If you’ve read other articles on search engine optimization (SEO), you know how quickly this topic can shift into techno-babble. Unless you’re familiar with html programming code, your eyes will easily roll backwards by the second paragraph.
But even if programming isn’t your thing, there are still three very simple things you can do on all your web pages that will help improve search rankings:
1. Create Short and Accurate Page Titles
Page titles tell users and search engines what kind of content appears on a page. Ideally, you want each page title to be unique and keyword rich, although it’s fine to always include your company name.
Search engines typically display page titles as the first and largest line in a search result, placing the user’s search terms in bold font. But if your title is too long, Google will only show part of it. Be as succinct as possible, and make sure your titles match the actual content.
Here’s an example of the page title for one search result, using the phrase “how to make bread.”
If a user clicks on this result, they’ll see the same page title displayed at the top of their browser:
2. Summarize Your Content with Page Descriptions
Tell users and search engines more about what’s on your pages by writing one- or two-sentence descriptions. If your page descriptions do a good job of matching a user’s search query, Google will display them as the snippet in the search results.
Not sure what to say about your page? Search Engine Land offers some solid, easy-to-follow advice on writing page descriptions.
3. Assign Keywords
Ideally, you’ve already researched the search phrases your customers or clients are most likely to use, and are including these keywords in your content, titles and descriptions. Adding keywords to the code that sits behind your pages will further support your efforts to rank higher on these search terms.
You can always make adjustments later, so if a new search phrase becomes popular in your business, simply go back and modify your keywords.
SEO Made Easy
So you’ve written your page titles, descriptions and keywords. Now, how do you actually add them to your web pages?
If you’re still intent on avoiding coding details, ask a programmer to install a content management tool that makes it easy to do your own SEO work. If you use WordPress, download a plugin called All in One SEO Pack. Adding page titles, descriptions and keywords becomes as simple as filling in the open fields. (see below)
Are page titles, descriptions and keywords enough to guarantee your site appears in the top ten search results? Probably not. But ignoring these three steps will undoubtedly hurt your SEO efforts. And with a good content management tool, it’s easy to add these features to every page on your site without sweating the programming details.