Following on from my last blog post, in which I took it back to basics for the rookie digital marketers out there, this week I’ll continue to explain some other common SEO terms that may assist you in navigating your way into the world of SEO (or help you to understand what the hell your SEO agency is talking about).
In this week’s instalment, we’ll take a closer look at some terms that are specific to on-site SEO – on-site simply refers to the optimisation of coding elements, such as HTML, in order to allow Google to scan or ‘crawl’ your website and understand what information is contained on that page. By presenting your site in a manner which is easy for Google to crawl, you’re more likely to rank in the SERP when a relevant search query is entered.
Let’s get into it;
A title tag is the text that appears at the top of your browser window and also within the SERP. It is one of the most important elements in on-site SEO as it allows you to tell search engines exactly what content is on the page. Your title tag should be less than 70 characters long and contain highly relevant keywords corresponding with what search queries you’re attempting to rank for.
Heading tags are html elements which not only allow you to structure you page for readability, they also serve to tell search engines what content is contained within the document in a logical manner. Heading tags run in a chronological order of importance, with <h1> tags carrying the most importance and <h6> the least. Your heading tags should be relevant to the content and contain keywords that appear often within the document. You should always at least include a <h1> tag on every page, and avoid using heading tags to control font size – this can be done by applying CSS rules however explaining that is behind the scope of this article.
Meta tags, otherwise known as meta descriptions, are the short paragraphs which display under your title tags in the SERP. Whilst Google has confirmed that these are not ranking factors (unless users are using advanced search operators), they serve the important purpose of enticing users to click through to your site when it appears in the SERP. To achieve this, you’ll need to concisely explain what is on the page and why users should click through to your site. Meta tags should be between 150-160 characters long and unique for each page of your site.
301 redirects are used when you want to send users (and search engines) to a different URL from that which they requested (clicked on). They are useful in scenarios where you might be implementing a new website structure, or removing a page from your website, as they pass on 90-99% of ranking power to the new page. This allows fundamental changes to be made to a website when required without losing all of the authority (and rankings) that has been acquired over time.
A canonical tag is a small piece of code which is inserted into the header of your html that tells search engines how a piece on content on your site relates to other similar content on your site. Having duplicate content on your site confuses search engines and often as a result they won’t rank duplicate pages. However, in some instances, such as e-commerce stores, duplicate content is unavoidable and therefore canonical tags are used to tell search engines which page should be assigned ranking power, and which should be skipped over.
Hopefully the above has expanded your SEO vocabulary to a point where you’ll be able to understand what your SEO agency is talking about after conducting an audit on your site. SEO is an extremely complicated and technical process, however our team here at Search Factory are more than happy to take the time to talk you through the complexities involved in getting your website to the top of the rankings – give us a call on 1300 648 290 today!