Today, we’re going to talk about some of the tips and tricks that white hat SEO professionals use to help their keyword rankings. No black hat tips allowed. We only play by the rules around here.
As we talked about in part 2 of How Does Google Work? (didn’t read it, it’s OK, you can catch up now) your Title Tag and Meta Description need to be well optimized (using your targeted keyword) and fall within the best practices guidelines for length. A Title Tag should be no more than 56 characters to avoid truncation, and a Meta Description should stay beneath 155 characters. Both numbers include spaces. You can test the length of your titles and tags with various free tools. You can see what your tags and titles will look like for any page you test. Use a tool to test this and make sure you don’t have truncation issues.
Header tags help Google understand what your page is about. Your most important tag is the H1 tag. You want to have ONE H1 per page, no more. Don’t dilute the value of this tag by trying to use multiple. The primary keyword you’re targeting should be included in your header tag. Ideally, it should be the only thing in your H1 tag.
H2-H6 tags can be used to add more structure or clarity to your page. Honestly, I usually stop at an H2 or H3 tag. You’ll seldom find a situation where you need H4-H6 tags. Use H2 tags for subsections within your H1 content and H3 tags for subsections within your H2 tagged content.
Did you know that the name you give your image file could impact your keyword rank? Crazy, right? But it’s true. Optimize your file names, include your targeted keyword. Use dashes –dash-dash-dash between your words because Google can read the dash as space and understand. End your file name with the targeted keyword.
Like file names themselves, the image ALT tag is a chance to show Google what your page is about. Include your targeted keyword, use dashes between terms, and help Google understand.
While schema.org markup isn’t yet a ranking factor, it can impact your click-through rate, which is. Schema markup allows you to share more information about your website with Google, and your audience. You can include information about a business location, hours of operation, events, pricing, and more. And the great thing about Schema markup is that it shows up in the Google search results. It can impact click-through rates significantly, in a really good way. To learn more about schema markup and how to implement it on your site, visit Schema.org.
What does Schema markup look like in the search results? The query below is for an orange Strider brand balance bike for a toddler.
Notice how both the Strider and Toys R Us listings include pricing information? Strider’s listing includes the star rating. Toys R Us shows that the bike is in stock. These are examples of Schema markup in the search results. Does the additional information draw your attention? It does for most consumers. According to SearchEngine Land, sites can see up to a 30% increase in click-through-rate with the implementation of Schema markup.
These tips can help move you ahead of the competition in Google’s search results. It’s important to ensure your site is optimized the best it can be if you want to rank well. If you have questions about your site’s performance or your keyword rank, contact us for a free SEO and content review today.
We’ve covered how Google works, why your site’s technical foundation is critical. Next up we’ll talk about how your website’s authority impacts your rankings. We’ll provide some actionable tips you can do yourself to try to increase your domain and page authority.