PubCon 2014: SEO Part II

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SEOManaging Partners Carol Morgan and Mitch Levinson attended PubCon last fall in Vegas. The premier search engine optimization (SEO) conference in the U.S. provided them with plenty of great information for how to conduct SEO with all of the recent algorithm changes. The conference provided so much useful information that we had to spread it across four blog posts! From penguin to hummingbird to pigeon, SEO changes rapidly. Here are more tips for keeping up with all of the recent changes on Google.

It is important to look at core on-page SEO tactics. We are going to cover the basics in this blog post:

  • Title tags
  • Meta keywords
  • Alt tags
  • H tags

Having effective title tags on every page is incredibly impactful.  Remember, title tags appear as the first line in the search engine results pages and in the tab area of the web browser. Here are some essential rules regarding creating effective title tags:

  • Should be limited to 120 characters (less than 70 is best)
  • Include the most important keyword that appears on the web page
  • Do not repeat words
  • Make sure the title tag is unique to the web page (and website)
  • Should read well where possible
  • Should be marketable
  • Should contain the most important keywords toward the beginning of the title
  • Looks like: <title>Health Kids Drinks – AquaBall</title>
  • Should appear within the <head> section of the HTML code

Meta keywords are important for editorial checking to make sure the content reflects the targeted words. Very little weight is assigned to the actual tag by the search engines; however, it is a perfect way for writers to focus the content around keywords. By using this tag, it becomes clear to the writer which keywords are the important ones to use in the page content. If a word is mentioned in the keyword tag, the search engine does not care. But search engine does care when the keyword phrase is used predominantly in the title, description and content, When it is used effectively for these purposes, it will rank somewhere in the search engine results pages (SERPs).

Meta keyword tips:

  • Should be limited to 12 keyword phrases
  • Should use commas between phrases
  • Do not repeat words
  • Should be unique to the web page
  • Should contain the most important keywords toward the beginning of the list
  • Looks like: <meta name=”Keywords” content=”healthy hydration, healthy kids drink, healthy kids beverage”>
  • Should appear within the <head> section of the HTML code

Alt tags are important for image optimization and should be entered for each image.  Remember, every image should have an Alt tag.  It should “naturally” describe the image and be keyword rich, and if you build your business process around adding the tag when you upload the image, you will never forget this tactic.

Here are some Alt tag tips:

  • Use the alt tag on pictures that are appropriate for keywords
  • Great place to strategically place keywords and boost relevancy
  • Use the alt tag on the site logo – it should contain the company name and possibly slogan
  • Use the alt tag on product pictures
  • The alt tag is part of 508 compliance (accessible to people with disabilities)
  • Search engines cannot interpret a picture, the alt text, file name, and the text around the picture are their guides
  • Text should never be used in a picture, but if it has too, it should be repeated in the alt tag
  • It can usually be seen by hovering over a picture with the cursor in a browser.
  • The alt tag should not be over used
  • Do not use it on spacer or placeholder gifs
  • Do not stuff it with keywords

These are some of the SEO basics and best practices; however, there is much more that goes into proper SEO practices. Stay tuned to our blog for two more posts filled with SEO tips and advice from PubCon.  And, if you are tired of trying to figure out SEO on your own, contact mRELEVANCE for your SEO needs.