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5 SEO TECHNIQUES CRITICAL IN THE AGE OF INTELLIGENT SEARCH ENGINES

If you still think that conventional on-page and off-page SEO techniques are going to get your website the relevant traffic, and, your business the required conversions, you could not be more wrong!

In the decades gone by, the goal of SEO was to impress (or trick) the search engines so that they’d give you higher rankings -- with the ultimate goal being the coveted no 1 spot in the search results for your target keywords.

Well, not anymore. Today, the search engines are smarter. They can tell the difference between spammy websites that are designed to game the system, and legitimate websites that are providing, relevant high-quality content.

Modern SEO is about optimizing for the searchers, not the search engines. And here is how you can quickly assimilate this…..

Web-page Titles - A page title is the text you see at the top of your browser window when viewing a web page. It’s also the title of a page that is presented in search engine results.

      

Page titles can be found and edited in your site’s HTML. The text that is surrounded with the title tag is your page’s title. Here are some guidelines for coming up with effective page titles:

  • Write page titles that describe -- and align with -- a page’s content.
  • Include relevant keywords (which should happen naturally if you follow this).
  • Place keywords as close to the beginning of the title as possible.
  • Make it fewer than 70 characters long. (Longer page titles will get cut off by web browsers and in search results, and also dilute the importance of the keywords mentioned).
  • Include your company name at the end of the page title, unless you are a big brand and people search for you through your brand name.
  • Use unique page titles for each page of your website.

Meta Descriptions - A meta-description is a short summary that you can write for a web page, which search engines display in search results. These descriptions don’t count toward search engine rankings, but they are still incredibly useful.

This is what your potential client reads on seeing the search results, and a good description can make the difference between clicking and not clicking on your url, greatly affecting not just your CTR (click through rate) but conversions! When creating a description, your goal should be write a compelling copy that not only accurately describes what’s on a page, but so that searchers will be enticed to click!

Headings - If a piece of text appears larger or more prominent than the other text on a page, it’s probably part of a heading. You can verify this by checking the HTML code of your website and looking for text with an h1, h2, or h3 tag surrounding it.

Both, search engines and searchers, tend to pay more attention to headings in comparison to regular paragraph text. For this reason, it is good to include keywords in your headings whenever possible.

Keep in mind that h1 tags give the text more weight as keywords than h2 or h3 tags. Including too many headings dilutes the importance of keywords in other headings, so I recommend using the h1 tag only once. If the page is text-heavy (like a blog post), then feel free to throw in a few h2 or h3 tags as paragraph titles.

Images - Images on a web page can enhance user experience. When inserting images into your website, however, you should keep in mind the following:

  • Don’t use images excessively. More pictures can slow down the loading of your page, thus negatively impacting both user experience and SEO.
  • Associate text with pictures. If for some reason, the images on your site fail to render, the visitors can still understand the information you’re presenting, when you use the “alt text” HTML attribute to provide relevant text descriptions of your images.
  • Include keywords in your image file name. This will help you draw in relevant traffic from image searches. Separate the words in the file name with a dash (-).

URL Structure - The URL of a web page is its web address. URL structure refers to how the text in a URL is organized, as well as how the different URLs on your website interact with one another.

When structuring your website’s URLs, there are a few best practices to keep in mind:

  • Separate keywords with dashes. For your internal page URLs, separate individual keywords with slashes (/). For example:

http://www.eyecatchers.co/services/Branding/brand-name

  is a good URL that captures ‘brand name’ within ‘branding’ as keywords?

  • Describe what’s on the page. Structure your URLs so that searchers can easily understand what information they’re going to find. For example, if you land on a company’s services page, seeing the URL

http://www.eyecatchers.co/services/marketing-communications/outdoor-advertising

 will certainly be much more reassuring than something like http://company.com/1543?/eh?.

  • Use 301 redirects when necessary. A 301 redirect forwards an old URL to a new one. Make sure you do this if you change the URL of a page on your site. A common mistake is not applying a 301 redirect between http://www.eyecatchers.co and eyecatchers.co. This can be quite a problem from an SEO standpoint, because search engines will give separate credit to both versions of your site.

I sincerely hope you will find these helpful in making your website the online Centre-Of-Gravity of your business! For more such information on SEO, social media hacks, and about optimizing your online business in general, do visit our Facebook and LinkedIn social media pages and our website www.eyecatchers.co.

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