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Understanding SEO: How to Write and Implement Meta Descriptions

Posted on August 16, 2018 by Kendall Jarboe

Understanding_SEO_How_to_Write_and_Implement_Meta_DescriptionsThe next step in getting more traffic to your site is by creating meta descriptions. They are a lot like stretching before you workout: some people skip it altogether, but it actually makes a world of difference in seeing great results! In the same way that title tags are only visible on a Search Engines Result Page (SERP), meta descriptions are also written into the coding and located under the title tags.

In all ways except in length, you want your meta description to be like the introduction or prelude to a really good book: catchy, pithy, and informative but without giving away any big spoilers. Meta descriptions don’t directly impact your Web page’s rank on SERPs, but they can be the difference between someone clicking on your website or your competitor’s.

Writing Meta Descriptions

If you look around online, you’ll see that most people recommend meta descriptions no longer than 155 characters. The fear is that Google will cut off your meta descriptions if they are too long. Other websites suggest 320 characters for your meta descriptions to ensure that Google doesn’t change or edit yours for being too short (Google might also edit your description if they find a duplicate on your website, or they don’t believe it to be descriptive enough).

Whatever route you choose to take in terms of character count, verify that the first 130-150 characters of your meta description are your absolute best. Mobile users might not be able to see past that count and desktop users might not even read past that number anyway. As far as the literary mechanics go, here are some basic tips to strengthen your meta descriptions:

  • Focus on the buyer in terms of content and wording. If your ideal client is looking to buy a technical product, craft your words technically and give the details that cater to their interests.

  • Highlight what makes your product stand out from the rest. Why does the searcher need to have your product?

  • Match the tone of the article. Users expect to find in the Web page what they see in the meta description. False advertising, even in literary style, makes for unhappy customers.

Implementing Meta Descriptions

If the thought of adding meta descriptions to your website makes you want to curl up into a ball and cry, please don’t. Meta descriptions are not as difficult to implement for your Web pages as they may seem. Simply take a look at your Google Analytics, determine what your most popular pages are, and start adding their meta descriptions first.

Don’t send yourself into a frenzied scramble trying to add descriptions to everything. Google actually creates their own meta descriptions for pages that don’t have any. While they might not be ideal, they can cover you in the time being. This is another reason why keywords are so important. Google scans your page and pulls content from it to create the description, so having relevant keywords will benefit that process.

Your most visited Web pages and your top-selling product pages should be your first priority for crafting succinct and inviting meta descriptions. Always stretch before you workout and don’t neglect those valuable meta descriptions.

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Understanding SEO: Five Title Tag Tips You Need to Know

Posted on August 9, 2018 by Kendall Jarboe

Understanding SEO: Five Title Tag Tips You Need to KnowWe all know how important first impressions are when meeting someone new. The same is true for first impressions on Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs). Title tags, also known as meta tags, are what users see as the title of your page in search results. They are located within the coding and are not the same as h1 and h2 headings, as users can’t actually see title tags when they reach your website.

The five following tips are vital for enhancing your SEO. All five are easy to implement, and you can even get started today! How many are you currently putting into practice?

1. Title tags are important.

The first tip for optimizing your title tags is to make sure you’re always working to refine and improve them. While it may seem basic, you would be surprised by how many website users do not adjust their title tags. Where your page shows up on the SERPs won’t matter if the searcher doesn’t even want to click on your title tag. Where else will you also see your title tags? They appear on social media posts that link to your page. You definitely won’t get clicks from social media if your title tag isn’t appealing. Google checks to see if your title tag actually describes your page and if it’s relevant to what people are searching for. If it’s not, Google might edit your title tag to better describe your website.

2. Use keywords.

After you find the perfect keywords for your Web page, you should include them within your title tags. Because search engines value keywords, failing to incorporate them in your title tags can be harmful to your SEO efforts. If you researched successfully for valuable keywords, then you will reap the benefit of that by placing them in your title tags.

3. Intrigue but don’t reveal.

Your title tag needs to entice the user to click on your post, but don’t give everything away. If you reveal the main point of your article in the title tag, then there is no reason for your audience to read it. There are many ways to craft catchy titles. Use strong and descriptive words and focus on your audience.

4. Avoid the click bait temptation.

While it is easy to cut corners and do whatever you can to boost your clicks, just don’t do it. You’ll only increase your bounce rate if users land on your page expecting what the title promised and getting something entirely different. Sending out click bait also hurts your image as a company. Once you’ve wronged a user once, they’ll have a hard time ever trusting you again. Keep it honest and your reputable reputation will reward you later down the road.

5. Keep it short and sweet.

Google technically determines its prime length of title tags based off of pixels, but a general rule is that they start cutting off title tags on their SERPs around 50-60 characters. Even if they didn’t cut off title tags, it’s best to keep titles short. Users won’t want to read the lengthy title of something that they aren’t already invested in. Only keep the best and most incisive words in your title tags.

