Over the years I’ve seen a few different SEO mistakes people make with their websites, so from all that experience here are my top tips of things to look out for when optimizing your site.
No meta tag or title tag
We’ve all lovingly created some beautiful content on our websites that is fantastic we’ve put it on and forgotten about one thing the Title and META description.
For those of you who do not know: the title tag – normally 55-60 characters but can also be impacted by the length of pixels in your title, (e.g. Caps take up more room) is the bit in purple below:
The META description is the 150-160 character description of your page below that.
Combining the two of these can help improve click through rates on your page and really give you a chance to sell that page you have just lovingly made, don’t waste that opportunity!
Make it and they shall come
You’ve created your piece of content and it looks fab, you sit back and wait for the visits to start to carry your beautiful content across the internet.
A week later and you can see the only visits to your page are your own, a bit disheartening but it doesn’t need to be.
When you create some content you also need to carry it across the internet and spread the word as to why it’s the best thing since sliced bread. Yes, you have just toasted that sliced bread and it’s delicious!
In more laymen terms you need backlinks, a backlink is a link back to your site. These can be earnt through outreach, trends etc. The end goal would be having “Person toasts bread, best thing since sliced” on a news website with a link back to you. You can get to outreach via twitter, linked in etc. its hard work but can really help sell your brand if done well.
H tags and Alt tags
Many people forget about the header tags (h1, h2 etc.) the best simile for these is h tags are like chapter tags in a book. As you can imagine a book with out chapters isn’t as fun as one broken down into exciting instalments.
- Step one: Slicing the bread
- Step two: toasting the bread
- Step three: Profit
You may wonder what this has to do with SEO, like the title tag it gives more context to your content and can help crawlers work out what you are talking about, a bit like my bread metaphor!
Alt tags are placed on images, they are designed for helping visually impaired (via screen readers) users work out what an image is all about.
alt tag: an image of sliced bread.
Whilst it helps screen readers and such it can also help Google work out what images are on your page and help with improving relevancy of your content. The other bonus; it can also help with rankings on Google image search.
A canonical tag helps prevent duplicate content by telling search engines the original location of a piece of content. A good example of this is two urls with the same content:
In this example the only change is the colours but the content is the same which means all the urls are fighting for some level of ranking, the solution is we put a canonical tag pointing to the original URL, in this case the all- bread would be best. So white and brown page would have a canonical pointing to all-bread.
Further information can be found on Google here – https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/139066?hl=en
Made for users not for search engines
People create their web pages and content and worry about Google, Bing etc. trying to craft the page into something that may rank, this can be via keyword stuffing, massive volumes of links etc. Whilst It is good to have search engines in the back of your mind when creating content it’s also a better idea to have your users in mind. If you know your user is looking for recipes then make that recipe fantastic, include alternatives and options and make it as powerful as you can.
This can be a lot more effective that creating a simple recipe and trying to stuff a few keywords in there.
“At the end of the Day Google is trying to help users find content, rather than target Google, Target your users – it cuts out the middle man.”
Keep working on your content, keep targeting your users and their needs and keep thinking of the next biggest toasted sandwich idea!
For all Things SEO keep in touch with Greg at Pixel by Pixel