Search engine optimization is a term thrown around every corner of the online marketing community. Separating quality practices from the rest starts with a solid foundation. Research and targeted optimization are the SEO building blocks of healthy websites.
Follow these three guidelines to have your site stand tall against the competition.
One Keyword Per Page
Choosing a keyword to focus on takes research and dedication.
Search terms consistently in use on a monthly basis and within the context of your page is the gold standard. The difficulty finding such keywords is wide-ranging, although it’s important not to shoehorn a word or phrase into your site that’s out of line with your existing copy.
Give yourself the option of contextualizing every focus keyword, especially if an individual page is text rich.
Making subtle changes to pages with low text, however, is not a difficult task. Fair warning – Google is no longer as responsive to pages with significantly more coding than text copy.
Alt-Tags on Images
ALT Tags, ALT text, alt-text, alt-tagging and ALT IMG tags are all names for the same thing – adding another, often overlooked layer of SEO to your website.
To understand how to improve your alt tags is to know what they are.
Alt tags describe images used on your website. But don’t confuse them with the text boxes (captions) you’ll find when hovering over an image with your mouse.
You see these tags on a site if your image fails to load correctly. The images also aid those with visual handicaps who use screen readers such as refreshable Braille displays or text-to-speech systems.
Ideal for low-text pages, even one image with an alt tag can boost the SEO building for a website. The key is to make your alt tag straightforward but specific.
For example, an eye doctor’s office sells corrective lenses and displays an image of a patient receiving an eye exam. Your page is light on text, featuring roughly 150 words of plans and brand options. But there is a photo.
Even if your chosen keyword is ‘corrective lenses,’ despite no lenses in the photo you can still have a good alt tag. The alt tag should read ‘A woman sitting in a doctor’s office is taking an eye exam for corrective lenses.’
Long Tail Keywords
Reaching deep into the bag for a keyword longer than three or four words is a challenge. Searches for that keyword number a handful of times per month, but long tail keyword helps you get noticed by people in later stages of the decision-making process.
These individuals have made up their mind on what to search for and are looking for a website to close the deal.
Take the graph above. ‘Red Shoes’ is a generic term searched 22,200 times per month on average. If you think that number seems high, consider the results. A whopping 221 MILLION search results pop up for red shoes.
Narrow it down a little further. ‘Red and White Shoes’ yields 480 monthly searches, but the market competition isn’t that much lighter as that keyword pings off 197 MILLION results.
You may have a longer keyword, but the terminology is still broad.
‘Red Chuck Taylor All Star’ on the other hand is more accurate. People search for the five-word phrase 30 times per month with 6.3 Million results. While 6.3 Million seems like too many results, it’s a far cry from 221 or 197 million.
Other derivations involving red or white, Chuck Taylor, Chucks, Chuck Taylors, etc. all have lower monthly queries and less total results.
Long tail keywords can also be questions. “Where to buy Chuck Taylors?” also accounts for 480 monthly searches but only 822,000 results – a 24,000 percent difference.
Finding the right long tail phrase amounts to an attempt at leveling the SEO playing field by reducing the competition with multiple targeted and focused keywords.