05 Jul 2012

SEO starters guide part 2

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This is the second blog post in a series designed to give you a basic understanding of Search Engine
Optimisation (SEO). It first appeared on the Pink Giraffes Blog where I’m a guest writer.

Behind the Scenes

Behind the scenes information on your website or ‘Meta Data’ is no longer the be all and end all in SEO
but remains very important component of website optimisation.

What is Meta Data?

Meta data can very simply be thought of as a series of descriptive labels applied to each page of your
website that help search engines understand what each one contains.

As a regular internet user you may not have seen a page with very poor meta data, that’s because most
people don’t go beyond the first couple of pages of search results and you don’t get on the first page of
Google with poor meta data!

For example:
Ask yourself if you had searched for “SEO Services Kent and Sussex” which result would you click on?

 

 

 

 

 Types of Meta Data

Page or meta title – This appears as the largest text on a search result. It should contain your brand,
your most important keywords on the page and a location.
Page or meta description – This should accurately describe the contents of your page using keywords
and should give a potential customer as much reason as possible to click on your link.
Page or meta keywords – Keywords that appear on your page that you would like to rank for in search
results, they must relate to the content of your page.

The myths

Meta data used to be very important factor in how well your website ranked. These days page content,
incoming links and social signals carry much more weight but as you can see from the first example they
also play a very important role in getting customers to click on your search result once it is shown.
Don’t underestimate the basics, as Google themselves say:

“When viewed individually, these changes might seem like incremental improvements, but when
combined with other optimizations, they could have a noticeable impact on your site’s user experience
and performance in organic search results.”

Best practises

Meta information should be unique for each page on your website. Page titles and meta descriptions
should accurately describe the content of the page.
Meta keywords are no longer used by most search engines but good keyword research is vital for good
SEO and filling in meta keywords will help you focus the content on each page in your online marketing
plan.

Conclusion

Meta data isn’t the holy grail of SEO but it remains a fundamental basic building block on which to
build a well optimised website and should be overlooked at your peril. Don’t let your website languish,
never to be found, clicked on and visited!

Next time

The front end – content is king but without the right keyword research who will find you?

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