What you need to know about SEO

If you’re reading this, you probably have a website. If you have a website, chances are you have search engine optimization (SEO) questions — namely, what does it takes to improve your site’s visibility with major search engines? You’re not alone. After all, it can be a confusing, acronym-laden world out there.

SEO is a big topic, but it doesn’t have to keep you up at night. Our team of experts created this handy guide to answer your questions about on-page SEO elements, once and for all. We’re talking about a breakdown of all the important stuff, complete with real-world examples and screenshots.

Think it’s too good to be true? Try us.

Are you super busy?

We planned for that. Click on the topics marked with the high priority (title tag, header tag, etc.) and get up to speed on the most important stuff in a hurry.

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Give us a little bit of your time, and we’ll make sure you’re well versed in all the important SEO topics. You’ll have more than enough knowledge to tackle any SEO problem.

Title Tag

Your title tag (also called the Meta title tag) is just what it sounds like — a quick, at-a-glance summary of what people can expect from your website’s page. You want the contents of your title tag to be spot-on because it displays in three important places: in the browser’s title bar, in the browser’s tab title bar, and as the title of your listing in search engine results.

Your title tag should contain the main keywords for the page, with the primary keyword listed first in the tag. The earlier in the tag your keywords display, the better. All told, keep the maximum length of your keyword tag fewer than 65 characters.

Need help finding the right keywords to target on your page? Use Search Engine Visibility’s keyword generator to pinpoint keywords and check out search trends for your selection.

Description Tag

The description tag (also called the Meta description tag) contains information most search engines display below your website link in the results list. Its main purpose is to provide an accurate description so people know what your site is about. Your description should entice people to select your site from all the sites returned, so make sure the content is both interesting and informative.

Every page in your website needs a unique description tag that contains the keywords for the page. Be sure to keep your descriptions less than 250 characters, and avoid non-alphanumeric characters (stick to letters and numbers).

H1 Header Tag

Each page of your website should include one (and only one) H1 header tag to tell visitors what the page is about. Your H1 tag should be brief — no longer than a short sentence — and include the page’s most important keywords. Make sure the content for your H1 tag is unique for every page in your website. The text in your H1 tag displays in your page header, but it does not display with your site in search results.

We recommend that your title and H1 tags for the same page differ slightly, but still get the same idea across. Search engines won’t penalize your site’s SEO if they’re exactly the same. It can actually be beneficial if they’re different.

NOTE: If you’re using a content management system such as WordPress®, Joomla!®, or Drupal®, check to see if your title and H1 tags are the same by default and, if so, change that setting.

Keywords Tag

The keywords tag (also called the Meta keywords tag) is no longer an important component of search engine optimization and does not display with your listing in search engines results.

Even though most popular search engines don’t display the contents of your keywords tag in search results, you can use the tag for informational purposes. Plus, it can’t hurt to include the tag for the few directories or search engines that might use the information.

Your keywords tag should contain a list of keywords and short phrases (separated by commas) that describe what the page is about. It’s best to keep the list to 10 or fewer keywords and phrases, with your phrases containing less than six words.

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