Optimizing your meta data for best SEO practices is not always the easiest thing to do. Knowing Google’s best practices for SEO is a crucial ingredient in a recipe for a successful SEO strategy for your website. On-page SEO factors, such as correctly optimized metadata, play a vital role in assisting Google to know what your page is about. This way, they can index that information correctly, and assign rankings for a specific search query.
In this blog post we’re going to discuss metadata SEO best practices when writing meta titles, meta descriptions, headers and on-page SEO. We’ll discuss how to conduct keyword research and identifying a target keyword. Also, how to properly optimize your website and achieve high rankings on search engine result pages.
Metadata SEO Title Tags
Google crawls webpages from top to bottom. And, the title tag is at the very top of a webpage. It’s the first thing Google sees in order to identify what your page is about. Therefore, it’s highly important to include your primary keyword in the title tag. For example, if your website page content is primarily about storytelling, community building, and organic marketing, then these are the keywords that you want to use when drafting up title tags.
AHREFS is an SEO search data software suite that contains tools for link building, keyword research, competitor analysis, rank tracking and site audits. AHREFS is a very popular and extremely helpful SEO tool that people use to get higher Google rankings.
Title tags have character limits and should be kept within those limits. Otherwise, your title tag will cut off in the search results of Google. This could negatively impact your metadata SEO efforts. Along with this, Title Tag character limits are roughly 55 characters, including space. Yoast is a great example of a free WordPress SEO tool that has the editor built-in.
A meta description is a back-end element that is not visible on the front end of a web page. However, it’s visible underneath the meta title tag of a ranking URL on the SERP (search result page). A well-written meta description gives users a glimpse at your pages’ content and can entice users to click through to your site. Remember, it’s not necessary to include your target keyword in your meta descriptions, but if it makes sense then try to use it at least once.
However, if your page content/URLs for your website are mostly conversational and the pages have few words, your keywords are not going to be specifically placed. And, if there is not much continuity in your pages from a metadata SEO perspective, then you have to be more creative in order to comply with best practice and to loop in the topics you want to rank for. If we just add the keywords to your meta content but your page content is not commensurate with that, we will be keyword stuffing. Keyword stuffing can hurt more than help because it doesn’t give the user a clear depiction of exactly what’s on your page and search engines can see that specific SERPL is not an accurate representation of what the page says. — so it does not rank it.
It’s advised to put important keywords closest to the front of the meta description tag. Again, it’s not a crucial ingredient. However, it’s highly recommended. Remember, whatever you do, be sure to never use the old tactic of keyword stuffing. Not only does that not work, but it also looks tacky.
Metadata SEO Headers
Headers are important for structuring your web pages. Header tags are extremely important to not only your users but also to Google.
- H1 tags denote the most important text, such as the main theme or title of a content. The H1 is similar to the page meta title tag, in that it gives meaning and summarizes a page’s content. It’s recommended that there is one H1 per page.
- Next, H2 and H3 tags are commonly used as subheadings. Remember, it’s important to include relevant related keywords from the meta title tag. You can take the keywords you’ve found in your keyword research for ideas on the header structure.
- Finally, H4, H5, and H6 tags provide further structure within those subsections.
Keywords are ideas and topics that define what your content is about on your website page. In terms of SEO, they’re the words and phrases that searchers enter into search engines, also called “search queries.”
For SEO best practices make sure you have the following:
- Target keyword found through keyword research- use tools such as AHREFS.
- Optimized title tag and meta description.
- An optimized header structures- H1’s, H2’s, H3’s, etc.
- Write relevant, quality content in the body section of your pages.
- Internal links to relevant pages.
- Optimized image alt tags.
On-Page Metadata SEO Best Practices
Optimizing your web body copy is very important for relevancy and SEO best practices, not just for Google, but for your website users as well. Keep in mind that just because your blog post is long, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s quality content that’s going to rank on SERPS. Make sure your content is hitting on what users need and want. One way to measure this is to look at your Google Analytics and check your Behavior Metrics such as Time spent on Site, Pages Per Visit, and Bounce Rates.
When writing your on-page content, use keyword variations around 2-3 times throughout the body content, make sure to add an image alt text to your images, and avoid keyword stuffing as it will ruin the quality of the page. When creating content, be unique, be informative, be relevant, and overall, create content that helps to answer users’ search queries, engages them, and encourages them to re-share.
True SEO requires the same keywords to be in your meta content as are in your URLs and on your pages. When search engines crawl your site, they are looking for your meta title/description, URL, page title, sub headings and paragraph text to all be closely aligned. For example, if you are targeting the keyword “social media“, then the URL needs to be .com/social-media. The page title needs to be “Social Media.” And, all sub headings need to have the words “social media” somewhere in the text. Along with this, all the paragraph content needs to be specific to that subheading re: social media. In that instance, your SERP title and description would also contain social media- and this is the ideal practice. Our objective overall is to 1) Truly represent what the page says and 2) Stay competitive on the topics you want your website to rank for by writing better SERPLs than competing websites.
Contact Digital Task Force For Assistance With SEO Best Practices
If you need more assistance with metadata for your website, and website optimization for best metadata SEO practices, contact us today. We’re here to help!