Doing a lot of SEO for clients at Tim B Design, I’ve learned to prioritize certain things above others when it comes to getting traffic to the websites I create. If you do nothing else for your SEO – at least do these 3 things.
Targeted titles and meta-descriptions that end with a call to action.
‘No-indexing’ pages or categories you don’t want to be indexed.
Write 700 words for each of your main products or services and your home page.
1. Targeted Titles and Meta-descriptions that end with a call to action
Meta titles and descriptions are often the number one thing people think of when they think of SEO because it’s so clear what they do for you. They show up directly in the search results pages and allow you to have a little ad right there when people are looking for you or your content. You just have to get them to convert people.
The pages you choose should be ‘keyword rich,’ meaning you want to name them with search words people actually use to find what they want on the internet. You can use tools like Google’s keyword planner, Ahrefs or SEMRush to do competitive analysis and find things that are getting a lot of searches, or things your competitors are going after.
Once you start to get a clear picture of the things searched for the most – that’s what you go after with your titles. From there, you move on to descriptions, and this time it’s about getting people to click through. Don’t worry about ‘keyword stuffing’ on meta descriptions, although you can mention the keyword or a variation on the keyword phrase in the description. Use action oriented language and describe exactly what the value of your content is, and end it with a call to action like ‘learn more’ or ‘start now!’
2. ‘No-indexing pages or categories you don’t want indexed’
Thanks Clayton Johnson for this video.
I’ve had a lot of little pieces of content on my site such as ‘marketing event directory pages’ to a ‘freelancer directory,’ to hand-lettering pieces that I was doing for awhile. It was all well and good until I realized so much of what I had created was super low content count. When Google’s algorithm senses your site has a bunch of pages with a low content count, it doesn’t help your ranking – it hurts it.
By ‘no-indexing’ with a plugin like Yoast SEO or with a tag in the header of those pages – you can mitigate this effect, and make it so the pages are available for people to see, but aren’t directly indexable by Google. This way you won’t get an ‘algorithmic penalty’ for low-quality content.
3. Write 700 words for each of your main products or services and your home page
Content is such a massive part of Search Engine Optimization. It’s the foundation of any SEO strategy – as pages will almost always be completely ignored if they have low content count. This is for the benefit of the user of a search engine because when they are searching, they are usually searching for information-rich pages – not little snippets with one photo or what have you. Google’s algorithm follows this natural tendency of humans, so if you cater to humans, you cater to Google.
Writing 700 words for each of your main products or services, and your home page allows you to give the information people want – and in the process give clues to Google’s algorithm that your site is valuable. If that content is complete garbage, it will notice, because people will bounce off the page and move on to the next search result. Google counts this as a ‘bounce’ and counts it against your site as a black mark. Enough of these algorithmic black marks and your site’s page will move down the list and get less traffic. Follow the pattern and create value with clearly delineated headings and value on your page immediately.
Notice the high-level information and the video at the beginning of this page that caters to people’s natural tendencies to want immediate gratification and some kind of visual information. Do the same for your site – even with 700 words you can use visual hierarchy to keep the design clean and well organized.