SEO for Beginners: Title Tags & Keyword Optimization [Part Two]

Eric Kazda  |   May 2, 2018   |  Posted in Tips

These SEO basics for beginners are important reminders no matter your skill level. Search engine optimization is vital if you want your website to be found within organic search results. These SEO basics will also improve the user experience. In the first part of this beginner series, we talked about HTML formatting and URL structure.

Read SEO for Beginners Part One here.

Today we’re discussing two more important aspects of search engine optimization, keywords and title tags.

Tip #1: Optimize your page content for long-tail keywords.

Keywords are the words or phrases that best describe what your content is about. They are also known as search queries – which is when a web user types that word or phrase into a search engine. Your goal is to show up on the first page of that search, as long as your content is relevant to their keyword or search query.

Keywords can be as simple as ‘web design’ or more detailed like ‘tips for mobile website design.’ We prefer the latter, known as a long-tail keyword. There may not be as many monthly searches for that keyword – but less searches and more specific search queries mean less competition. You’ll know that your content is the answer to their unique question.

Keyword optimization tips:

  • Use your chosen keyword throughout your HTML page content, including the title and first paragraph of the page. This will show search engines and users that you have the information they are searching for.
  • Try to use long-tail keywords over short keywords when possible.
  • Use a tool like SEMRush to research keywords before putting them into practice. These tools can provide information like the number of searches per month, how many results are currently showing, and how difficult it will be to rank for a particular keyword.

From the experts:

We use the Yoast WordPress plugin to help us optimize the content on our pages with our chosen keywords. This plugin will analyze your content and give suggestions on how to improve the factors that matter most to search engines.

Tip #2: Follow title tag and meta description best practices.

Your title tag is the first item that shows up on a search result. It’s followed by the page URL and then the meta description of the content. Title tags also show at the top of your web browser and can appear when someone shares your content on another site.

You can customize these items to optimize for your chosen keyword and provide a better user experience. If you don’t customize these tags yourself, search engines will often compile them for you – which do not always end up looking pretty. Your title tag and meta description provide a first impression to any prospective visitor. Entice them to click on your content rather than your competitors!

Title Tag Example

Best practices:

  • Follow length requirements. Search engines cut off title tags longer than 65-75 characters long. They cut off meta descriptions longer than 160 characters.
  • Brand your title tag. You’ll see that our blog title tags always end with our name. This allows our content to be properly associated with our agency.
  • Use your chosen keywords in these tags. It will strongly help your search rankings for that particular keyword.
  • Entice readers with an eye-catching title. Use the tips found in our article about crafting an effective title.

Terminology to remember:

Keyword – the word or phrase that best describes what your content is about

Long-tail keyword – a longer, more specific keyword that results in less search traffic, but also less competition in search rankings

Title tag – the clickable headline portion of a search engine result, meant to accurately describe the page’s content and purpose

Meta description – a short snippet of text that accurately describes what a visitor will find on that web page, shows on search engine results below the title tag

Website analytics and SEO data analysis concept
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Eric

About
Eric Kazda

Eric Kazda is a leading expert in the interactive development industry with over fifteen years of experience. With a mastery of critical development technologies, Eric has crafted innovative award-winning work for clients both large and small. Coupling this knowledge with a real world understanding of usability and technological feasibility, his work is developed to be accessible by every user.

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