According to HubSpot, 75% of searchers never go past the first page of Google search results. In order to be noticed, there are several strategies your organization can use to rank higher on Google. Laying the SEO groundwork is the most important part of building your site to gain ranking. Although there are multiple factors that go into a search ranking, we’ll break down the basics for you.
What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the practice of improving the number of views on your website by improving the quality of your content to increase exposure to target users. SEO targets organic traffic rather than paid traffic and it determines your ranking on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). The more you optimize your site, the higher Google will rank you in searches.
How Does SEO Work?
Google uses algorithms that determine what the “best” results are based on someone’s search. These results then show up on the Search Engine Results Pages and the most relevant searches are at the top. These algorithms take into account domain authority, relevancy, keywords, usefulness, loading speed, and more.
SEO Best Practices
HTML Header Tags
Header tags are an HTML element used to designate headings on your page. The main header tag, called an H1, is typically reserved for the title of the page. It looks like this:
To ensure SEO best practices, include top page keywords in H1 tags and also integrate H1, H2, or even H3 header tags when relevant to break up sections throughout page copy.
Ensure all images are compressed and “saved for web” to optimize your pages and avoid slow site loading. Images should be saved as RGB JPEGS at 72 dpi. Images should be size according to the page.
Alternative Text (Alt Text) within images is used to describe images to the visually impaired via screen readers. It’s important to have descriptive alt text tags to depict the image being used. Alt text is also used by search engine bots to provide the image context to search engines.
Avoid keyword stuffing and ensure the alt text description reads naturally. Images should also be named appropriately. When resizing images ensure to change the name to one that makes sense for the image and avoid using default image names involving random numbers and letters.
Metadata allows search engines to define what each page portrays. Meta titles and descriptions appear in search engine results and are used for descriptors of that page.
A title tag is a descriptive HTML element that specifies the title of that web page. A title tag is nested within the head tag of each title and looks like this:
<head> <title>Example Title</title></head>
Each page on your website should have a unique title tag. This title tag shows up in search engine results and gives users the name of your site or brand and a compelling, concise page title that describes the purpose of your page using specific keywords. Title tags should be between 50 and 60 characters.
Meta descriptions are HTML elements that describe the content of a page. They are nested in the head tag and look like this:
<head> <meta name=”description” content=”Description of page here.”/></head>
A meta description is shown in search results and used to describe the contents of a page. Meta descriptions should summarize the key concepts of your page using content and keywords found within the page. Meta descriptions should be around 150 characters in length.
Search engines require unique URLs for each page on a website to display them in search results. URLs will contain the domain, any navigation categories, and a page name. The page name in a URL should be concise and descriptive, using keywords to target important terms or phrases. Like title tags, URLs should be long enough to convey the purpose of the page, but short in length.
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