There’s nothing worse than spending time and money building a website, only to see it buried deep on page 7 of Google search results. That’s why right now we’re going to look at proven SEO strategies for drastically improving your keyword position.
1) Content Structure: Just Like We Learned In School
This is the simplest, and most overlooked aspect of search engine optimization. Search engines use HTML Headings to understand the content of your page and if it’s relevant to display in search queries. So here are the rules:
H1 tag – Only ONE per page! This tells search engines the primary topic of your page. It should contain your primary keyword(s) and be no longer than 12 words. Think of it as a billboard – the message shouldn’t get lost because there are too many words.
H2 tags – Sky’s the limit. No seriously. Go nuts. Use as many as you’d like. Just make sure they contain keywords relevant to your H1 tag.
So… there are other H tags (H3, H4, H5, H6). At Dunn Allen, we don’t use them much. Occasionally we’ll use an H3 tag for nostalgic reasons. There are some mixed opinions about how these fit in to web content, but we pretty much leave them alone.
PRO TIP: Whenever possible, use ordered and unordered lists. Your users will like you, and Google will reward you. Aesthetically bulleted (unordered) and numbered (ordered) lists are easier for your viewers. Additionally, each list item is wrapped in its own HTML tag, allowing Google to identify this information separately.
2) Image Optimization: Give ‘Em Some Love
The following SEO strategies can be broken down into two parts – image optimization and image alt attributes. Both equally important, but vastly different methods of optimization.
Optimization: Images are often saved with all kinds of data attached to them that ultimately increases the file size. This information has absolutely no effect on how the image looks. What it does is add load time to your page, which can cause Google to penalize your ranking. To be fair, one image won’t slow your site down… but a few kilobytes here and there can add up in a big way. Do yourself a favor – use a free online image compressor to help trim that fat!
PRO TIP: In addition to image compression, make sure they’re sized correctly. Example: if the image will only ever be 800px wide, make sure the image at full size is only 800px.
Image Alt Attributes: These are essentially keywords that tell Google what’s in your image. This is data added to the site and not directly embedded into the image. No worries about increasing file size after you’ve compressed your images.
PRO TIP: Make sure to use keywords in the alt tags of your photos. However, do NOT over stuff them! Make sure that each word of your alt tag is appropriate to the image.
3) Meta Data: Alive and Kicking
The internet has had a love-hate relationship with meta data over the years – especially when it comes to SEO strategies. Here’s how it went down:
In the early days, search engines would only read metadata and display search results respectively. Then one day some bad people started putting meta data in their sites that wasn’t true, just to be displayed for all kids of unrelated queries (oh the horror!). Google then decreed that NO meta would be analyzed in order to punish the spammers!
Here at the end of 2018 meta data has come to once again play an important part of how your site is displayed in search results. It allows search engine users to quickly see who you are and what your page is about. If you’re using WordPress, we 100% recommend Yoast for helping you with this task. The free version will have you creating proper meta titles and descriptions in no time!