SEO Beginner Guide – Part 1
Today’s blog is the part one from 4 parts – as SEO Beginner Guide. We will talk about meta tags and general content.
What are meta tags?
Meta tags are elements to provide information about the webpage in the HTML of any webpage. This information is called “metadata” and while it is not displayed on the page itself, it can be read by search engines and web crawlers.
Search engines such as Google use metadata from meta tags to understand additional information about the webpage. They can use this information for ranking purposes, to display snippets in search results, and sometimes they can ignore meta tags.
We are talking today about the 3 important elements – title tag, meta description and content
Title tag and its optimal length:
Google typically displays the first 50–60 characters of a title tag. If you keep your titles under 60 characters, our research suggests that you can expect about 90% of your titles to display properly. There’s no exact character limit, because characters can vary in width and Google’s display titles max out (currently) at 600 pixels.
Meta description and its optimal length:
Meta descriptions can be any length, but Google generally truncates snippets to ~155–160 characters. It’s best to keep meta descriptions long enough that they’re sufficiently descriptive, so we recommend descriptions between 50–160 characters. Keep in mind that the “optimal” length will vary depending on the situation, and your primary goal should be to provide value and drive clicks.
Ranking Factor in 2020:
The title tag is indeed a ranking factor for Google.
The meta description do not affect SEO in theory. This is an official statement from Google, released in 2009. However, since meta descriptions show in the search engine results, they can affect CTRs (Click-through rate), which are linked to SEO & rankings. So, in practice, meta descriptions have an impact on SEO.
The content of any webpage or blog post is always about content! We recently published a blog about the latest Google Update in May 2020. We mentioned there that it is more and more important to fix thin content on a webpage.
This is indeed a most important part of SEO and it’s ranking factors: Google wants to rank the most useful result for the query, so covering everything searchers want to know is key. However, this isn’t about content length. Longer content isn’t always better. It’s about covering what’s important to the searcher (your clients) and what they expect to see. We are always telling writing content for the users (your clients) – not for search engines! And we still stick to this part!
Is there an optimal length of content?
For a landing page or normal webpage – we should have 500 and more words! It is always about the whole content, and about what we have on it.
The perfect Text:
- has at least 500 words
- is for users, not for search engines
- has a keyword density between 3 and 5%
- is of high quality
- is not a copy from other pages
- has lists, tables, pictures
- has paragraphs, headings, subheadings
- has internal and external links to related topics
- consists of text with no semantics
- has no images
- was written just for search engines
- has spelling errors
- has many ads
- does not have the keywords in a good context
- is hard to read
- is boring
Read your page and ask yourself:
- Would you trust the information presented in this article?
- Is this article written by an expert or enthusiast who knows the topic well, or is it more shallow in nature?
- Does this article have spelling, stylistic, or factual errors?
- Are the topics driven by genuine interests of readers of the site, or does the site generate content by attempting to guess what might rank well in search engines?
- Does the article provide original content or information, original reporting, original research, or original analysis?
- Is the content mass-produced by or outsourced to a large number of creators, or spread across a large network of sites, so that individual pages or sites don’t get as much attention or care?
- Does the page provide substantial value when compared to other pages in search results?
- How much quality control is done on content?
- Does the article describe both sides of a story?
- Would you expect to see this article in a printed magazine, encyclopedia or book?
- Does this article have an excessive amount of ads that distract from or interfere with the main content?
- Are the pages produced with great care and attention to detail vs. less attention to detail?
- Would users complain when they see pages from this site?
What about keywords? Do we still use them?
Keywords, as we know from the early years in internet and it’s search results are not important any more, as the search algorithms of Google changed over the last 10 years significant. What count more is the keyword density in your content of the webpage.
In facts, having the “keywords” You think is important to be in the search results for, needs to be “surrounded” by normal readable text – as mentioned earlier – write text for your clients/users/customers – not for search engines. Use single keywords or long tail keywords (keyword phrases) in your text and content.
From all its combination, Google is using all the words on your webpages to get the keywords out of it!
Summary of this blog:
We talked about meta tags and general content, such in additional about keywords. If You do changes to your website to get a better website audit and to get better SERP results, try to use unique titles on each webpage, by using keywords, but in mind, that the results you find are read by your potential clients.
Keep the focus on the main content with using keywords in there, so you will get a good keyword density (in fact, there is no optimal keyword density). Over helmed with using keywords can happens, then we are talking about keyword stuffing – what Google not like to see either!
The Google Search Console is having a quite nice part of help: Search Console Help, with different parts to learn more about get better results too.