TOP 10 SEO Tips to Get Found in Search in 2017

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Great content is just the beginning…your website must be optimized for SEO in order to have your content found by your target audience. Here are 10 things you can do.

Technical SEO

1. Metadata: TITLE Tag

Ensure that you have assigned an appropriate and unique TITLE tag for each page. The text that appears in the heading of each search result is taken from the webpage’s TITLE tag.

Look at the TITLE as a short ad for your product. Keep the TITLE tag to 68 characters or less. Use the keywords you want the page to be associated with, and end with the website/company.

For example: SEO Blog > Making Sense of Metadata | ContentOro

The TITLE tag should be in the HTML’s HEAD section, and is depicted like this:

<h1>SEO Blog > Making Sense of Metadata | ContentOro</h1>

2. Metadata: DESCRIPTION Tag

The description tag is second in importance only to the TITLE tag. The meta-description is shown just below the title in search results. This is a free advertisement for your page, and an opportunity to attract your target audience. DESCRIPTION tags should be no more than 155 characters, or they will be cut off. DESCRIPTION tags should include keywords that your target audience will search for.

For example: Great technical SEO starts with great Metadata, including the TITLE tag, DESCRIPTION tag, and KEYWORDS. Here’s some great tips for getting found on Google.

The DESCRIPTION tag should be in the HTML’s HEAD section, and is depicted like this:

<meta name=“DESCRIPTION” content=“Great technical SEO starts with great Metadata, including the TITLE tag, DESCRIPTION tag, and KEYWORDS. Here’s some great tips for getting found on Google.”>

This is how the above TITLE and DESCRIPTION would appear in Google Search:

Google Search for ContentOro

3. Header Tags (H1, H2, H3, etc.)

Header tags tell Google what a page and its contents are about. The H1 tag is the highest in order and importance, then H2, and so on down. The H1 header tag is similar to the TITLE metatag, and can be the same. The difference is that the H1 tag appears on the page, usually in the body text near the top. It can be the same as the TITLE, or different based on what you want the reader to see on the page. Every page must have one and only one H1 tag to optimize for search engines.

Here are a few tips for the H1 tag:

  • Use only one H1 header per webpage
  • Include the page’s primary keyword
  • Try to place the keyword early
  • Use the keyword only once in the tag
  • Keep the H1 tag short (55 characters or less recommended)

H2, H3, and so on are tags that can be used multiple times on the page. As the number goes down, the style generally gets smaller and less “header-like”. If you don’t like the style of the H tags on your website, change the styles in the CSS (cascading style sheet) rather than using other formatting work-arounds like <strong> or <em>. Using header tags is better for your search ranking.

For example: SEO Blog > Making Sense of Metadata

Many website admin dashboards have formats that do not require using HTML for the H1 heading. If using HTML is necessary, the H1 tag above should be written like this:

<h1>SEO Blog > Making Sense of Metadata</h1>

4. Image Tags

Images have several facets that can be utilized to improve SEO. People searching for images can follow the image link to the content on your website.

Image Filename: The name of the actual image, like “title-tag-example.jpg” gives search engines clues about the subject matter of the image. Name all of your images just like any other data, using relevant words separated by dashes (-), leading with your keywords when possible.

Alt Description: This tag describes the contents of an image file, and is used by the visually impaired or when images are not available. Google uses this information to find the best image to return for a user’s search. Always include an Alt description. It can be the same as the image name, or more detailed, but do not try to stuff it with keywords. That will get flagged as spam.

Image Title: The title is not as important as the Filename and Alt tag, but may be used to provide more non-essential information that helps provide context.

An image tag can be explained in this example of how to express it:

<img src=”image-w-keywords.jpg” alt=”image description with keywords” title=”further description of the image if desired”/>

metadata-illustrated

The tag for this image might be: <img src=“metadata-laptop-mobile.jpg” alt=“metadata on digital devices” title=“Use good metadata on digital devices to be found on Google”/>

5. Sitemap

Registering an XML sitemap with search engines like Google and Bing helps them index your website faster. Create an XML sitemap with one of the tools below and submit it to Google Search Console (formerly Webmaster Tools) and Bing Webmaster Tools.

Free sitemap generators:

  • https://www.xml-sitemaps.com/
  • http://www.web-site-map.com/index.php
  • http://gsitecrawler.com/ (for Windows)

Quality SEO

Technical SEO is important, but it only goes so far. Google had to look beyond the technical and started to give preference to quality to get rid of junk. Using ContentOro content gives you a great advantage with quality SEO, but if you would like more information on this topic, refer to the blog posts below:

SEO Blog > Quality SEO: Improve the Quality of your Content
SEO Blog > Quality Ranking and Other Keys to Quality SEO

Now that you have all this great content optimized for SEO, use it! The more you take advantage of the content, the better the results. Here are top ways to make the most of your content with Quality SEO.

6. Email

Feature your content in emails, linking to the page on your site. Your customers will benefit from raised awareness and the inbound clicks will improve your page ranking.

7. Social Media

Talk about your content in social media. Make it fun!

  • Focus on what the reader will gain by clicking (the WIIFM (What’s in it for me?)).
  • Use relevant hashtags to broaden your audience.
  • Always link to the relevant content in your posts.
  • Your link will pull images from the page. Use the best image, or upload one.
  • Enlist other business units or partners to like and retweet.

8. Blogs

Use pieces of the content to feed your blog, linking to the original content and pointing to the source URL as canonical (original).

9. Linking

As suggested above, link to your content from external sources whenever possible…

  • From email
  • From social media
  • From affiliated sites (other business units, partners, sister sites)
  • From influencer sites (bloggers, reporters, etc.) You can’t force this, build relationships rather than push content at them.
  • Link to your content from within your site
  • From the homepage
  • Text links from referring content or blog posts. Google likes descriptive link names, not uninformative calls to action like: link.
  • From ads or feature blocks on other pages

10. Press Release

Releasing the news about your new content is a sure-fire way to get Google to recognize and index it. Be sure to use a compelling headline and sub-heading that explains why this is news. They will be used by any outlet that posts your release.

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Candace Chapman

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