SEO is an art. This is not an opinion…it is simply fact. If SEO were easy, everyone would rank on page one and large corporations wouldn’t get paid the “big bucks” for their SEO services. That’s not to say that you can’t do a few simple SEO tidbits yourself without enlisting the help of an SEO expert. You certainly can! But be aware, that SEO usually requires that you have the ability to edit your website…whether you know code or not. We are constant students of SEO and make it a point to stay on top of the latest and greatest when it comes to techniques, but that’s not your job. Your job is to make sure your business can be found, and you can obtain sales/conversions. So, rather than get into the nitty gritty of all the amazing SEO techniques that are out there, we’d rather help you with the 3 biggest SEO mistakes that novices make when first starting out. If you listen to our advice, you’ll find that even if you don’t know all the tricks of SEO, you’re still getting decent search engine listings, and people are finding your site.
First, let’s explain what a page title is. If you look at the browser tab in your window right now, you’ll see a name for the page that you’re currently browsing. For example, if you were on our corporate site (in Google Chrome), this is what our page title would look like:
The page title is very important, because it is the first thing that the search engines “crawl” or “read” to understand where your website should show up in search results. They’re trying to establish what keywords or keyword phrases your site should appear on in the SERP (Search Engine Results Page). The most common mistake that people make is that they don’t understand the purpose of a page title. They believe it’s simply to let their already existing browsers understand where they’re at within the website. While helpful, this certainly isn’t necessary. Most browsers won’t even look up at the tab in their browser, so you shouldn’t worry about that. If your website is user friendly and easily navigable, then don’t worry about the page title in terms of the “browser’s” eyes. Instead, understand that getting found is your number one priority, and make your page title reflect so. Most people will leave their title as “Home” or perhaps the name of their company. This doesn’t really help you. Unless people already know your company exists and that’s how they’re searching for you, odds are, you’re getting low search volume. Instead, put some strategic and relevant keywords into your page title that describe what your business is about. For example, if you own a furniture store in Atlanta called “Bob’s Furniture Emporium”, don’t make that your page title. Instead, make your page title something like “Custom Interior Furniture – Atlanta”. Can you see the difference? Your page title should reflect what your potential customer’s query is.
If you’re a local business, which is the case most of the time, why not optimize it? Why are you competing nationally if you don’t service nationally? Instead, make your page title reflect that fact that you’re in Seattle, Washington DC, Miami, Atlanta, etc. People love to search for local businesses, and the competition is less fierce because people always forget to geo-target their market. Get ahead of the game and put the market that you service in your page title.
OPTIMIZE EACH PAGE FOR A KEYWORD
There are many strategic ways that you can optimize a page within a website. For example, anchor text, heading titles, page titles, meta keywords, and more, can be optimize for each page within your website. Make use of this opportunity, and be sure you optimize each page well. Don’t get lazy and assume that one good page title will make you visible. Instead, search each of your pages and map out every way you can optimize it. From the names of each photo you upload, to the names of the directory they’re uploaded to, to the heading titles, and so on. But be careful! Don’t optimize a page for keywords that aren’t relevant to the content. Google, and the other search engines, will slap you, and you’ll be in a world of hurt. Instead, stay on topic, and actually let people know that you have valuable content regarding “topic x” that you’d like to share with them, and that will prove helpful to them.