Two Easy SEO Fixes That Practically Anyone Can Do
If you are brand new to building websites and you’ve managed to pull it off then – CONGRATULATIONS! What a cool accomplishment! Now, depending on what your website’s purpose is, you are very likely about to realize that you haven’t yet even made it to a low level base camp in the Himalayas! At least not if you’re hoping that your website will show up in search engines and help make you or/an your business profitable.
I am fully aware that not ALL websites are business driven and need to be profitable but if yours fell into that category you wouldn’t be reading this article anyway, right?
MAAAAN….those SEO Guys are EXPENSIVE!
Well, there is no doubt about that!
I’ll tell you what though…if those SEO guys ( and gals) know what they are doing, they are worth every penny. But thats a story for another blog post!
And, with that all said, take heart because not EVERY business owner absolutely needs to hire an SEO person or firm anyway. For example, if there isn’t a heck of a lot of competition for the type of business your run in your area (geographically), then in many cases you can get away without doing a whole lot of optimization on your site and still do just fine – again, a story for another blog.
In either case though, if you have just a little bit of time – – saaaay as long as it takes to read an article or two — you can learn to do some very simple yet very impactful things on your own. So…let’s do that.
2 Simple Website SEO Tweaks
We need to get a little bit ‘geeky’.! But don’t panic…we don’t need to get out of control geeky, Just geeky enough to convey a couple of simple SEO terms and concepts before we begin to get our hands dirty, cool?
SEO titles & Meta-Descriptions
SEO Titles or just “Title Tag“ are the clickable links on a SERP or Search Engine Result Page on the top line of an organic search result. Their purpose is to give a title that is appropriate to the content contained on the page that the person would land on should if they click the link.
The title is one of the first things Google compares and scrutinizes when trying to return a good quality and relevant result based on what someone is searching for.
Meta Descriptions are the short (150 to 160 character) blurbs of text directly following the clickable title on a SERP.
Essentially, the meta description is a quick chance to sell yourself in a sentence or two on an SERP.
You’re Armed with A Smidge of SEO Knowledge, now what?
So now you have a basic understanding of Titles and Meta-Descriptions. Given what you know, you can probably guess that these 2 things are pretty important, right?
And this is the place where we take what we know and DO something with it! Otherwise all we can do is sound intelligent at dinner parties!
Heads up: I will be staying focused more on WHAT to do versus HOW to do it (mechanically speaking I mean) for the simple reason that there are an absolute plethora of website builders these days and to try to describe how to make the adjustments I am going to describe in every single one would simply be impossible.
FIRST: SEO Titles
Now, depending on who you listen to you’ll hear different advice when it comes to structuring your titles. Usually opinions will differ mostly in terms of the order in which you place the different elements. For the most part, SEO folks will agree on what the elements are.
And those elements are…
- The word or phrase you’re hoping to rank for
- Your business or your name – or generally the ‘source’ of the product or service
- Anything else that might be relevant
Here are a few other rules of thumb to keep in mind when structuring a proper title.
ONE: Generally speaking you want to keep your titles under 60 characters. The actual limit isn’t based on the number of characters, it is based on space – but that space works out to roughly 60 characters and the concept of text characters are much easier to work with mentally than thinking in terms of pixels!
TWO:Using the above information about which elements to include, keep in mind that you want to work from left to right in terms of importance. And “importance” generally breaks down to what you’re hoping to rank for.
To put this all together now, let’s pretend that you own Joe’s pizza shack in a town called Smithville. You might craft a title tag to read something like this:
Best Pizza in Smithville•Joe’s Pizza Shack•333-431-9877
This particular title happened to work out well and was easy to craft! It has the keyword showing up twice yet probably wouldn’t be perceived by Google as “keyword stuffing” (something you want to avoid) because the keyword is part of the business name. The concept of adding the phone number is just something I have been playing around with.
Couple of things to mention. First of all there are probably several different words or search phrases that you would like . your website to rank well for. Take heart, you can (and should) create unique titles for every page on your site anyway so you should be covered! Using this same example, Joe may also make the best calzones in town, too! So, using what we already know, he could build a very similar title for a page that talks about his awesome calzones. Same could apply to salads, stromboli etc.
Also, this might go without saying but, the title tag SHOULD be relevant to the content of the page too. In other words, that carefully crafted title about calzones should be the title for the calzone page! Now, in the case of a website that has more products (or services) than it has pages then you’ll just have to do some fancy footwork and experiment with using several products or services in the title.
SECOND: On to Meta Descriptions
As mentioned, meta-descriptions are the small snippets directly underneath the title tag. For website owners that don’t understand that titles and meta-descriptions are a) important and b)within their control – they won’t carefully construct either one and when it comes to the meta description what will then happen is that google will pull the first few lines of content directly off the page.
In SOME this is a really good thing. Especially if a good writer created the content for the website. However, in MOST cases this is NOT the case and so whether or not that first little piece of content would make a good meta description is a crap shoot!
But the good thing for YOU is that now you know better! You can carefully put these one or two sentences together to convey exactly what you’d like. Now, keep in mind that your description is limited to roughly 155 characters so you are not going to be able to say a TON but you are well ahead of your competitor who is more than likely clueless about such things. But at least . you’re in the position, now, of knowing that you can take advantage of this space to say something that potential customers are hoping to hear.
Using our previous business as an example, here is what a useful meta description might look like.
Remember, the meta description us the part underneath the purple.
Best Pizza in Smithville•Joe’s Pizza Shack•333-431-9877
Pizza fresh out of a piping hot stone oven sounding good right about now? Our hand rolled pizza dough is second to none.
I hope that this article proves useful to you. Moreover, I hope it proves useful quickly. If this information isn’t something you’re currently taking advantage of, I hope you run right out and apply it immediately AND I hope you see fantastic results!
If you know anyone else that could benefit from the information in this article, feel free to share it in any way you see fit.
Marc is a Dad, a Web Designer, a Creator of Branding and an occasional blogger . (and probably in that order!) with some affiliate marketing thrown in for good measure.
He owns Thirsty Fish Graphic Design, A one-man web design biz., based in Corning, NY which is in the heart of the Finger Lakes Region of Upstate NY.
He enjoys physical fitness and healthy eating to an annoying degree, playing guitar, playing piano, sketching and most of all hanging with his daughter doing just about anything!