So I wanted to do something holiday-related since the season is upon us or past us (depending on what or how you celebrate). After listening to all of the overplayed holiday tunes on the radio this week and also deciding that Destiny’s Child’s “8 Days of Christmas” should be banned from the airwaves, the best I could come up with was “All I Want for Christmas is a Good PageRank.” We all know that in order for your page to rank well on the search engines, you need to pay attention to on-page factors. Incidentally, a lot of these have to do with content, which is why I’ll be reviewing a few ways to get your content ready for 2011.
Title tags are probably the most important factor the search engines take into account when determining a page’s rank. Here are a few tips for keeping your title tags fresh and relevant.
Their length should be 70 characters or
Put the primary keyword first, the secondary keyword next and so on. However, if your company is well-known and branding is more important, it would be a good idea to put your name first followed by the keywords.
On the other hand if what you’re selling takes precedence over your brand and you’ve determined that the keywords are more important, then you can place a vertical bar followed by your company’s name or site at the end if you have room.
If you’re only targeting one or two keywords, they take up little character space and you’ve decided not to use your site’s name, then you may have room to include a value proposition or two. A good example would be “Christmas Stockings & Ornaments on SALE” or “Christmas Stockings & Ornaments – FREE Personalization.”
Meta descriptions are another important factor. These may not necessarily directly affect page rank, but do have an impact on click-through rates. Searchers use the few sentences below the title tag to determine what the page is about.
Length should be between 150-200 characters. Ideal length is about 170 characters.
Search engines bold the keywords. If you have 3 keywords, it’s best to try to use all 3, but make sure it sounds natural. And if you think using only 2 sounds best, then go with that.
Make sure your meta descriptions are unique for every page.
Alpha-numeric symbols are best choices when writing a meta description. And, instead of using quotes for a book title or TV show, use all caps.
Content is the last thing I’ll be talking about today. I talk about content a lot in my previous blog posts so I’ll keep this easy.
- Try to use the same keyword every 100-150 words.
- Each page should have about 200-300 words in content.
- Make sure your copy sounds natural. If you’re having a hard time organizing your thoughts on the page, use bullet points and follow the inverted pyramid format.
- Use anchor text wisely. If you’re working on a category page for hockey gear and are using “Easton hockey sticks” in the text and want to link a keyword term to a product page, make sure the page it’s pointing to is optimized for “Easton hockey sticks.”
- Lastly, content is being duplicated more and more with shopping engines popping up. If you notice your rankings have been dropping, it may be a good idea to check that page for duplicated content by copying and pasting a sentence or two into a search engine. Just make sure they have quotation marks around all of the phrasing.