Even though you’ll see it everywhere (even here!), there is much more to SEO than “writing great content.” While this is a fantastic start, it is only a start. There are many “behind the scenes” actions that people can take to help make content more visible and increase search engine rankings. Many of these improvements are not-visible to website visitors (unless they take the time to look at your site’s code), but don’t worry, it doesn’t take advance coding or web development knowledge to make these simple changes.
We will just cover the basics here as there are many in-depth improvements you can make to your site that would take up way too much time and room here. If you are struggling with improvement your search engine performance, we welcome you to contact us to see if we can help.
Probably the first, and maybe the most important, text you’ll add to your page is the title. The title of your page holds more weight than other text to search engines, so it is important that it is an accurate description of the page’s content. It should probably also include the keyword(s)
that you are targeting. We would also warn against using the same title across multiple pages, your title should focus on the unique value that the page offers.
The headings you use also carry more weight than the rest of your content. Your headings should accurately dissect your page into easy to read blocks while describing the content to follow. Not only are headings a great way for search engines to understand the focus of your content, they also make your page much more user friendly. We live in a culture where people will simply skim the page to find the content they are looking for, make it easy for them!
This might be obvious to some, but not everything that is consumable by your audience is consumable by a search engine. Spoken word in a video, or text on an image, for instance is basically invisible to a search engine. But please keep in mind that video and images are NOT bad! In fact, they’re awesome! Who doesn’t like a nice infographic or image or video to remove the need of reading? But if you do choose to use these things, there are a few things you should include so search engines know what is on your page. Some sites really looking to increase the visibility of their videos will also include a transcription of the video, this may be extreme in some cases, but if you think your audience would rather read than watch a video, it might be worth your time.
Alt Text For Images
One important factor if you are an image heavy site (or even if you just have a few) is the HTML alt attribute. The alt text in an image tag (<img src=“example.jpg” alt=“THIS TEXT HERE“>) is the text that will be displayed if for some reason the image can’t. These are not only helpful for the visually impaired, they are also helpful for search engines. Search engines can’t read your image, but they can read your alt attribute. Make your alt attributes a unique description of the image.
Meta descriptions are HTML attributes that summarizes or highlights content on a specific web page. If you’ve done any research on SEO before, you have undoubtably heard of meta descriptions. These short descriptions are used on SERPs (search engine result pages) to provide a preview of the page. In other words, the text you see underneath a link on Google. While many SEOs may have a specific formula for their meta descriptions, the most important thing here is that the meta description highlights the important information or answers that specific page. Often times this is the only text that searchers can see besides your page title, so make it count. It’s usually best to keep these around 155 characters, but like all things SEO, there are exceptions.
There are a lot of great SEO auditing tools out there to help identify if your site if missing any of the above information, many of which we use here at Saderra. Writing great content and implementing the above tools is a great start to improving your sites SEO, but there are many more advanced strategies outside of the realm of “basic SEO” that can drastically improve your search engine rankings. The SEO world is truly an iceberg, and we’ve just hit the tip.