Within this Google assigns more or less relevancy the influence given to which keywords you rank for to different elements on the page. For this article we're going to analyse this page and work through those elements within it. This keeps everything organised and makes it less likely we'll miss something. The URL can be a bit of an underrated asset for a page.
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Not only does it provide additional value to your keywords, it also appears within the search results. That then has a direct influence on whether people choose to click your link. Note that Google shortens longer URLs, like this one, to make them display neatly. The middle section is hopped over, leaving the most important parts for the user - the domain and the page. Your URL should be readable to a human and make sense.
A good test is to see if your URL reflects your page title. If you want to learn more about site structure and the other elements in the breakdown of this URL you can do so in this article on site structure. Luckily enough this is pretty easy to change.
Just use the permalinks option within your install, which will change the URLs to words, instead of numbers. Obviously you can use more shorter words or fewer longer words.
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The placement of the page on the site has an impact on how relevant Google deems its content. This is done through the site structure, with content placed in categories which are also relevant to the search term ranking better. The debate rages on - which is better for SEO, underscores or hyphens? Luckily enough there is a definitive answer from Matt Cutts.
The likelihood is this has a pretty minimal impact whether you do actually use hyphens for separating words and underscores for a single phrase. Best practice is great when creating new pages but I would advise against going back to old pages and changing the hyphens and underscores. Changing the URL means implementing a redirect, which will lose you more value than this change would gain. Your page title is the element on the page where it is most important to strike a balance between readability and SEO. Simply search for the page in Google so it shows up in the results.
Using the 'info' command in Google, then putting in the page URL, will show the result without any personalisation:. We can see that there are a few things going on here, so we'll go through those. You can see how the final part of the title is truncated, so cut off and followed by a couple of dots. This is because there is a maximum character limit to what Google can display in the results. This varies on the result type and the actual characters you use.
I always use an nominal limit of You should be able to fit 69 of all but the fattest characters into your pixels. You need to make sure your core terms are placed within your title with the most important terms at the front. You can see that we have our CMS set up so our brand is added at the end of the page title. This is a good tactic as it means the part most likely to be truncated off matters the least.
- Post navigation;
- Terror of the Nanobytes (The Super Adventures of Kid Bean Book 4).
- The Purple World (The Purple World Trilogy Book 1).
- On-Page SEO: Anatomy of a Perfectly Optimized Page (12222 Update).
Some systems place the brand at the front of the page title. I would advise against this as you're using up valuable space with repeated, low value keywords. Keywords placed at the front of the title also carry more value than those at the end. If you want to pull new visits in, this is an effective way to do it. This will help with capturing additional long tail keyword traffic and also helps create a more attractive title when read in the search results. This is the other part of why a page title is so important. It forms part of the advert for your site which appears in the search results.
People search to find a page which contains the content they need. It might be a specific product or information about a product or anything else. The important thing is that they are looking to fulfil that requirement. Within the page title you must clearly demonstrate that the content of the page fulfils that requirement. In simple terms, they are going to find what they need on your page. We would then be answering the question that was being asked. However we are more likely to rank for our question-based keywords by including that within the title.
This is the balance between the two factors. I feel confident in saying that there are few out there who still think that page descriptions affect rankings. If you think that Google is smart enough to automatically detect all of these and filter them out you should read this article. However, it does have a big influence on how much traffic comes through to the page. So you want to make sure your ad in the search results is as optimized as possible to gain the biggest share of those clicks it can.
The FAB principle is a good one to follow here. This is a classic sales copy technique where you state:. Feature: This canoe is made out of hardened fibreglass Benefit: So it won't ever leak or break Advantage : Meaning you can take on more extreme rapids than ever before.
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You might recognise this as the introduction as well. This is because our CMS uses one piece of content to generate both the excerpt and description. This means I have to consider how it will look on-page as well as within the search results. Length is once again restricted, much like page titles. Here we have a little more room with around characters to play with. Page headings are used as both a styling element and as an SEO element. They are still relevant and an active ranking factor. However just how important they are has diminished.
The heading tag is an element that can be added in the page code that denotes the text as a heading within the content. Styling is then automatically applied according to the heading type, so these are often a larger font than the normal body copy. The code used is a heading tag. This is a piece of html that wraps around the content.
You can have as many different heading types as you want, although 3 - 6 is most common. Google knows that headings are used to denote a summary of the following section, like mini titles for each section within the content. So it makes sense that Google would place extra weight on the words used within those headings. Headings carry more meaning than words used elsewhere on the page and have been thought about more carefully. I use them as they are intended, as clear concise titles for each of the sections within the page. Higher numbered headings denote the main sections and the lower numbered headings are for subsections within these.
The readability of the content on page will have a much bigger impact than any SEO benefit derived from headings, so make sure they read well. However, you can still create them thinking about the search terms that you want the page to rank for. The biggest, most influential, on-page factor by far is the content. Keywords are important. They are how search engines link what people are searching for to the content ranked for those searches. You need to make sure that the keywords you want to rank for are included in the first words of content.
Make sure that the primary and secondary keywords are within your body copy and feature prominently. However, don't fall into the trap of sacraficing the quality of the copy to include your keywords. Additionally if you're finding you're having to try and shoehorn your keywords into the page, you probably have the wrong keywords for the copy. As covered in my next point, Google looks at the overall meaning of the page. Including keywords which don't really fit isn't going to do much for you. If you want to know more about using keywords then check out my article on how search engines use keywords.
The way Google assesses keywords is down not only to where they appear but also how they relate to each other. It was previously the case that how often a keyword was repeated mattered. This made for not the best content and ultimately a poor experience for the reader.
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Google has since moved away from this and got a bit cleverer. Now it breaks the content down and looks at the relationship between the words that are used rather than just the number of times they are repeated. By keeping your content on topic and focused around a single topic per page you should find that you naturally create content where the keywords have a strong relationship. This gives a strong indication to Google what the page is about and therefore what it should rank for.
Ideally you would have at least words of focused content on a page, but the reality is that this is not always possible, especially when you have design or CRO considerations. A single page has to serve many purposes, and ranking in the search engines is just one of the things you need to consider. Think about what purpose the page serves and how important it is that it ranks for non-brand terms or long tail searches. Use this link to get a day free trial. It offers special pricing for nonprofits in addition to webinars and case studies to get you started.
Unbounce helps you build and test landing pages with a drag-and-drop editor. Special pricing is available for nonprofits and charitable causes. What tools do you use to optimize your website? Share your thoughts in the comments section. Skip to content. Search: Search. You could ask for user feedback, but what users say and do are often polar opposites.
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