Do you want your content to help your site rank on the search engines? I’ve met very few site owners who haven’t.
Here are the essentials you must have on your page to help your content rank.
1. Supreme content
Content is the thing you must get right. If you don’t, the rest of this piece isn’t going to save you.
Make it informed and informative. Grammatical, and have real value to the reader. Aim for supreme content, as others are already aiming for great.
Aim for supreme content, as others are already aiming for great.
Don’t just bash out 50 or 100 words – or even 200. You’ll be shortchanging your readers and not giving Google enough to chew on. If it’s too short then neither your readers nor Google will have any real take-aways from your page, and they won’t like you for it.
And Google is just as tough on plagiarism as any college course. Your efforts will be marked down. So don’t copy your classmate’s paper. Actually, I mean don’t copy content from somewhere else 🙂
2. Title tag
Make sure your title tag is relevant to your page content.
As you’re writing SEO content, you should put your main key phrase in the tag – look at your headline, and adapt it accordingly. Don’t put your headline in the title tag.
If you’re using a CMS (content management system) or blogging platform, make sure it’s not set up to write the same title tag to all of your pages.
[don’t have] the same title tag [on] all of your pages
Each title must be unique.
Find out more: Make title tags work for you – an essential SEO tip
3. H1 and H2 tags
Help your readers and search engines by structuring your content using headings and subheadings. These are the places that you should use your key phrases and near variations.
Why? Simply because they are the most important parts of the content. They are the attention grabbers, the hooks that draw the reader in, and the milestones that guide you through the piece.
4. Description tag
Despite what some say – and what the popular Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress directs you to do – the description tag does not have any effect on your SEO.
the description tag does not have any effect on your SEO
You should complete a description tag for every page because sometimes it appears in the snippet below the search results, and your words can encourage people to click through to your site.
5. Alt text helps make the invisible visible
Google can’t look at images the way you and I do. Images are effectively invisible to the search engines, so the they need a little help along the way.
Add what can be called alt text, alternative text or alt tags to each image, and suddenly they can be picked up by the search engines and found in searches. From an SEO point of view, if you have one image, write your key phrase into the alt tag; if you have more than one image, don’t keep repeating the key phrase, but instead write alt tags that contain related phrases.
But, don’t forget, your images must be related to your content, and your alt tags related to your images.
6. schema.org – meta tags 2.0
I’ve come to see schema.org markup as a kind of meta tag 2.0, a more sophisticated way of emphasising important pieces of information on a web page.
They’re little pieces of code that present pieces of information – such as your address – in a standard way so that Google and other search engines can pick it up easily and with a greater degree of certainty.
There’s a lot more to say about schema.org, and this piece is not the place for a tutorial. But if you have products or services to sell, and/or you’re wanting to target local customers, you should be implementing them on your site.
Stuck with schema.org? – ask me how I can make your content more powerful.
Thanks to Horia Varlan for the image of the page edges.