We talked in previous posts about identifying the keywords and phrases that are going to be part of your SEO strategy. By now you should be using those keywords and phrases in your content in ways that are consistent and appropriate…that’s the in-front-of-the-curtain part of Search Engine Optimization, optimizing the content people see on your site.
Ready for the behind the curtain stuff?
It’s time to look at things you can do that can impact your search engine rankings, but won’t be visible to your site visitors.
We’ll look at these one at a time over the next few weeks.
You may want to have your webmaster implement these optimizations, but as master of your SEO strategy, you need to give your webmaster a set of data and specific instructions which this series of blog posts will help you craft
Note that if you use a host like WordPress.com, you won’t always have access to the underlying pages where these optimizations would be implemented. Don’t worry. You can have a successful blog or effective website and get good search engine rankings without taking each one of these steps. I’ll talk about this a little more in a future post.
So here’s Behind the Curtain SEO Step 1:
Create title tags for each page.
The <title> tag appears within the <head> tag of the HTML document.
If your document appears in a search results page, the contents of the title tag will usually appear in the first line of the results. This title tag can include your business name or website title, along with some relevant information about the main topic of that page.
- This will help users discover your website when they use a search engine.
- It will also help the search determine what kind of information can be found on that page, which can help your search engine ranking.
To see how this works, go to one of your favorite shopping sites and set your browser so you can see the page info. In Chrome you can do by right clicking and choosing “View Page Info.” Now you can see the html script for that page and you should be able to see the <head> and <title> tag.
Zulily.com is one of my favorite daily deals sites and the title tag on their home page reads:
<title>zulily | Daily deals for moms, babies and kids</title>
Now, if I go to Google and I search for “Zulily,” I find the first result looks like this:
You can see how the title tag is incorporated into the results. I am also going to bet that “Daily deals,” “moms,” “babies” and “kids” are all words that are at the top of Zulily’s keyword strategy list.
So now you can set to work creating titles for each page on your site.
- Keep them to 65 characters or less
- Compose them using the keywords you have identified as relevant to the content for each page
- Do not “stuff” them with keywords, this will only confuse potential visitors and webcrawlers.
If you are comfortable editing the html pages for your site, you can now insert your <title> tags. If you are not comfortable doing this, you are now ready to pass along the title tags you have written to your webmaster who can use them to edit the html pages for your site.
Up next: meta tags