SEO Best Practices in 2017 – Part 2. In Part 1 we looked at website performance. In Part 2 we look at on-page SEO and how that factors into increasing SEO.
SEO Best Practices in 2017 – Part 2 of 5
In Part 1 we looked at the new Google Mobile First Indexing, and how website performance metrics such as mobile-friendliness, Site Speed and Dwell Time impacts SEO. In SEO Best Practices in 2017 – Part 2, we look at On-Page SEO.
SEO Best Practices in 2017 – Part 2 – On-Page SEO
If you are a business owner with a website, you are most likely aware of how important it is to connect with people interested in the products or services that you offer. You also know the power of a Google search, and how useful a good position on a search term can be.
Google and Bing algorithms (Yahoo uses both services, depending on the search phrase) each contain hundreds of factors, they change search criteria frequently, and never disclose what the parameters are to anyone. SEO is, and always will be, an inexact science. It’s the nature of the beast.
But the one thing that can make a difference is On-Page SEO.
Simply put, there are numerous ways to increase SEO, Oddly, website builders and “sloppy” website firms often miss the basics. For example, you cannot do any SEO on images (which is a big part of on-page SEO) on any DIY online website builder. And that is sad, because it’s a great tool to increase SEO.
And it makes sense from the perspective that DIY website builders actually block Google from indexing images or videos, but that’s the price you pay for not having a website that can take advantage of SEO Best Practices.
SEO Best Practices in 2017 – Part 2 – On-Page SEO
Case and point. If your competitor has a listing above the fold (generally the first 3-4 organic listings that appear in a search return, before the need to scroll down) and has been there for months, even years, you may be able to jump them.
If they have grabbed the keyword, but have only used it in text and if you used that same keyword in text, as well as using that same keyword in the Image File Name, Alt-Text, Description, and Caption, there is a very strong likelihood you’ll leapfrog that competitor in the Search Engine Return Pages (SERP).
On-Page Image SEO makes a big difference, and it’s a very important SEO tool.
It’s that powerful.
Let’s look at the On-Page SEO Basics that absolutely need to be covered.
SEO Best Practices in 2017 – Part 2 – On-Page SEO Basics
Basic Text SEO Hints
- 300 words or more. It’s hard to convince Google that it’s worth reading (and indexing), when it’s under 300 words.
- Shoot for 1 to 3 percent keyword content – more than that may get you penalized (keyword stuffing).
- Write for humans and not for the search bots – cramming keywords might turn off readers as unnatural.
- Use H1, H2 and H3 and include the keywords and long-tails (bold and italics don’t factor for SEO).
Basic Image SEO Tips
- Don’t upload the file name from the camera (062820166345.jpg) – rename it using the keyword for the post.
- Google looks at the “Alternate Text” for a description of the image – add 4-10 words here, but no more – include the keyword.
- Add a description to the image, but more more than a sentence.
- Add a Caption – This appears under the image.
- For multiple images on a single post, vary the filenames, Alt and desc., while continuing to embed the selected keyword or long-tail phrase for that post. Remember, none of this works on GoDaddy or any other DYI webpge builder. The Build-Your-Own-Website builders block image indexing. And that hurts your page SEO. Big Time.
- You’ll want to use a professional image manipulation software such as Photoshop. Google strongly suggests putting your logo in as many photos as possible. See our post on Universal Search.
Very Basic SEO Tips Before Publishing
- Does the keyword or post title have stopwords? (pet supplies IN Cincinnati vs pet supplies Cincinnati)
- Is the meta description compelling, answer the search query, or have a distinct call to action? (the meta appears below the URL in Google Search)
- Does the Title, Slug and the URL contain the keyword(s)?
- Have you researched your competitors descriptions for common keywords?
- Meta descriptions can be any length, but search engines generally truncate post descriptions longer than 160 characters. It is best to keep meta descriptions between 150 and 160 characters.
- You can use nofollow and outbound links, but don’t overdo it.
Basic On-Page Video SEO Tips
- Make sure you have a separate landing page for each video so search engines can find and index each video asset individually. Multiple videos on a single page doesn’t help SEO the same way images do.
- Don’t allow them to autostart. I’ve been on websites where two separate videos started auto-playing on the same landing page at the same time. Don’t give users a reason to quickly hit the back button, especially if they are searching at work.
- Be sure to populate hidden tags in the HTML code of your video landing pages, specifically Facebook’s OpenGraph tags, Schema.org’s microdata tags, and even sometimes Twitter Card tags are a good idea.
- Add video transcriptions directly to the HTML text of each of the pages where your videos are hosted. Transcriptions give your viewers the option to “read” a video if they can’t watch and listen to it, while providing the keyword richness a search engine needs. A few years ago, many news sites, most notably CBS, threw up videos with no basic transcription and watched in horror as the ranking virtually disappeared. They fixed that and now have a text description below the video strictly for SEO. The same holds true for audio files and podcasts.
Again, these are all the basic On-Page SEO Best Practices in 2017.
Now is any of this new to you? Then shame on you for not following the rules. We do it “by the book”. No overstated promises. No black hat backlink buying. No outsourcing overseas.
Just hard work and results.