This lesson will take the knowledge from the previous two lessons and show you how you can now make changes to your websites to improve your visibility on search engines. Here we’ll dive straight into the code that we briefly mentioned in lesson 1.
The Title of each page on your website should be an accurate, concise description of the content on the page. This is a very important element of “On Page” Search Engine Optimisation. Here is a brief outline of how we recommend writing title tags:
Title Tag Length
Most search engines show between 65-75 characters. In the past we would have recommended keeping the title tag to less than 69 characters, due to Google displaying only this number of characters. However, nowadays Google has more control over what it shows as a Title tag in it’s search results, depending on what the search term is. For this reason we now recommend simply keeping this below 100 characters.
Here is the code for an example Title tag:
However here is what Google shows when you search for: Wireless Sensor Displays. Here you can see that Google has decided what to show by taking important elements from the Title Tag we have written.
Title Tag Structure
It’s important to have a good Title tag structure – The closer the main keywords are to the beginning of the title tag, the more important they will be seen by search engines. If possible the title tag should read as a meaningful sentence, however, depending on the number of keywords covered, this may not be possible and a list can work equally well; such as the Mantracourt example above.
It is very important to include branding on at least some of the pages on your website. This really should be compulsory for the homepage, contact, about and other information pages. However it can also be useful to include branding on other title tags, depending on your website pages, as this can improve your overall branding and also click through rates.
There are quite a selection of different Meta tags that can be included within the code of your website. Meta Tags are intended to provide information about the website. Here is some information on some of the main tags that are used:
There are a few different values that can be included in Meta Robots Tags.
index/noindex are values which tell the search engines whether to visit a page or not. So if you include noindex on a page this will tell search engines not to cache the website and use the information in it’s search results.
noodp/noydir are values that tell search engines to use the Title Tags from your website rather than those from Yahoo Directory or the Open Directory Project (DMOZ)
The meta description is a short description of the page’s content – This is a longer description than the Title Tag and will normally be visible under the Title Tag on Search Results. However, as with the Title Tag, Google may choose it’s own description depending on the search term. Although, at the start of 2016, we have occasionally been seeing longer descriptions, we still recommend keeping Meta Descriptions as close to 159 characters as possible.
Although Meta Keywords are no longer considered important to Google and BING, we believe it is still important to include them. However do take care not to “keyword stuff” these. Simply include the main phrases for your pages. We recommend including these for a few reasons: Some search engines out there may still use them; they don’t hinder results on any search engines; they may be used in some way again in the future.
URL’s should all be search engine friendly (apart form the homepage). This will involve ensuring that they have meaningful names, however these should still be concise and include keywords where possible.
These should be static URL’s rather than dynamic. For example here is a dynamic URL: https://www.janklin.com/?id=123 – which is meaningless compared to https://www.janklin.com/seo-services.
Also to stop code problems: plus signs, underscores and spaces should not be used. If any words need to be broken up you should use hyphens.
Heading Tags are used in websites in a similar way to documents. Each document should only have one main heading and can have multiple sub headings. The same theory applies to websites. Each page should have one main heading; known as a H1 Tag and can have multiple sub headings (H2, H3, H4 etc…).
Search engines place extra attention to words in HTML Header Tags, they show that the words included are important to the page. This is also the case for text that is bold or in highlighted colours. With this in mind, its quite important that we take advantage of the extra weighting factors given to these tags.
Since search engines are increasingly placing more emphasis on content, and in particular text, it is very important to include a considerable amount of text on your pages. However, it is even more important that visitors have a good experience when visiting your website, so the quality of your content is of paramount importance.
The competition should be taken into account when writing text for pages. The more competitive the phrases are, the more text should be written on the page.
It is important that this is well written, unique content. This content is not only important to improve search engine rankings, but will also help drive sales or enquiries.
Ideally this text should be broken up into short paragraphs which will help capture and maintain the visitors attention. Writing the text in this way will also allow the inclusion of keywords in the sub headings.
Ideally this text should be as near to the top of the page as possible and the first paragraph should contain the keywords as soon as possible.
The text should also be used to prompt visitors to contact you, it is a good idea to have this type of prompt in the first paragraph and last paragraph on the page. This is text such as ‘call us now on:…..’, ‘contact us for more information’ (contact us is linked to your contact page) etc…
More To Consider
Analytics – It’s important to ensure that visitors engage with your website: it’s navigation and content. Search engines take this into consideration when ranking websites. In it’s simplest form: If visitors come to your website and leave within seconds then search engines take this into account when ranking your website, and this could hinder your ranking performance over time.
Machine Learning – Back in 2011 Google introduced the Google Panda Updates – later followed by the Google Penguin updates. These initially worked by humans evaluating the content on websites to see if it served the visitors correctly – however this was later replaced by machine learning by the Google Algorithm. Once it’s computers could accurately predict what the humans would judge a low quality site, the algorithm was introduced across millions of sites spanning the Internet. The end result was a seismic shift that rearranged over 20% of all of Google’s search results.
If you need any help with any items above or are looking for a new responsive website feel free to call Jon on 01690 760328 or email on firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.