Metadata helps organize and describe information on your site that search engines index your site. Search engine companies send programs called “spiders” out to gather information about your site and determine how to display it in the search results page (SERP). Metadata tells your users and the search engines what your site is about. If your metadata is consistent with the intended theme of your site, it increases your chances of ranking well in the search results and increases the odds of attracting qualified traffic.
There are three kinds of metadata: (1) Meta titles are the titles and subtitles on your landing pages and blogs. They should be identified with H tags—H1, H2, etc. (2) Metadescriptions are the 160 character descriptions that you identify on the backend that encapsulate the message of each landing page. A good way to think about a metadescription is that it’s like a little classified ad. It shows up on your SERP, and it helps promote each webpage. (3) Meta keywords aren’t visible to visitors, but they tell search engine spiders those keywords for which your site is optimized.
2. Page speed
No surprise here. Everybody’s in a hurry these days, and more than 60% of users are accessing everything from their phones, which can be challenging. As a result, web design has adapted and gotten simpler and more streamlined. Simpler code, design and navigation. If your site is taking too long to load, you’re going to lose your audience before they even get a chance to land on your homepage. Google has an easy page speed measurement tool that give you a quick analysis and recommendations for increasing your speed.
3. Duplicate content
Duplicate content is content that appears on the web in multiple locations. It could be content that you’ve repurposed on several pages on your own site—an easy thing to do, after all—the page that’s about the company and the one about you as a business owner could be duplicative in some places. But Google hates this—take the time to modify it.
Duplicate content confuses the search engines
If you’ve stolen content from someone else, that’s another example of duplicate content that Google dislikes. Search engines have to choose one or the other page to return for a query, so they are forced to evaluate which version or form is more credible/meaningful to that user who’s searching. A question comes up about content curation—what if you’re curating, or borrowing great content from another source, giving credit to the author, of course. I’ve begun curating content when I find something that I really like. But I never just copy and paste it into my blog and identify the author. I personalize this with an intro and a conclusion. Explain why this is a great article—the reasons for its insights and relevance.
4. Relevant content
Search engines have become more sophisticated. You can’t fool them anymore by keyword stuffing or filling up a page with nonsense just to create mass. (To rank well in search engines, we recommend landing pages and blogs be 300 words or more.) Google is increasingly intuitive; it seeks out high-quality landing pages, blog articles, videos, infographics, guest articles, forums, etc. Good content has become nonnegotiable.
5. Internal links
Create an internal linking strategy. When you post a blog or new landing page, spend another 10-15 minutes and create internal links—link key words or phrases to related blogs or landing pages. Use one relevant internal link for every 400 words. Internal links help encourage drilldown–people will click on the links and stay longer on your site.
6. Social sharing
If you’re not distributing your blogs and other relevant content across your social media network, you’re missing important opportunities to build your online presence. It just takes a few minutes to log in to your social sites and post a headline or brief description with a link back to your site to drive traffic. Do include an image—the chances of someone’s engaging with your post increases dramatically with a relevant image.
Are you thinking about optimizing your website to increase its SEO value? Talk to us at Top of Mind Marketing. We’re internet marketing experts.