The prime objective of any SEO best practice is to make every page on your website as user-friendly as possible. Keep in mind that visitors are viewing your website for a reason, whatever that reason may be. Your job is to manage the functionality of your website in such a way as to make it easy for visitors to navigate from one page to another, obtaining whatever information they are searching for.
Remember first and foremost that website optimization is designed for consumers you are trying to attract to your business. It is not optimized for the search engines. If you create your website for the customer you will be on the right track.
Today we are going to briefly discuss 5 basic elements of SEO that at first glance appear to be too technical to understand. But if you follow this pattern for every page on your website and update your site with the diligence of a lioness who daily provides nourishment for her cubs, some remarkable things are going to happen.
Each component may need further explanation and for that, we have included links and sources for further study. Please know that the world of search engine optimization changes frequently, however, the following components are still necessary for any successful SEO campaign.
5-Steps to a Successful SEO Campaign
Create unique and accurate page titles that explain the nature of the topic to users and search engines. Each page on your site should have a unique title. If the page appears in a search result the title tag will appear in the first line of the search results and helps determine the relevance for possible visitors. Avoid unrelated page titles. Your page title must reflect what is actually on the page. Avoid using the same title, lengthy titles, and keyword stuffing.
Best Practices for Page Titles
- Describe the page content accurately
- Create unique title tags for all pages
- Use brief, but descriptive titles
Description Meta Tags
Meta tags should summarize the content on each page. It might be a sentence or two or an entire paragraph. Google search uses these summaries as snippets for each page. Ensure that meta tags are used on all pages in the event a search engine cannot find a good selection of text to use in the snippet. You will notice that snippets are in BOLD text to help users quickly assess if any particular site contains the type of content they are searching for. Avoid meta tags that bear no relationship to the page. Avoid generic descriptions such as, "this is a page about books" or "this is a webpage." Avoid meta tags that only contain keywords. Avoid using the page content – as in a copy and paste – as the meta tag. Avoid using a single description across all pages and work to create a different description for each page.
Best Practices for Meta Tags
- Summarize a page's content in such a way that interests and informs users to know if your page is the one they are looking for or not.
Identify two keywords that relate to the page's content. Select one primary keyword and one variation of that word. Try Ubersuggest, the generous and powerful keyword engine, now owned and operated by SEO guru Neil Patel, to find out if a certain keyword is available. Marketers need to know what keywords searchers are using to search for the things they want.
Best Practices for Keyword Research
- Is the keyword relevant to your site's content?
- Will searchers find what they are looking for using the keywords you have chosen?
- Research Google Ad Words
- Research Google Trends
- Research Moz Keyword Explorer
In order to understand your own website and the value of any keyword, marketers need to produce a hypothesis, test it, and repeat it until something works. Wash, rinse, repeat.
But is there a way to be more specific than one keyword? What if someone is looking for an article of clothing. Would clothing be a good keyword? That keyword may even place a website in first place on the first page, but it wouldn't be a good keyword. Why? Because it is not specific enough. That is where long-tail keywords enter the picture. A long-tail keyword is a more specific version of any keyword. If we used clothing, we might extend it a bit by using women's clothing but even that would not be specific enough. We might consider women's skirts. Or women's spiked high-heels. Or women's clothing on sale. Long-tail keywords target a smaller group of searchers, but the good news is that those searchers know exactly what they want to purchase. They have their credit cards out and the only thing that is keeping them from buying is they haven't found the shopping cart yet.
Improve the Structure of URL's
Simple and understandable URL's clearly communicate context and content. Choose a URL that is easy for users and search engines to recognize. Include one primary keyword that generally summarizes the content of your site. If you have a sports site that covers a multitude of sports, think of using the word sports as the keyword that you use in the URL. Avoid using lengthy URL'S, choosing generic page names, and excessive use of keywords.
Best Practices for URL'S
- Use words that are relevant to your site's content.
- Create a simple structure for the sites directory so that content is organized making it easy for visitors to know where they are at on your site.
- Use only one version of a URL to reach a page. This will prevent users from using different URL's to arrive at the same place.
- Visit Moz to learn more about how to create a functional URL.
Call to Action
Smart marketers include a call to action on every page of their website. The call to action button could provide a free offer such as an eBook or a subscription to a blog in exchange for some basic personal information.
Best Practices for a Call to Action
- Place the Call to Action above the fold so that users won't have to scroll down to find it.
- It is generally okay to place one CTA above the fold and one at the bottom of the page but no reason to include more than two. How often have you visited a site and wanted something that was offered but a CTA was nowhere to be found. Remember that people are visiting your website for a reason and many times they have their credit cards out and ready to make a purchase. Your job is to be ready to amalgamate a transaction and if you're not…well they will just move on to find someone who is ready.
To learn more about how to improve your marketing strategies, give us a call at 661-702-1310!