Search Engine Optimization
Be honest. When looking for something in a search engine how often will you venture further than the first page? For most of us the answer is “not often”, or even “never”. That’s why it’s so important to get your search engine optimization right so that you can be found easily. Google has a whopping 82% of our search engine traffic, and so when optimising your website Google is always a good place to start.
For really good fine tuning of your SEO you will probably need to talk to a company who are experts in this field, however there are plenty of things that you can do yourself which will give you a good foundation. This week on the Florizel Media Blog we’ll be looking at some of the things you should do as well as some you shouldn’t do.
SEO – THE BASICS
Titles and descriptions are the easiest way to adopt a good SEO base, but a lot of people overlook them. They not only help search engines understand what your page is about, but they also inform your human visitors. (Note: how you access the Title and Description tags for your website will depend on how it was built – you may need to speak to your website developer)
This is usually up to 70 characters long and forms the top line of text that a potential visitor will see when they search for a website. Giving your page a title like ‘Home’ or ‘Home Page’ isn’t very helpful and is less likely to encourage visitors to click through. Using keywords is really important because the closer the title tag is to the phrase that has been searched for the better chance you have of appearing high up in the organic results. Here are some key points to focus on when writing your page titles:
- Don’t make them all the same – each page of your website should have a different title which reflects the content of the page
- Keep them under 70 characters otherwise they will be truncated and you’ll just see dots indicating that your title was too long…
- Key phrases, no waffle – be clear about what the page offers and make use of keyword.
- Include a geographic location if this is important to the visitor. Making sure that your potential visitors know where you are could make all the difference. For example, is someone searches for “decorators in Fife”, then making sure that “decorators” and “Fife” appear somewhere in your title could really help your SEO ranking.
The description tag isn’t essential to search engine rankings but it can be very important to your click through rate. If you don’t write a description then the search engine will create one for you by using the first bit of text on your page that it can find. Although there are times when this can be good, in most cases it is preferable to write your own descriptions. As with titles, each page description should be different and it should be clear and compelling enough to encourage the searcher to click through.
Descriptions are best kept at about 150 to 160 characters long. Beyond that the search engine will truncate your content.
Before you go off and write up your titles and descriptions run some searches and think about which ones make you want to click through and why you ignore the others. Understanding what works for you can be helpful in seeing what will work for other people.
Do your research!
Doing research into keywords can reveal which words and phrases people are most likely to search for. Using these keywords in your titles and description will help you immensely.