Having a different description meta tag for each page helps both users and Google, especially in searches where users may bring up multiple pages on your domain (for example, searches using the site: operator). If your site has thousands or even millions of pages, hand-crafting description meta tags probably isn't feasible. In this case, you could automatically generate description meta tags based on each page's content.
Think about the words that a user might search for to find a piece of your content. Users who know a lot about the topic might use different keywords in their search queries than someone who is new to the topic. For example, a long-time football fan might search for [fifa], an acronym for the Fédération Internationale de Football Association, while a new fan might use a more general query like [football playoffs]. Anticipating these differences in search behavior and accounting for them while writing your content (using a good mix of keyword phrases) could produce positive results. Google Ads provides a handy Keyword Planner34 that helps you discover new keyword variations and see the approximate search volume for each keyword. Also, Google Search Console provides you with the top search queries your site appears for and the ones that led the most users to your site in the Performance Report35.
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Keep in mind, this will often mean shifting the focus of your business from more general to more specific products or services. For instance, instead of exclusively offering general home renovation services, you could consider specializing in "one day bathroom renos" or "custom kitchen makeovers." These more specific keyword phrases will likely be much easier to rank for, which will mean you can start ranking that much faster.
Google doesn't always include a whole paragraph of text in the Featured Snippet. If you add "Step 1," "Step 2," "Step 3," etc. to the start of each HTML heading within your content (for example, within your H2 tags), Google will sometimes just list out your headings within the Featured Snippet. I've started to see this happen more and more in keywords beginning with "how to".
Google’s aim is to provide the most relevant result for any given query. Their entire business model relies on them being able to do this, consistently, across hundreds of billions of searches. For that reason, they’ve invested heavily into understanding the intent of queries, i.e., the reason a person typed a specific thing into Google in the first place.
Quora is a website where users generate the content entirely. They post questions via threads and other users answer them. It’s basically a yahoo answers type social network that works like an internet forum. Both threads and answers can receive “upvotes” which signify the answer was worthy and popular. The answers with the most upvotes are put at the thread’s top.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is often about making small modifications to parts of your website. When viewed individually, these changes might seem like incremental improvements, but when combined with other optimizations, they could have a noticeable impact on your site's user experience and performance in organic search results. You're likely already familiar with many of the topics in this guide, because they're essential ingredients for any web page, but you may not be making the most out of them.
Google loves speed and they actually got tired of waiting for people to speed up their sites. For this reason, they launched the AMP project. This is a special page structure which strips away some of the fancy styling to leave a much simpler page. Simpler pages load faster, and while there’s some debate in SEO circles about the ranking benefits that come with AMP, if you are running a website on budget hosting, this is almost certainly a winning concept. If you’re running a blog on WordPress, this is a relatively simple deployment, too.
Creating high quality content takes a significant amount of at least one of the following: time, effort, expertise, and talent/skill. Content should be factually accurate, clearly written, and comprehensive. So, for example, if you describe your page as a recipe, provide a complete recipe that is easy to follow, rather than just a set of ingredients or a basic description of the dish.
Prominence is also based on information that Google has about a business from across the web (like links, articles, and directories). Google review count and score are factored into local search ranking: more reviews and positive ratings will probably improve a business's local ranking. Your position in web results is also a factor, so SEO best practices also apply to local search optimization.
Start testing with Progressive Web Apps, or PWAs, with the new mobile-first index. PWAs will deliver a mobile site if a user comes to your site from their smartphone tablet. Major brands like The Weather Channel and Lyft are already testing this, and you don’t want to get left behind. PWAs are beneficial to brands that drive revenue through ads. They are an excellent alternative to AMP.
Stellar post as always Brian! For marketers who have the time and budget we can do all of these things, however for most people who run small/local businesses they simply don’t have the time to do most of these things, and then it’s not cost feasible to pay someone to do this because that would require a full time position or paying an agency $xxxx/month which they can’t afford either. It’s a quandary of a position they find themselves in and makes it almost impossible to compete in modern day search against established giants. I wish Google would place more emphasis on relevancy and what’s actually on the page versus domain authority. Maybe one they’ll move towards that, but for now, all I see in the serps is giant sites then comes relevancy.
Participate in Forums – Getting involved in online forums, such as Reddit and Quora, can help increase the number of unstructured citations for your business. To maximize the potential of getting citations here, make sure your user bio includes your business website. Also, use the forums as a way to provide helpful information and not as self-promotion.
Local results favor the most relevant results for each search, and businesses with complete and accurate information are easier to match with the right searches. Make sure that you’ve entered all of your business information in Google My Business, so customers know more about what you do, where you are, and when they can visit you. Provide information like (but not limited to) your physical address, phone number, category, and attributes. Make sure to keep this information updated as your business changes. Learn how to edit your business information
Hi Brian, a very useful post, thanks for sharing. These things turned to be very useful for us: blocking thin content/pages from Google index, adjusting meta titles/descriptions and content of popular articles, improving internal links, improving page speed, implementing schema (didn’t notice a big difference here), optimizing images and their alt tags, making sure the site is mobile friendly and there are no accessibility issues (Lighthouse in Google Chrome helped a lot), some link building activity (long term) and of course keyword research and mapping. Thanks again for providing valuable info, regards.
I have two tabs open. This article and another one. Both written in June. Each with a different opinion on keywords in URLs. Its so hard to follow SEO nowadays when everyone says they have the best data to prove stuff yet contradict each other. The only way around it is to test test test on my own stuff but it would be great if there was concensus.
To get started, you will need to either claim your current business page or create a new one, depending on whether or not a page already exists for your business. If you are unsure, you can go to Google.com/business to search for the name of your business. For more information, read our step-by-step guide to setting up your Google My Business account.