Here's how to search engine optimize your web page, so you can rank for the keywords you choose and attract more traffic from Google.
Everything you'll see is practical and straight to the point, so sit back, press play and let's begin!
If you have been following along with our other tutorials I probably don’t need to remind you that:
The Mad Hatter Is Definitely Rather Loony
This phrase - or mnemonic - is going to help us remember how to optimize our pages.
Each of the letters in bold stands for the steps you need to take to SEO your page.
T: Title tag
M: Meta description and keywords tag
H: Header tags: H1, H2, H3
I: Image file names and alt tags
D: Diverse keywords
L: Reputable links
That’s everything you need to know to SEO your page.
Let's go through them.
T is for Title Tag
The title tag is one of the most important factors for ranking highly in the search engines because it tells Google what your page is about.
Let's work through some dos and don’ts.
Focus on a primary and a secondary keyword for your page.
Put your primary keyword at the beginning. And your secondary keyword at the end, but in a different way like this.
Make your title compelling for the reader so you get clickthroughs.
What's the point of getting to number one if you don't get clicks? Your prospects are scanning the results ...
... looking to find a match for the conversation in their heads. So make sure your offer is straight to the point!
If your titles are longer than 8-10 words then scanning becomes more difficult and your page may be overlooked. As a rule of thumb aim for 8-10 words and no more than 69 characters. Or Google will chop off the end.
So as a rule of thumb aim for 8-10 words and 50-80 characters.
Make sure your title tag is relevant to the content of your page.
If the content is about oysters don't have a title tag that mentions Paris Hilton !
Use a unique title tag for every web page or your pages may be seen as duplicate content and Google may not list you in its index!
For punctuation I recommend you use the pipe (|) symbol or dash (-) and don't bother with anything else.
Good examples of title tags include:
- Online Gardening Tips | Your Guide to Everything Gardening
- Mortgage Rate | What Is Today's Best Mortgage Rate?
- My Wedding Favors - Unique Wedding Favors - Bridal Shower Favors
Let’s look at a real-life example. One of my clients, Debbie, has just sent me her first post for her new health-based blog.
She’s suggested the title: "Start detoxing NOW ... it's easier than you think". A scan tells me it could benefit from some SEO.
So, let's have a look for popular search terms around detox.
A quick search on Wordtracker reveals that the top keywords include:
- detox diet
- detox cleanse
- body detox
So detox is the most searched for variation, followed by detoxification, detoxify and detoxing.
I'll rewrite the title tag to put the primary keyword up front and take advantage of the extra traffic for the word detox
I’ve selected as the primary keyword and detoxification as the secondary keyword. If you’re working in a particularly competitive market, you might want to choose a long-tail keywords which gets less competition (but maybe higher conversions?)
Notice I haven’t gone for a loose title like this. This would be optimizing for start your body and we’re trying to get ranked for detox and detoxification.
M is for Meta tags
Google will often use your meta description tag when giving a summary of your site on its results page.
So, again, our aim is to get readers to click through to your site.
You should include your primary keywords in the description, working in one or two secondary keywords if you can. The description tag must make sense to a reader, reinforce the title tag and, above all, give readers a good reason to click through to your site.
Length should be 25-30 words and less than 156 characters including spaces.
It should contain a succinct version of your offer and a strong call to action.
And as with the title tag, put your primary keyword near the front.
And as with the title tag, it’s usually put your primary keyword near the front.
Here's how the title and meta description look together.
It’s starting to look like a listing you’d want to click on.
H is for heading tags: H1, H2, H3
Heading tags are used to create headlines and sub-headings on your pages.
So, we’ve moved from the content your visitors will see in the search engine results, to the content they’ll see when they reach your site.
The H1 tag is used for your main headline, and you should use one H1 heading tag for each page. No more!
Use your primary keyword in your H1 tag if you can. But not at the expense of engaging your readers. I recommend you write great headlines that make people want to read the rest of your story. Then try and work in your primary and secondary keywords. If you can’t, don’t worry: you don’t want to force keywords into your copy.
For Debbie’s post, this H1 tag is just fine.
H2 and H3 are used for subheadings; and you should try to include your secondary keyword in at least one of your sub-headings. But, again, don't stuff in keywords, work them in naturally!
Working through Debbie’s post, instead of the H2 heading that says 'massage' ...
... I'm going to put in something with a benefit and a secondary keyword toxins, which is closely related to detox.
I’ll do something similar with this <h2>Heat treatments</h2> sub-heading.
I'll also change <h2>Healing and rebalancing the body</h2> so that it includes the keyword ‘detoxify’.
