It’s easy to get so caught up in Search Engine Optimization that you forget your target audience-the customer. When optimizing your website it is important that your content is easy to navigate for both crawlers and consumers. This article is going to give you the highlights of Google’s very own Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide, plus a few examples to help you get a headstart.
Tip # 1: Use descriptive titles!
The title of your page is the first line of a search result, make sure it is descriptive and concise. Readers don’t need a bulky 20-word title, but they do need a title that explains what the page contains. Make sure that your page titles are unique and specific. While the title to our article, “Spiders on the Web,” is clever, it does not specify what the article is really about. The title to this article is more helpful for crawlers and people alike.
Search engines look at page titles before they crawl through the content. Titles and headers are not the same and thus need to be coded differently.Titles are different from headings in that there can be multiple headings but there’s only one title. You can signal to a search engine that a heading is a heading by using the appropriate html coding. There are plenty of tutorials online that will help with formatting headers and titles in html.
Tip #2 : Use Meta Descriptions
Meta descriptions are a chance for you to advertise to potential customers and are incredibly important in generating click-thrus. This article by MOZ explains meta descriptions in more depth. Sometimes, search engines use meta descriptions as part of a search result. These meta descriptions should be short, about the length of a tweet, and compelling. Similar to titles, it is best if you do not use the same meta description for multiple pages.
Descriptions are not the only meta tag you can use to specify information on your website. If you want to learn more this tutorial on author and keyword meta tags is quite helpful. In-depth explanations of Google’s meta tags can help you better understand all of your options.
Tip #3: Navigation
Make it easy for both users and crawlers to find content. If you use Searchable as an example we have a home page. This is the most visited page on our site because it is (usually) the first page people see. If you look up towards the top we have a menu bar, each item in a menu bar connects to a parent page, within those parent pages there are ‘child’ pages. This clear hierarchy helps search engines (and humans) identify the main themes of your website. It also helps consumers find more information relevant to those themes.
Tip #4 : Hyperlinks
In our previous article about how search engines work, we mentioned that hyperlinks are crucial for your page’s visibility on search engine results pages. Search engines don’t just look at where you are linking, but also how you are linking. Anchor text is incredibly important when creating a hyperlink. The anchor text is the words that are underlined in blue. Try to make sure that the anchor text describes what information you are linking to. Google says to avoid using vague anchor text like, “this article” or “click here.” Don’t hyperlink a paragraph for your anchor text either. A few words should be enough for the crawlers to make the connection. It’s also important to remember that your real target audience is your customers, so anchor text should flow with the sentence instead of hindering the reader’s understanding. To learn more about how to take advantage of hyperlinks, read our article on link building campaigns.
Tip #5: Content is king
In their Search Engine Optimization guide, Google states, “Creating compelling and useful content will likely influence your website more than any other factors.” Spelling and grammatical mistakes make it difficult for users to understand your content. That being said, proofreading is key. Clarity and simple sentence structure help readers of varying experience levels enjoy your website. Make your content worthy of a “share” because the more links you get, the higher up you move on the search engine results page.
If you know of any websites that have utilized these tricks paste a link in the comment section below!