Title tags, though they are often overlooked, are pivotal pieces of SEO and generating more traffic. Remember the importance of first impressions and don’t neglect your title tags!

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Understanding SEO: Keywords and How to Use Them

Posted on August 2, 2018 by Kendall Jarboe

Understanding_SEO_Keywords_and_How_to_Use_ThemWhen it comes to Search Engine Optimization, keywords can either make or break your marketing efforts. Keywords are defined as the words and phrases people use to search on web browsers. Of the many factors that go into where your website ranks on the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages), keywords are a significant contributor. Before we cover how to use keywords, let’s discuss which words are the best to use.

The Best Keywords

Do you want to improve your company’s marketing efforts? Invest in keyword research. There are many keyword research tools available, so be prepared to be patient and utilize the trial-and-error method. While it might be tempting to use generic keywords, that is not always a great move for your SEO.

Long-tailed keywords are usually longer, more specific, and generally catered to particular niches. For example, if someone is needing a late night cup of coffee, instead of searching “coffee shop,” they will probably search “coffee shop open late near me.” Research shows that 70% of the searches performed on the web use long-tailed keywords. Not only are long-tailed keywords less competitive, they also lead to more conversions. The more specific the search, the more serious the person is about buying and not simply browsing.

How to Use Keywords

Once you have done your research on which keywords to use, now it is time to figure out how to manage them strategically. Most search engines use computer programs to crawl through the Web and analyze pages. For best results, be intentional about positioning keywords in the right places and do not overuse them.

Definitely include keywords in the title of your Web page. Do note that your page title is different from your title tag, but you should use keywords in both. A title tag is the name of a page that SERPs display to the searcher. SERPs also display meta descriptions (or “snippets” as Google calls them) that are another great spot for keywords.

When it comes to the content of your page, include keywords, but be careful not to overuse them. A recommended rule of thumb is to write for people and not for the search engines. Long-tailed keywords are great for diversifying your content, and they make it easy to use synonyms. If you use a keyword too much, then you might get marked for spam. This is known as keyword stuffing, and you want to avoid it as much as possible. If you are unsure about whether or not you have used a keyword too much, try reading your content out loud a few times. If any of it sounds awkward or forced, then you should consider switching up the content.

Keywords are a wonderful and manageable step toward improving your SEO. At WebRevelation, we know that, when using long-tailed keywords, the higher position you maintain on the SERPs means the more traffic you will receive, which ultimately lead to more conversions. If you need help honing in your niche and attracting the right kind of traffic, give us a call and we will be happy to help.

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Understanding SEO: The Three Main Categories

Posted on July 26, 2018 by Kendall Jarboe

Understanding_SEO_The_Three_Main_CategoriesAs previously defined, Search Engine Optimization is about helping search engines measure your page’s worth in order to determine where your page ranks on their results page. Search engines use algorithms, which are predetermined mathematical equations, to crawl through the web and scan pages.  Different search engines use different algorithms, and Google alone updates their algorithm around 500-600 times a year. This is why, when it comes to SEO, there is a lot of trial and error involved.

While this makes SEO seem like a moving target, you can keep three important categories in mind in order to optimize your website for search engines: quality, trust, and authority.

Quality

Quality refers to giving Google substantial content, and content that is unique. Google won’t be able to distinguish between your website and another website if you don’t clearly show how your product is unique. Stay away from copied text, automatically generated content, and lookout for user-generated spam or hacking as these decrease your quality content. Take a look at the full list of Google’s Quality Guidelines. You’ll notice that most of these guidelines are simply best practices that are easy to implement.

Trust

To increase trust, you have to prove to Google that your website is trustworthy. For example, if you have received many poor reviews about your website, then Google won’t want to show your site to their users. Your website’s trust increases when credible websites are linking to you. Additionally, make sure payments made on your website are secure. Search engines don’t want to send their searchers to a fraudulent website, so take the extra measures to display your company’s legitimacy.

Authority

For search engines to recognize your authority, you have to prove to Google that you are popular. Create published content that people want to link to. This indicates your website as an authoritative figure in your niche. Social media presence also factors into your authority, so get people talking about you. Even featuring testimonials on your website shows that you have a fanbase.

As a side note, don’t even think about trying to trick the algorithms. Cloaking refers to the malicious practice of presenting different information to users and search engines in attempts to boost SEO. Along with other practices such as link scheming and automated queries, Google penalizes websites that partake in cloaking.

It is important to remember that SEO wants to work with you and not against you. Just as you want to keep your customers happy, search engines want to keep their customers, the searchers, happy. In order to please the searchers, search engines want to provide the best results possible. This is why it is your job to show search engines that your company is what the searcher is looking for. SEO can seem overwhelming, you will know you’re heading in the right directions as long as you keep quality, trust, and authority in mind.

