In addition to the ‘title’ tag we optimised last time, there are a few other important tags which need our attention.
What follows is instruction on how to structure the rest of the tags for your homepage – although these same instructions will be applied to the rest of our website as we move forwards.
So, the Title tag is the most important from a ranking point of view, and here are the others we’ll focus on:-
- The ‘description’ tag – will have a marginal effect on ranking but its importance is that it will maximise click throughs to your site if we structure it properly
- The ‘keyword’ tag – has very little value for the main search engines nowadays, but we might as well structure it since lesser search engines still use it
- The ‘h1′ tag – there are a series of ‘h’, or header tags which add structure to our on-page content. The h1 is the most important from a ranking point of view. Its not essential to have such a tag but it will make a difference in competitive situations.
So, lets take a look at where these tags show up. If you go to google and search for Parrot Supplies, you should get ….
You’ll see the listing in 1st place is Northern Parrots, one of our customers. The blue/purple link is of course their Title tag, and the text immediately below is the contents of their ‘description’ tag.
If you go to their homepage – www.northernparrots.com - and view the source code (as you practised doing in the previous lesson 5), you will see the detail of the description tag in the 16th line down….
You’ll also see, directly above it, the Keyword tag. So heres some detail on exactly how to structure your homepage description and keyword tags….
The Description Tag
The importance of this tag is that it will drive click throughs to your website if its well structured, so here’s how to construct it:-
- You have around 25 words (No more then 160 characters) you can show here, so use them all if you can to maximise the visibility of your listing
- Make it a bit salesy or ‘call to action’ oriented – again to encourage click throughs
- You’ll see that search engines highlight the keyphrases in this tag that have been search for, as you can see in this example of a search for ‘dr martens’….
So, I recommend you have at least one repetition of the phrase in the tag (and no more than two). However it is worth mentioning that the listing in Google may change depending on what Google deems as more relevant to the search.
As mentioned previously it has little value nowadays but its ‘best practice’ to include one. I’d include no more than 4 phrases in this tag, and, importantly, make sure they are phrases which appear in the ‘title’ and ‘description’ tags….
Now the h1 tag…
Content wise it should be very similar to your ‘title’ tag – except that its visible on your webpage, so it should be modified accordingly.
In the following example you’ll see the contents of the H1 tag displayed at the top of the web page, and if you view the source code you’ll see the Title tag has similar content because the phrases Parrot Supplies, Parrot Accessories and Parrots Shop are the phrases this page is optimised for…
If you view the source code and search for h1 you’ll see exactly how this tag is structured…
I think that’s enough tuition for now, we’ll address the ‘alt’ tagging two lessons hence. If you have taken in all this that’s great and if you now change these homepage tags you’ll have a pretty well optimised homepage.
In future lessons we’ll show you how to deal with the rest of the site and look at specifics like eCommerce sites and international sites. We’ll then focus on the important process off ‘off page SEO’ – link building and content marketing and the interaction with social media.