Video: Systemize Your Content for the SERPs
You know that we know that you would love to see your web pages appear at the top of search engine results pages (SERPs) when a user enters an organic search query. After all, users often know what they want, but they don’t always know you have it. While search engines do the best they can to direct users toward your website (based on content you provide), I’m willing to guess you can do much more to streamline the process, boost your odds of capturing a coveted SERP position, and entice users to choose your website over the other listed results. Do you agree?
You may think the tips in this video seem rather basic and simple—because they are—yet when it comes to optimizing content that matters most to search engine spiders that crawl your website, you can’t afford to overlook the importance of these tips because the results truly speak for themselves. Please watch the video. You’ll thank me and then I’ll thank you. (No spiders were harmed in the making of this video.)
Craig Zagurski: Hello and thanks for stopping by the RKG Blog. I’m Craig Zagurski and I’m an SEO Copywriter at RKG. For this video, I’d like to provide a high-level overview for how you can optimize specific pieces of content on your website that will help assist spiders when they’re crawling your website to determine relevancy of the content on a page, and to also help you provide clean and clear content in the search engine results pages—the SERPs. Before I dive in, I just want to preface this by saying these are just guidelines. If it ever comes down to choosing between a good user experience and some rules, most of the time, the good user experience is going to win out, so keep that in mind.
The first thing we want to look at are keywords, and these keywords are going to be used throughout all the other pieces of content that I’m going to be going over in just a moment. Consider what the page is about and come up with one or two really good, specific keywords that summarize the essence of that subject matter. Also, keep in mind what searchers would likely use—the kind of words they would use—to find the content that is on that page. Once you’ve established one or two, take those keywords into a keyword search tool online, and there’s plenty to choose from, and analyze those keywords for search volume. Also, take into account any synonyms that the tool provides as a suggestion.
The first piece of content we’re going to look at are page titles. The page title really should be a summary of what this page is about. So, reading from left to right, you want those keywords to appear as far to the left as you possibly can. The page title appears in the SERPs, so however you compose it is what users are going to see, so in order to provide something that is complete, stick with about 60 to 65 characters total, and remember, spaces are characters, too. It’s okay if you go over 65 or 70 characters, it’s just that it’s going to get cut off in the SERPs, which isn’t going to look quite as clean. It’s also good to know that whenever you have a keyword in your page title that appears in the SERPs, it will be bolded when that word matches what the user entered as a search query.
Up next are meta descriptions. This is another location where you can insert your keywords and synonyms, and you are establishing consistency between the page title and the meta description. Now, it’s also an opportunity for you to have control over how your snippet appears in the search results. If you think of a search result as having a page title, a URL, which I’m going to get to next, and a snippet, you want to be able to provide something that really makes sense and is coherent. Use a call to action, telling users what they can expect if they visit your page. Now, the alternative is if you leave the meta description blank then the search engine is going to grab chunks of content from the page and just piece it together. Now, just like page titles, there’s a limit to how much search engines will show so stick with about 150 characters. Try not to go over 155 characters.
The last thing I want to go through are URLs. If you have URLs that have been around and active for a while that have already been crawled and have data on them, you probably don’t want to touch those. This is more for if you are creating a new webpage or if you are blowing the dust off of a dormant webpage. The main things you want to keep in mind are keywords and make sure that there are consistencies between the words in the URL, and the page title and the meta description, but keep them concise. Remove any prepositional words like “of,” “and,” “about.” It’s good to put dashes between each of the words. Make sure you don’t clump them to form one giant, non-existent word. Also, leave out any punctuation like apostrophes and quotation marks, and that sort of thing.
That’s what I have for you for this video, but please come back and check out future videos on other areas of content such as linking and preparing a webpage to be shared in social media. Thanks for checking out this video and we’ll see you again soon.