Sometimes businesses focus so much on link building, blogs, and other off-site SEO practices that they forget the most important page to optimize: their website! Not only are potential customers interacting directly with your website, so too is Google. We could spend hours talking about ways to enhance your site, but today we’ll focus on just three principle tips to make Google take notice.
Page Titles and Descriptions
There’s nothing more confusing to Google, and to customers as well, as a poorly laid out website. Page titles direct users to appropriate destinations, and those titles should also reflect in URLs. (A good URL is fewer than 255 characters and uses hyphens to separate words.) And just as page titles should accurately reflect what users can expect from the page, so too should the descriptions. When we speak about descriptions, we’re talking about what a user sees in search engine results. Be descriptive as possible, but stay within the 150 character limit. It’s your job to convince the searcher to click your page instead of the competition.
How well-organized is your website? Does it look like a jumbled mess from the Geocities days? Aesthetics are everything for a website. If it looks like you could get a virus from the website or browsers can’t find what they’re looking for, they’ll seek answers elsewhere, and Google will not rank the site highly. Good design goes hand-in-hand with formatting and organization. Make good use of headings (H1) and sub-headings (H2). Reserve H1 for the main title of the page though. Too many on a single page is a red flag. Use a readable font—no Comic Sans please—and split text into paragraphs.
Lastly, we come to images. Pictures make for better viewing. While it’s very true that people, and Google, rank content supreme, and do, in fact, still read, visuals keep readers interested. There should be images on your website, but not to the detriment of the site’s loading time. Let’s go over a few tips to properly utilize images.
- Use original images whenever you can. If you need to snatch from other resource, always follow the instructions to properly source the image and avoid copyright issues.
- Use keywords and descriptions in the Title and ALT tags to boost your SEO efforts.
- Optimally size images without decreasing the quality.
- When creating file names, shy away from “photo_1.jpg” and instead use keywords or descriptions.
To learn about more on-site SEO tips, be on the lookout for our webinars.