This is the first thing Google sees—even before the content of your page. When you include your keyword in the URL, you’re sending Google a signal of what your page is about. Your URL helps Google understand what your page is all about.
Use short and descriptive website names (URLs)
Why? An analysis by Backlinko of 1 million Google search results found that short URLs rank best in Google.
Front-Load Your Keyword in Your Title Tag and Page description
The title tag is what people will see when they search on Google. Google uses title tags in the search engine results pages to help with click-throughs. writing a compelling meta description and including your keyword in it can help with your CTR. Plus, Google highlights the keyword the user searched if it’s included in the meta description.
Embed Title Tag Modifiers
Why? Allows the page to rank for your page will rank for lots of long-tail keywords. People search for the same thing in different ways. So much so, that 15% of Google searches are new and have never been searched before. That’s why it’s important to optimize for long-tail keyword variations.
Use Your Keyword Once close to the top of the page
Google search engines put more weight on the first 150 words of your page.
Use Your Keyword in H1, H2 or H3 Tags
Scannability. Having your keyword in the H1 helps to reinforce that the visitor is in the right place. It makes it clear that your content tackles the topic they likely Googled before arriving on your page.
Optimize your images with descriptive “alt” tags (File name and use ALT tag)
Why? Helps Google and other search engines understand the images on the page. Search engines “see” images by reading the ALT tag and looking at file names, among other factors.
Instead of keyword stuffing, LSI and Synonyms help with context, depth, and readability and helps comprehension Search engines are becoming better at understanding human language. This means you can use more natural language and still stay relevant to the keywords you are trying to rank for.
Use LSI Keywords
Latent semantic indexing, or LSI, is a method used to determine context. Including keywords that are thematically related to your primary keyword can help search engines understand what the content of your page is about.
Use External Links to relevant, authority websites
External links show Google that my content is well-referenced and trustworthy.
Use keyword anchor text Internal Links
This tells the search engines which pages matter most. Internal linking is important because it helps strengthen those keywords internally for those pages, it allows users (and search engine robots) to navigate through the website, and it tells the search engines that the page is relevant for that keyword phrase.
Use hyphens (-) instead of underscores (_) in URLs. – When you use underscores to separate words in a URL name, Google will read it as one single word. This means that the_best_seo_practices will be treated by search crawlers as ‘thebestseopractices’. That one is hard to read, right?
Focus on User Experience
Is your website the best host for your new visitors?
that RankBrain is their third most important ranking factor, RankBrain watches how users interact with search results and rank the results based on that. If users click on a result and immediately bounce from the site, the site will start to lose ranking. But, if users click on a result and spend time on the site, the site will start to gain ranking (or stay at a higher ranking).
Write unique and relevant meta descriptions for every page – helps with people clicking to your site (CTR)
Second, use short introductions (4-9 sentences). Long intros make people run away from your site like it’s on fire
Add numbers to your page titles.
Use descriptive URLs
Use title tag powerups
With that, here’s a list of Title Tag Powerups to try:
Use readable and meaningful URLs only
Optimize page titles and meta descriptions
Similar to your title tags, meta descriptions are a simple, but highly effective way to improve your SEO. Meta descriptions are used to generate the small paragraph of text that appears below a page’s title in the search results.
They are designed to be a concise description of what you’ll find on the page. Although they do not count as a ranking factor, they DO influence click-through rate – a great meta description helps make a result stand out amongst its peers!
Optimize your navigation
Optimize images for SEO, Optimise your images to improve your on-page optimization and increase the likelihood of driving traffic from Google image search results.
Image optimization is pretty simple stuff:
Optimize image names
Add sensible alt text for all images
Add your branding into your images should they appear within image results
Consider the context and where the image appears on the page
Create a Content Hierarchy to Funnel Link Juice Round Your Site
Allow PageRank to flow effectively around your site by carefully considering its hierarchy/structure.
Ideally, you want every page on your site to be just a few clicks from the home page.
And for important pages, you might want to have them accessible from various entry points — giving them some extra ‘link juice’
Use www. OR non-www (NOT Both)
This is something that surprisingly I still find a lot of sites doing wrong.
While it’s a bit smarter than it used to be, Google still might consider
For example, eCommerce systems which allow filtering of categories by various attributes may automatically create multiple URLs with very similar content
Google doesn’t like duplicate content. It makes it harder for them to choose:
Which version of a page to index (they’ll only index one!)
Which version of a page to rank for relevant queries.
Whether they should consolidate “link equity” on one page or split it between multiple versions.
