SEO Dos and Don’ts
Everyone wants to know how to make their website rank higher on the search engines. SEO practices are numerous and constantly changing, so they may make you want to pull your hair out (they certainly make me want to scream). BUT if you start with your website adding great content, precise titles and tags and strong SEO practices throughout; your website will be in terrific shape for the Search Engines to find. Mind you, there are A LOT more pieces to the SEARCH ENGINE RANKING puzzle than website SEO, but this list of SEO Juice Dos and Don’ts should help!
1. Be Specific
Every page on your site should have a specific purpose. Think about the page in front of you, and try to describe it. If you’re using “and” to combine multiple thoughts on this page, its time to make some new pages. When writing the titles for each of these pages, keep the specifics of the page in mind. If this is a page just about “ricotta”, the title should include your keywords centered around “ricotta”, and not a more generic keyword phrase like “types of cheeses”.
2. Be Unique
Just like every page title should be specific to each page, you should also make sure that each page title is unique across your entire site. If you’re following the first rule and making sure that every page is laser-focused on a single topic, it should be extremely easy to also make sure that each page title is unique.
3. Be Compelling
When you are looking at a search engine results page, there’s only three things that appear for a visitor – the page title, the page description (bonus points if you’ve got a unique and targeted meta description), and your page’s URL. Try and treat your page titles like the titles for your blog posts, and make them compelling.
AND NOW FOR THE DON’TS…
1. Be Repetitive
Your page titles should not include multiple variations of similar keyword phrases. A great example of being bad would be “ricotta, ricotta cheese, italian ricotta cheese, italian ricotta cheese for lasagna | Ricotta Cheese Emporium”. Titles like this promote worst practices and often lead to having the same page titles used across most (if not all) of the pages in your site.
2. Be Long
Anything more than 70 characters is a waste. If you’re not able to describe this particular page with less than 70 characters, then maybe you need to break this down into multiple pages. From a practical standpoint, Google will cut your title off around 70 characters, and you’ll be left with a set of elipses at the end of the title – and everything you’ve written above the 70 character limit is essentially negated.
3. Put Your Company Name at the Front
In most cases, your website will already rank high for your company name. Leverage the fact that search engines allocate more weight to the words that appear at the beginning of a page title, and form your titles using your keyword phrases first, and then your company name.