SEO Tips - Technical Factors

So you've just written a great new article for your website. Before you post it there's some technical factors to consider that will significantly improve the chances of your great new content being ranked highly by Google.

#1 - SEO Title

Google limits the number of characters displayed in the page title. Your SEO title must be longer than 10 characters and less than 60 characters, though if it ends up being (say) 62 that's fine. You should also ensure your targeted keyword is near the start of the title.

#2 - SEO Description

Likewise, your SEO meta description should be no shorter than 50 characters and no longer than 150 characters. In addition, ensure that every page has a unique meta description - Google doesn't want to find duplicate phrasing.

#3 - URL Length

Search engines don't like long URLs, so limit the length to 75 characters. In Business Catalyst, the URL is automatically created when you enter the Page title, so you may need to manually shorten the URL accordingly. And an extra tip - always use hyphens in your page names - not underscores.

#4 - Image Meta Tag

In addition to using an image in your blog that is relevant to your blog article, that image needs to be tagged with an "alt text" field that preferably refers to the keyword as well. The alt text field is commonly used by the visually impaired when they are using a screen reader to access your website.

#5 - H1, H2 and H3 headings

Use headings throughout your blog to break up your copy into chunks that make it easier for your readers to take in. Every blog article must have one (and only one) H1 header. Google also expects H2 and H3 headers also - I recommend using H3 headers to break up your content and then an H2 before the last paragraph to highlight your Call to Action.

#6 - Avoid Keyword Stuffing

Don’t go overboard when writing your blog article and mention your keyword too many times thinking this will help you rank better. It won't - as Google is checking for keyword stuffing. The best strategy is to keep your keyword in mind as you write and then to write naturally.

#7 - Link to Other Pages

Google likes seeing links to other pages - either within your website or to other websites. I recommend every blog article should have at least one internal link embedded in your content - like the next paragraph does in this blog. Placing a list of links at the end doesn't add much to the reader - its best to just naturally embed links as you're writing your content.

Checking For Technical Correctness

There's over 200 different factors that Google use to rank a page, so the 7 listed above, whilst important, are just part of the puzzle. There are many tools available to help you check your blog article once its posted - the one I recommend is a Firefox add-on called SenSEO. It provides a score out of 100 for the page you're testing and breaks that down into a number of colour coded factors so you can clearly see what's right and what's wrong. As a rule of thumb, you need to get at least a grade of 80 to be in the running for a good ranking.

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