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Meta tags

Today starts a series or guide for Google Ranking.

Each day for the next 8 days we will bring you a new article focusing on a specific topic relating to ranking in the search results pages for Google (SERP).

This task will be 10 articles broken down into easier to understand and grouped concepts to help you obtain better Google rankings. Every little bit counts - so don't skip items thinking they aren't important.

There is not magic pill for search engine ranking - it's a culmination of smaller things.

This guide won't be everything, because algorithms change regularly - but it's a general concept of how to rank better in the search engines.

Future articles will cover quality content, linking, site-wide factors, domain factors, mobile, site sped, local search, social media and more…

First let’s look at the simple elements for better Google rankings:

On-page factors

Title tag

Title tags, these are used to tell search engines and visitors what your content is about in the most concise way possible.

According to Moz, title tags have “long been considered one of the most important on-page SEO elements.”

1. You need to include any keywords you wish to rank for in the title tag. The closer to the beginning of the title tag the keyword is, the more likely you'll have better search engine rankings.

2. Your title tag needs to be written to make logical sense, rather than keyword stuffed. Title tags appear in multiple places, including SERPs, social media and browser tabs.

3. Do not duplicate title tags. This can adversely affect your search engine ranking.

4. Make sure your title tag is between 50-60 characters. Anything longer gets cut short in SERPs.

Title tag format: Primary Keyword – Secondary Keyword | Brand Name or Site Name

H1 tags

What is the difference between H1 tags and Title tags? Title-tags appear in search results and the H1 tags are seen on the page.

5. You need to include the primary keyword in your H1 tag.

6. Only use one H1 tag per-page.

7. Label your content by using H2 and H3 tags, but try to use them in a logical order.

8. You should also include relevant keywords in the H2 and H3 tags.

Meta Descriptions

9. A meta description is the short paragraph of text that describes its content. We talked about this in our SEO periodic table post on HTML elements.

Tips for writing Meta Descriptions

  • Place most important keywords in the meta description.
  • Write readable content and treat the meta description as if it’s a summary.
  • A meta description should be no longer than 135 - 160 characters.
  • Do not duplicate meta descriptions.

Image ALT tags

10. Always use an appropriate image alt tag. If applicable - utilize a keyword for the page too. When you use a CMS platform like WordPress - this becomes much easier to do and keep consistent.

Next time we’ll look at keyword importance...


Complete Guide to Google Ranking

  1. Part 1: Page Signals - Title tags, H1 tags, H2 tags, META Description tags, image alt tags and more.
  2. Part 2: Keywords - Keyword density, keyword placement, primary keywords, long tail keywords and more.
  3. Part 3: High Quality Content - Writing content for humans instead of robots.
  4. Part 4: Duplicate Content - Finding and minimizing duplicate content.
  5. Part 5: Site Level Signals - HTTPS, site speed and mobile platform or responsive website design.
  6. Part 6: Internal Linking - Linking to other pages and articles within your own website.
  7. Part 7: Outbound Linking - Linking outwards form your website to credible sources is a good thing.
  8. Part 8: Backlinks - Creating good backlinks to your website.

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