Notice how we’re including our target keywords, but the copy makes sense to the reader and to the search engine.
I is for image tags
Many people don’t optimize their images. And this is a missed opportunity.
I know from the site audits I run for clients that hardly anyone bothers to optimize their images. So, optimizing images can a great way of getting ahead of the competition.
You should include keywords in the file’s name, and in its alt text.
‘Alt text’ means alternative text. It’s simply text that is shown if a visitor cannot view the image, for example if they’re using a screen reader due to a visual impairment. Google
Make sure your file names are keyword-rich and diverse. It’s a great opportunity to include some long-tail keyword terms.
If you have an image that isn't relevant, like a logo or background graphic, simply give the file a number. Google will then ignore them.
Here, you can see an image we’d like to optimize for Debbie’s blog post. Notice that both the file name and the alt text are keyword rich.
Your alt tag should be no more than 70-80 characters and should be a literal description of the image.
Another useful tip is to create a caption beneath the image. You can gently work in your target keywords, and it looks completely natural.
You can create a caption as a paragraph below the image to describe what the image is for and then gently work in a secondary keyword without it looking unnatural as we’ve done here.
D is for diversity
You’ll help your SEO if you sprinkle your primary keyword and several variations throughout your text. This lets Google know your page is relevant, and you’re likely to pick up long-tail traffic, even if you’re not yet top of the search results for your target keyword.
The key is diversity! The more on topic language you use, the more likely Google thinks you know what you are talking about and will regard you as an authority.
This is a great use for the Wordtracker keyword tool as you can find plenty of on topic language to work into your page.
See how this colonic hydrotherapy section uses the target and related keywords in a natural way that makes sense to the reader?
Here's an example of where it went horribly wrong: www.garryconn.com/blog/an-example-of-bad-sem-copywriting.php
What do you think your visitor is going to think when he sees that? It’s spam and most visitors will click away, they’ll go somewhere else. Google knows this, too, and will devalue your site. So, make sure you’re writing for humans.
R is for relevancy
Google rewards you when your content is relevant to the search.
Ask yourself, "if someone searched for this keyword and came to my page, would they find it relevant to their search? Would they stick around?"
Google monitors how long visitors stick around for, so if you can honestly answer "yes" then you're doing a great job! And Google will reward you.
Debbie’s post is now live. It’s quite long but it's 100% relevant to the subject of detoxing your body. A rough rule of thumb is that a blog post needs to be at least 400 words. And longer posts can work even better - as long as the quality remains high throughout.
Even if she doesn’t rank well for our target keyword, she’ll probably start attracting traffic from long-tail keywords, combinations of her target keywords that we can’t even think of, but which searchers will use.
L is for reputable links
Google knows you’re reputable when other people link to you from relevant and reputable websites.
But the first thing is to look reputable yourself!
Which means make sure you have quality content that adds value to your readers. Quality content means a higher chance of getting decent links, which is the most important step in SEO; even more important than everything we’ve already discussed.
Link building is a big subject, which we’ll cover in more detail elsewhere.
Google and other search engines will see a link from another website to your page as a vote by that website for you.
You’ll help your readers and Google if you include relevant keywords into the anchor text of the link. It’s some of the best and easiest SEO you can do!
So don't link to your page with the text "click here".
Instead, use linking text which contains the keywords you want to rank for.
Do you see how “detox your body now” is inside the link text? We want to rank for detox so that's what goes in the linking text.
Finally, to look more reputable, I’d recommend you don’t use a scraggy, dishevelled URL like this.
Instead, make sure your page name is neat, trim and descriptive.
Once again, our primary keyword is right at the beginning of the page name which has both a slight SEO benefit and will make it easier for you to attract relevant links.
What did you learn today?
Remember the mad hatter and his cups of tea?
The Mad Hatter Is Definitely Rather Loony**
This is a quick reminder of how you SEO a web page.
T: Title tag
M: Meta keywords & description tag
H: Header tags: H1, H2, H3
I: Image file names and alt tags
D: Diverse keywords
L: Reputable links
And if there's one final tip I can give you it's this. Don't stress about SEO. Lightly implement this method and then forget about SEO and instead, focus on delivering value to your readers. Too much focus on SEO means you won't be able to make the connection with your readers.
Creating great content will help you connect with your readers, so they get to know like and trust you.
Ready to take the next step?
I hope you found this quick guide on how to SEO your web page helpful. Why not sign up for your risk-free trial of Wordtracker? Click the link below, enter your details and you'll be able to use Wordtracker for seven days free of charge.
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So now you’ve got the information to get going, what are you waiting for? Sign up to Wordtracker so you can start getting traffic from Google right away!