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Five Free Tools for SEO Analysis

Posted on July 19, 2018 by Kendall Jarboe

Five_Free_Tools_for_SEO_AnalysisHave you ever been disappointed by SEO analysis tools that promised great results but didn’t deliver? If you have ever searched for ways to help your website’s SEO, then you know there are many devices that claim to offer proven results but don’t follow through. Here are five tools that you might have overlooked and that could help you in your SEO journey. The best part about these tools: they’re all free! Before you jump right into the best SEO analysis tools, make sure you understand the definitions of SEO jargon.

1. Google

Even though people think they should use sources other than Google for analysis help, Google actually has a plethora of great resources to boost your SEO. Before you dig into the myriad of devices that Google offers, the best place to start is always with Google Analytics. It’s good to know the numbers of where your website is at before you make any changes. This way, you’ll be able to tangibly see if the tools you’re implementing are working. Once you’ve explored your analytics, Webmaster Tools is basically your homebase for website support and learning resources. Speed is an important factor for SEO, and PageSpeed Insights is a wonderful tool that will analyze how fast the pages on your website are loading.

2. HubSpot’s Website Grader

One of the great things about this tool is how easy and quick it is to use. HubSpot’s Website Grader literally examines your website and gives it a score. While no one likes to be graded, the mindset for using this tool is similar to why you should use Google Analytics: know where your website is at so you can track its progress.

3. Link Checking

One of the hardest parts of website maintenance is keeping track of your links. Not only is it embarrassing when you find a link on your website that is corrupted, it’s bad for your SEO. There are many free resources available that will scan your website and check for broken links. Dead link checker and W3C Validators are fast, free and easy to use.

4. Infographics

An infographic is probably the most overlooked SEO tool that is popular and easily accessible. Because they make information easy to comprehend and appealing to look at, infographics work great for boosting your SEO. Infographics are sharable and linkable, which help with SEO. They are also great for easily bringing information about your company to smart phones. If you don’t naturally have a knack for creativity or design, not to worry! Infogram and Canva have many layouts to choose from and they make it very easy to customize.

5. WebRevelation

Nothing is better than getting advice personalized to you and your website. WebRevelation offers a full range of digital marketing optimization, and your over-the-phone consultation is totally free! When creating new websites, WebRevelation ensures that your online presence will make search engines happy. If you’re in the need for a brand new website that will increase your SEO, or if you simply need advice on your current website, contact us today.

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SEO Definitions You Need to Know

Posted on July 12, 2018 by Kendall Jarboe

SEO_Definitions_You_Need_to_KnowThere’s nothing more frustrating than launching your new SEO campaign and seeing little to no results. If you are trying to navigate SEO on your own, or even if you hired professionals to help you out, it’s easy to get lost in the great wide web of Search Engine Optimization. Wherever you’re at on your SEO journey, it’s good to define your terms and understand what all of the jargon means. Take a look at this list of SEO-related words and their definitions so that you can stay informed in your search.

SEO - Search Engine Optimization is all about helping search engines understand what your page is about so they can better determine where the website ranks on their SERPs (which is short for Search Engine Result Page). The general goal of this process is to increase traffic to your website by utilizing different practices and making sure your website doesn’t get buried deep in the SERPs.

Keywords - The terms people use to search on web browsers. It’s important to identify these words in order to make sure SEO campaigns align with the popular keyword trends.

Title Tags - Also known as meta tags, these are what users see as the title of the search results that they click on to get to a site. They also determine the name of the tab in their window. Title tags are not necessarily located on the page itself but within the coding, and they are not to be confused with h1 and h2 headings.

Meta Descriptions - Just like title tags, meta descriptions are sentences within the coding that describe the page. Users see this description underneath the title tag when they see a website on their Google search.

Alt Attributes - Also known as alt text, alt attributes are descriptions of images and graphics to be displayed to the user when the image cannot be properly delivered in the case of an error. Alt attributes are also shown to search engines so they can differentiate between images.

Link Building - The practice of one domain linking within their site internally and externally to another domain in order to boost credibility and trust. The anchor text are the words the user can see that contain the link within them.

Authority - The level of trust search engines grant a website for each user search that depend on other credible pages linking to them.

Pagerank - This is a value between 0 and 1 given to web pages by Google’s algorithm based off of several different factors, such as authority and link building, that determines where web pages appear on the SERP. This is different from toolbar pageranks that are values between 0 and 10 and are given only during certain times throughout the year.

If you didn’t find the word you were looking for, here is an extensive glossary of SEO terms that you can peruse. While SEO may seem overwhelming, it doesn’t have to be! At WebRevelation, we will improve your SEO to ultimately increase your traffic and your company’s profits. If you want to see results by using our unique approach to SEO, contact us today.

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