Fifteen years ago, the sites that ranked well didn’t read very well. Why? Because they were jam-packed with keywords.
You probably remember the “bad old days” when you’d Google something like, “the best kitchen knife” and the top result read like this:
The best kitchen knife is better than all other kitchen knives. When you want to find the best kitchen knife, you shouldn’t look for anything other than the top kitchen knife on the market. The best kitchen knife could be the number one kitchen knife you ever use.
Thankfully, Google is much more intuitive today and you don’t have to stuff keywords all through your copy. However, you still have to tell Google exactly what every page on your website is about. Each page should have a clear purpose, ideally a singular purpose, and it should be optimized to support that purpose.
So, how do you organize a page for SEO?
Start With Title Tags
Title tags appear at the top of internet browsers and appear in search results. They are part of the meta data of your website. Meta data is code that tells search engines what your pages are about.
Best practices for good title tags include:
- Incorporating a keyword phrase near the beginning of the title (just one – don’t get crazy)
- The keyword phrase should be related to the content on that page
- Put your company name at the end of the page
- The entire tag should be between 50-60 characters in length
Write an Appropriate Meta Description
The meta description is what appears in search results and tells the user what your page is about.
Best practices for meta descriptions include:
- Keep it compelling so people will want to click through to your site
- Make sure it accurately reflects what people will find when they do click through
- Incorporate keywords because keywords in the description that match search criteria will appear in bold letters to show searchers that your page is a good match
It’s important to structure a meta description in a way that makes people want to click because the keywords themselves are not a ranking factor, but the click-through rate for your page is.
How To Structure Your Content For SEO
Think about your web page as a news story. You may remember learning in school that newspapers structure their stories as an inverted pyramid, with the most important information first.
You want to hook your audience early and you want your most important keywords to appear in things like headings and early in your content – BUT DO NOT STUFF KEYWORDS! Use them organically and make sure they have a reason for being there.
You also want to organize your page as a hierarchy.
- Use heading tags to break up content (H1 at the top, then H2, etc.)
- Items of equal importance should have equal headings
- Try to use keywords in your H1s and H2s
…and in case I didn’t mention it multiple times before, DO NOT STUFF KEYWORDS. Try to stick to 2-3 keywords per page and make sure they are natural because…
You Should Write For Humans First
Above all else, your content should be readable and valuable to your visitors. Sometimes it helps to write the page first, then go back and see how you can incorporate keywords naturally. And think of your H1, H2 and H3 tags as something of an outline for your page to guide both the reader and Google through the purpose of that page.
But don’t force it. Write for the audience you are trying to attract. And if you need help with the SEO, Haley Marketing Group can help. Contact us today to learn more.