Perfectly Optimized Web Pages
I’ve put together a free guide to a Perfectly Optimized Page just for you. There is no black box or special sauce to SEO. Most of our clients come to us through referral when they have been ripped off by some other company – I will not name names – that has said they’ve got some proprietary secret weapon that hasn’t worked and after the check has cleared they won’t return phone calls.
Since you’re here, please share this post with your friends and business associates because they would also benefit greatly by having this not-so-secret knowledge.
A short list of SEO tips just for you
- Use SEO friendly URLs – Well, OK, but what does that mean. It means that you should use real words in your URL not gobbledy (sp?) gook. According to Matt Cutts from Google, the first 3 words you use in your URL matter. Think to yourself, is this optimized URL something that a human being can understand and know what is on the page. By looking at the URL will your visitors know what to expect? If so, then the search engines will too.
- Optimize Your Page Title – Brevity is the soul of wit. I don’t know who wrote it, cause whoever did must have known a lot about optimizing page titles for SEO. (j/k) Google displays the amount of characters that will comfortably fit into a 512-pixel display. Well, what that means is it needs to be short. Keep the title tag under 55 characters and you should be safe. Just like in the 1st tip above, you want to mention the target keyword in the title so that human beings (and Google) will be able to find the article and know what is in the article by the title. Whoever came up with don’t judge a web page by it’s title (or was it a book and its cover they were talking about?) had NO idea what they were talking about. It’s all about the title! If you are looking at this article and the title was “Things You Should Do” it would be accurate, but it doesn’t give the user (or machines) a clue as to what to expect on the page or in the article. If you were trying to quickly find some relevant and useful information for your buddy who needed to learn how to perfectly optimize a web page for SEO, you’d probably skip right over that article with the bad title to one that said “Perfectly Optimize Your Web Page For SEO,” right? It just makes sense. We aren’t talking about rocket science here, just logic. Think about it, this huge company has hired some of the best, and smartest, analytical programming minds on the planet. Do you think they write code based on emotion? Since you can’t really answer me right now I will tell you the answer. They use logic and so should you. Think to yourself how can I clearly tell someone what my page is about? Then put that in the title and wrap an <H1> tag around it. I talk about how to do that here.
- Make the page interesting – Use Visual Media! It’s boring to stare at a huge page of words. If that’s all that people see, they will leave. That is all.
- Link to authority sites – Basically, you should cite where you got your information and/or link off to good/relevant/fun pages other than your own. When you are choosing content to share, do your research to make sure that it is a credible source. For example, would you trust the information on WhiteHouse.Gov or http://stupidevilbastard.com/2012/10/its-called-the-white-house-for-a-reason/ ? Exactly.
I’d like to take this opportunity to apologize to the wonderful people behind StupidVileBastard.com. You keep doing what you’re doing by providing an outlet for people to hate on others.
The Perfectly Optimized Page
- Have a target keyword and use it early on the page. So basically have that target keyword in mind like “Perfectly Optimize Web Pages” We use it in the Title, <H1> tag, and somewhere else in the first 100 words. It may seem like keyword stuffing, but this is why it takes creativity and art to do it properly. Gotta think for this one. I usually write the article first and then go back and see how I can work that keyword in just one more time during the first paragraph.
- Use Related Keywords – i.e. use a thesaurus! Google has a technology that they call LSI or Latent Semantic Indexing. Basically the machine uses a really complex thesaurus to understand what words and phrases mean. You need to use your brain. Write naturally, but you want to include other phrases than your specific keyword to make your web pages more advanced. In other words you want to shape up and straighten out your pages and by enhancing the content during the revamp of your page, the chance your visitor would get the idea improves. Get it? Yeah, that was written really badly. I am ashamed. All is fair in war and education. I digress.
- Optimize Image File Names and ALT tags – Remember those images you put on your site? Well, when you are uploading them to your site you should change the name from main_hero_image_3_for_homepage_todays_date with something about what is in the article. You didn’t just grab any old image and slap it on your page, did you? Well that machine that you aren’t writing for that holds the key to traffic when customers are looking for services and products that you have is blind. It has no idea what is in this picture: It only knows what is in the picture when you use your words like this:
Images help to tell the story, you need include them to make things more interesting and sharable. Since you’ve read this far, can you do me a favor and share this post through social media? It would mean a lot to me. Thanks in advance!
- Optimize your page for social sharing – Story time! I once had a client that wasn’t getting much love from organic search and we couldn’t figure out why. It was a brand new site, but we were doing everything according to best practices for SEO, but 1 day an article that we wrote when viral on social media (got over 200,000 views on Facebook alone in a single day) and the next day our organic traffic for all pages on the entire site jumped over 100% immediately. Now, that was just crazy fun, but really hard to reproduce. I think that the reason this happened is that Google, and the other search engines, are trying to serve up only the most relevant, and good, content. The only real way they have to determine if something is ‘good’ or not is if other human beings think it is good. The only way we know if human beings think it is good is if they like/share/+1/Pin/retweet/etc. If you hate social media, we can set it all up and take care of it for you (*shameless plug).
- Make page load quickly – This is really huge and takes technical know-how, but if your page takes 9 seconds to load, people aren’t going to wait around for it. Think about the last time you saw an interesting headline, so you clicked on the title to read the article and then nothing happened? So, you clicked that ‘back button’ and went back to what you were doing before you were so rudely interrupted. Your site visitors are an instant gratification crowd and we want things now! Spoiled rotten… You’re not gonna teach them your lesson by making them wait, just give in, hire us, and we’ll speed up your page load time. Google has a great developer tool to help page load speed.
- Make site responsive – If your site doesn’t look right on a mobile device, you need a website redesign. If not, your visitor will bounce (leave) very quickly and Google will notice and then penalize you (without telling you) by not sending you traffic. How fast people leave, and how many people bounce, is an indicator that is used to see if you’ve got that good content on a properly built website that will load quickly and give the visitor what they came for (i.e. give them what was promised in your title tag and <H1> tag).
So in conclusion.
It’s not easy, but a Perfectly Optimized Page is not rocket science. We have found great success by doing what Google tells us to do (follow the rules) every time, consistently for our clients day after day. It’s not a sprint, but rather a marathon that you need to train for and practice. You can do it yourself. If you don’t want to do it yourself we will happily Optimize Your Website for you! Until next time.
Lastly here is an awesome infographic, brought to you by the friendly – and really smart – folks at QuickSprout that you can print out and put at your desk to remind you of these awesome lessons.