A site with good SEO will always be more successful than one that lacks it. In spite of this and although we have been talking about SEO for years, an impressive number of sites, even among those of institutions or large companies, are not optimized for search engines. In this post, we’ll give you some basic tips on how to improve the SEO and optimization of your site, systematically and effectively. But before we start, it is important to point out two major truths. The first is that search engines, Google in particular, are not very smart. Their “artificial intelligence” is often quite “stupid” when it comes to understanding what the user really wants and which site to present first. Improving the SEO and optimization of a site means making sure that even the dumbest search engine is able to bring interested users to that site. The second big truth is that users are lazy and suspicious: if your site is on the fourth page of the search, if the browser registers it as “not safe” or if it is impossible to find the desired information among its pages, the user will pass by. With these two principles in mind, let’s analyze some of the elements that need to be changed to improve SEO and optimization. In this post, we will discuss 3 types of “tags”, which are often underestimated.
Title Tags: how search engines identify your page
A common mistake, especially by those who manage a site on platforms like WordPress, is to think that improving SEO is only about getting the right posts. Nothing could be further from the truth: you have to start with the pages. Specifically, the “Title Tag”, i.e. the title that appears in the list of results on Google (and which must have a maximum length of about 50 characters to be read in full). This small title is very important, because it allows search engines to identify the page (or article) and its content. It should contain the keyword, but it should not be a simple list of search terms. The text should be discursive, fluid and engaging. Another important element is uniqueness: using the same title tag for multiple pages (or, worse, multiple articles) confuses the results, making them appear less relevant to the search engine, which ends up hurting SEO rather than improving it.
Meta tags and meta description: the ones you think you understand
Meta tags are another sore point for those with little SEO experience – or those who learned to optimize them long ago and then ignored the evolution of technology. There was a glorious past when optimizing meta tags meant putting a long list of keywords in the appropriate section of your editor. We have news: that’s no longer the case. Today, the most important element is the meta description, which – surprise! – does not serve to increase the ranking on Google, but only to make the search result more interesting for the user. The meta description is a tag for all intents and purposes and is the small text that search engines extrapolate as a “preview” to be displayed under the page title. It thus helps the user in a hurry to understand more deeply what he will find when clicking on the page in question. Here you must enter not only the keyword, but also the associated search terms. If, for example, the keyword is “tennis”, you should also enter terms such as “sport”, “Wimbledon”, “match” or the name of the player, depending on the content of the article. The meta description should also be discursive and attractive and not a forced list of keywords: it is a text for users, not a string for algorithms.
Internal titles and Alt tags to help the user
Internal headings (the ones that in editors are referred to as “H1”, “H2″, etc.) are not very important elements in the ranking, but if they contain the keyword in a relevant way, they can strengthen it. They also improve the user experience of the site, making it easier to navigate and understand the content. In an article, for example, the user can choose to read only the paragraph whose title interests them while getting a sense of the entire article. Alt tags” refer to images. These are text tags that you can insert when loading an image to add to a post or page text. These texts are displayed by users who use a reduced navigation without images (for example to save login data or because they use an easy access navigation for the blind), but are still indexed by search engines. When trying to improve SEO, it is important to index images correctly, indicating what they represent and using the keyword to determine their relevance.