In part 1 we discussed the importance of quality content, how to become a thought leader, and optimizing your site for mobile. Part two will tackle metadata, keywords, and user experience.
Keep in mind while reading this, there isn’t just one way to do things, but it is important to follow best practices on the general level. Being unique comes with the way you implement and brand your site based on these best practices.
What to do:
Page Titles Are Your Friend
Each page on your website should have a unique title. And no, it doesn’t count if each page is set as “Home Page”, “About”, “Contact”, etc. That’s like telling Google “hey, look at me, I don’t really understand SEO!” Don’t do that.
Be smart with your titles. Relate them to the content that appears on each page. Use a keyword that is of high importance to that pages content. Make them simple to understand, yet sophisticated enough to add value.
Instead of simply titling your about us page “About”, include your company name. For instance, here at ROI, our about page has the title “ROI Revolution, Inc – About Our Online Marketing Agency”. We’re giving more specific information for a search engine to capture. We’re saying who we are, what the page is, and what we do, all in just a few words.
Meta Descriptions: Data about Data
Much like titles, your meta descriptions are very important. They basically define the content you will find on each page of your site. The main difference from titles is that you have a lot more room in descriptions to go into further detail.
When Google crawls your site, meta descriptions are one of the big determining factors on whether your content is seen as relevant to specific search queries and gets displayed in the organic results.
Like your titles, keep these descriptions accurate to your content, incorporate a few important keywords, make sure you’ve got brand recognition, and use strong, authoritative copy. You have 156 characters, so use them wisely.
If you need more help coming up with some strong meta descriptions, here is an excellent resource with a deeper overview and some specific examples.
What NOT to do:
Don’t Keyword Stuff
Back in the “glory days” of search engines, keyword stuffing was a common practice. Keywords were packed in tighter than a Los Angeles freeway at rush hour. And back then, it actually worked! You could greatly alter your SEO ranking by jamming as many keywords onto your page as possible, like an overstuffed suitcase.
Google caught on to this shady practice and will now greatly penalize your site if you are caught keyword stuffing. You might see some positive short term effects, but in the long run, you’re playing with fire and you will get burned. Just don’t do it.
Don’t Neglect User Experience for Aesthetics
Far too many websites are designed without a care in the world for user experience.
“But it looks so pretty!”
So? Is it functional? Is there a solid call to action (CTA)? Is it informative? If you can’t answer yes to these questions, no amount of aesthetically pleasing design is going to save your site.
User interface/user experience (UI/UX) are essential to building a successful site. Being able to marry functionality with creativity is the foundation to a better user experience and ultimately, more traffic and revenue.
Think about the flow of your site. You want it to be easy for users to navigate from one place to any other place in as few clicks as possible. You also want your layout to be appealing and easily understood.
Make your CTAs stand out as the most important component of each page. Radiate your content out from these so that the consumer doesn’t lose focus, but has a distinct “pathway” to follow. Often times, simplifying design elements can add both form and function to a site. As the old saying goes “less is more”.
If you’re looking for even more information on how you can optimize your website, take a look at our special report: The 4 Pillars of a Successful SEO Mindset. This report outlines the importance of creating great content, being realistic with your expectations, and outlines how crucial collaboration and teamwork are in order to take the next step towards SEO success.
These are just some of the most important ways you can positively and negatively impact your SEO. If you’ve found something specific that works that hasn’t been mentioned above, we’d love to hear from you! Drop us a comment below.