GREAT content isn’t everything…
It also needs to be optimized for both Google AND humans.
Without proper on-page optimization, even the BEST content can fail.
For straightforward implementation of the tips below, we recommend installing Yoast’s free SEO plugin (if you’re running WordPress).
Choose a Cool, Branded Domain Name Instead of Shoehorning in Keywords
There’s very little (if any) SEO benefit to having your keyword in your domain name anymore.
Use Short, Descriptive URLs For Your Content
If your CMS allows it, use short, descriptive URLs for your content pages.
They look better;
There might be a slight SEO benefit to using your keywords in your URL;
Naked anchor links (people linking to you with the URL) will include your target keywords
Include Your Main Keyword In Your Page’s Title Tag (AND Other Important Places!)
There are definitely cases where pages will rank without the keyword appearing in the title tag (links will trump pretty much anything).
But there is still a significant correlation between keywords in the title tag and rankings.
So make sure every page on your site has a unique title tag and that your main keyword is included once. Not twice…once!
We would also recommend doing the same for your meta description and H1 tags…
Include ONE meta description and H1 per page. Ideally, this will also contain your target keyword (although this isn’t crucial).
Don’t overthink it, though…For example, if you’re writing a blog post, then the H1 tag should generally just be your post’s title. There’s no need to shoehorn unnecessary keywords in there.
Write AWESOME Titles That Are Irresistible to Searchers (and Get More Clicks)
Sitting at position 3 on the search results and want to grab some extra clicks?
Then make your title a magnet for searchers that just begs to be clicked.
You might only have 55 characters to play with, but with a bit of thought, you can squeeze a lot in there.
Make it compelling, grab attention, trigger emotions.
If you need some ideas for what works, then take a look at some of the viral sites on Facebook. Those guys rely on super high click-through rates and they split test like crazy. For example, Upworthy writes 25 titles for every post and then test out the best two or three before making a final decision. Everything is digital, unlike print newspapers, you change the headline till you find the one that works.
Running an ECommerce Site? Add ‘Purchase intent’ Keywords to Ecommerce Titles and Make MORE Sales
If you’re running an e-commerce store, you want to catch searchers when they are at the ‘buying’ stage.
Increase CTR by Avoiding Meta Tag Truncation
A good rule of thumb is to keep your title tags <55 characters and meta descriptions <155.
Update Your Content REGULARLY (And Get a BIG Traffic Boost)
Regularly update old/archive content to keep it fresh, relevant and “rank worthy”.
SELL Your Content in Your Meta Description
Your meta description is like your advert in the search results
It’s not always going to show up (sometimes Google will pick out text from your page that better matches the query).
But when it does, a well-written description can nab you some extra clicks.
Write a unique, compelling meta description for each page on your site, that communicates USPs/value, and entices click-throughs.
Good meta descriptions give your site an advantage in search engine results pages (SERPs), providing more click-throughs, which means more chances to convert visitors into leads or new customers.
Search engines don’t use meta descriptions alone as a direct factor in how they rank pages, but they definitely use click-through-rate (CTR). And what improves your pages’ click-through ranking factor? Visitors finding value in your meta descriptions, clicking your links, and consuming your content (aka not bouncing because they didn’t find what they expected)!
Keep Your Meta Description To 160 Characters or Less
Provide Your Value Proposition to the Visitor
Make It Welcoming and Flawless
Incorporate a Call-to-Action or Offer
Your page’s meta description is essentially an ad in the SERPs; it’s your sales text, especially if you’re ranking in the top positions just below the paid ads. So, make it work hard for you! Incorporating a short call-to-action (CTA) or offer somewhere in your meta description is a great way to boost your click-through rate and be your answer to standing out from your competition.
Give Priority to Your Content
Why do people visit your website? It’s for the content, right?
So make sure that within a split second of hitting your page from search, visitors can find what they are looking for.
You should also minimize the use of anything that takes the focus away from your content, such as:
Too many ads “above the fold”: Let’s be honest, ads are annoying right? Google doesn’t take kindly to things that annoy their users.
Annoying pop-ups: Great for conversions? Sure. BUT too many of them can send a visitor straight for the back button. Make sure any pop-ups are easy to close and don’t go crazy. Delayed and/or exit intent pop-ups are your best bet.
Interstitial Ads: Google has confirmed it may choose to penalize sites that display interstitial, full-screen ads (below) to users on mobile devices. So be careful with interstitials—particularly those that block users from reading content as soon as they hit your page. (Google Penalty)
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