL and page title, it should be a few keywords that best describe the content on the page. Be smart: use keywords that people will likely enter into Google or Bing and don’t try to trick Google into thinking you page is something that it is not.
We suggest adding ALT text to your images so that it’s easier for search engines to index them. Search engines don’t physically see images the way people do. ALT text is an option that allows you to specifically describe the image.
ALT text attaches a description to your pictures so that they show up in Google and other search engine’s image results. Make sure your website images have their own specific ALT text. To find out how to assign ALT text to your images, click here.
Just the Basics
These are the basics for each page that you create. Of course you should also include keywords throughout the text of your pages, but be careful not to “keyword stuff”, repeating a lot of the same keywords too often through the page. The major search engines will catch on to you! They will likely ding you and send your pages to the bottom!
Our next blog will focus on other things that you can do in the backend, such as XML sitemaps, Robots.txt, Schema.org and more! Stay tuned!