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SEO Basics You Need to Master

by Kavya Sebastian

There is a lot that you could and actually should do to attract visitors to your site. One of these things is optimizing your website for search engines
like Google. According to HubSpot, 75% of searchers never go
past the first page of search results — this is why it is so essential to rank on the first page of Google.

We have compiled a list of basic SEO best practices for you to follow on your site, whether you are getting ready to launch or you already have your website
up and running.

META DATA

Meta tags are snippets of text that describe a page’s content. These snippets do not appear on the page itself, but rather serve as descriptors to help
tell search engines what a web page is about. Your page title and meta description are two of the most important meta tags on your page.

Title Tags

A good title tag should briefly summarize the topic of the page in no more than 55 characters (not including the site name at the end). If the title tag
is more than 55 characters, there is a risk of the title getting cut off in search results. This title should be unique and include a high-value keyword
with the brand name at the end.

Meta Description Tags

A meta description is a brief summary of a page in the search engine results page (SERP) that is displayed below the title tag. Meta descriptions do not
directly impact search rankings, but they can influence click-through rates. For this reason, using verbs (discover, explore, shop, etc.) is a great
way to encourage an action.

Meta descriptions should accurately describe a page while using one or two high-value keywords. Google typically truncates meta descriptions to 155–160
characters, so make sure you provide an accurate summary of your content while keeping it under 160 characters.

HEADINGS

Using headings creates texts of higher quality that are also easier to read. A better text is better for users, which is better for your SEO. Proper use
of subheadings (H1, H2, H3) also helps Google understand your content better and makes your text more accessible to readers.

If visitors can’t quickly find what they are searching for, they will likely turn to another search result for their answer. It is, therefore, important
to follow best practices for text structure and H1 and H2 heading tags to impact your SEO:

H1 Heading Tags

The H1 heading should briefly summarize the topic of a given page. For example, if a website has a blog, all the titles of the posts should be classified
as H1. It is best to use a single, text-based H1 for the main heading of a given page and avoid using more than one H1. When appropriate, use a high-value
keyword in the H1 heading.

H2 Heading Tags

Blog posts can benefit from classifying secondary headings as H2, which is encouraged for several reasons:

  • Secondary headings will break up page content and help readers skim.
  • H2 classifications help define the page structure for search engines.
  • With more secondary headings, there are more opportunities to incorporate keywords.

 

KEYWORDS

SEO keywords are the keywords and phrases in your web content that make it possible for people to find your site via search engines. A website that is
well-optimized for search engines communicates with potential visitors using keywords to rank in related searches. Keywords are one of the main elements
of SEO.

It is best practice to use a natural density of keywords in body copy throughout the website. In other words, it is wise to write in a natural manner without
stuffing keywords into your content. Use a given keyword once or twice for every 100 words of copy. Additionally, use variations and long-tail versions
of a keyword. For example, “digital marketing” and “digital marketing services”.

When writing new content to launch on-site, reference the keyword list to ensure the content is optimized for indexing. If a list isn’t available, focus
on a handful of terms to draw from. You should aim to use a keyword in the title and/or the main headline as well as in at least one subheading in
the copy.

It is also good practice to use internal links throughout the body copy of a page. Internal links are important because they establish an information hierarchy
for your website and also help Google get a deeper understanding of the content on your page.

For instance, if a sentence reads “The core services we provide include strategy, web design, and development…” then link “web design” to the web
design services page. With that being said, linking excessively throughout the content is not recommended; once or twice for every 100 words is ideal.

IMAGES

Think about your process when creating content for your website. It is likely that you are spending a lot of time selecting the right images to enhance
your page content, whether that is a product image on a product page or a header image for a blog post. Images play a crucial role in improving the
user experience of visitors on your site.

The images you use on your site can do more for you when you optimize them to contribute to your site’s overall SEO in a way that can boost organic traffic.
There are three main things you can do to optimize the images on your pages:

Choose the Best File Format

Site speed is an important factor of page ranking, and images contribute a lot to the overall page size. Google suggests improving page speed for mobile
users by serving images in next-gen formats. Image formats like JPEG 2000, JPEG XR, and WebP often provide better compression than PNG or JPEG, which
means faster downloads and less data consumption. Consider using a plugin or service that will automatically convert your uploaded images to the optimal
formats.

Add a Descriptive Filename

Once your page loads, you want Google to know what the image is about without even looking at it. This is where having optimized filenames benefits your
SEO strategy.

A good filename is descriptive and contains something identifiable, like a keyword. Additionally, you should keep the filename to no more than 10 words.

A good example of this would be: champ-digital-marketing-team.jpg

A bad example would be: xyz123.jpg

Provide ALT Text for Images

ALT text helps browsers better understand the images on your site. Create ALT text for images that are owned by your organization – stock images or those
that belong to someone else should be a lower priority.

Google says “When choosing alt text, focus on creating useful,
information-rich content that uses keywords appropriately and is in context of the content of the page. Avoid filling alt attributes with keywords
(keyword stuffing) as it results in negative user experience and may cause your site to be seen as spam.”

When writing alt text for images, ensure your description is:

  • concise (no more than 10 words),
  • grammatically correct, and;
  • only includes a keyword if applicable to the content of the image.

As an example, the following image is an original Champ photo from a company outing. A good alt text description could read something like “champ digital
marketing team at flight club”.

Now that you have a basic understanding of what your website optimization should look like, you probably have a massive to-do list for your website! This is where experienced professionals, like those that work at Champ, can help you take your search strategy to a whole new level.

Contact us to schedule a consultation for your search and website needs.

 

55 Chapel St., Suite 105, Newton, MA 02458 | 617.517.0733
Champ ensures you have years of industry knowledge and expertise right at your fingertips. By creating highlycustomized programs, Champ delivers measurable results so your business thrives and outshines the competition.

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