Since Gretel's initial focus as a product is on marketing teams, we thought it would be fitting to provide some essential information for digital marketing and the essential building blocks of how to properly set up and run marketing efforts across different channels. It goes without saying that one of the important elements for all marketing is your website and the various characteristics that go into building it.
Before diving into the Fundamental Elements for a Website’s SEO, we strongly suggest having your list of keywords and long-tail keywords defined.
If you don’t have that list defined, we’ve covered Researching and Choosing Long-Tail Keywords for SEO and SEM Campaigns Part 1 and Researching and Choosing Long-Tail Keywords Part 2, as well as Steps for Applying and Tracking Long-Tail Keywords.
If you already have your list ready, the following fundamental elements for SEO will guide you when it comes to applying them to your website.
Meta Title & Meta Description
Meta titles should be around 50 - 60 characters long.
Meta descriptions can be anywhere from 50 - 160 characters, but we recommend having a meta description of at least 100 to 155 / 160 characters max.
Both should include at least one of your most important long-tail keywords, so Google can properly categorize your website in the vast ocean of websites on the Internet.
Images & Alt Descriptions
This is one area a lot of companies fail to do with their websites, and it really just requires being organized from the very beginning of putting media files into your site.
Label and optimize your images before uploading them to your site, and make sure they correlate to the target keywords you are using for the particular page or post. This is essential because of two reasons: 1) the URL generated for the media file will have those keywords, and 2) Google uses this information to categorize images for their Google Images search. To put this into perspective, 20% of all Google searches are done directly in Google Images.
Furthermore, 63% of people who take a look at the Google Images will click on them and look at the website hosting the image, and 17% of said traffic goes to the top-ranking image.
Use your long-tail keywords in the copy of the website. It’s important to mention that they should be used within context and don’t abuse the use of your keywords. Most SEO experts agree that the keyword density ( = keywords in copy / total words in copy) should be about 1 - 2% max.
Headers / Content Hierarchy
Use a hierarchy of HTML attributes to properly categorize and conceptualize your website’s copy. Just as your primary long-tail keyword should be in the Meta Title and Meta Description, it should also be in the H1 of your website. From there, use the ensuing headers (H2s, H3s, etc) to properly break down the foundational concepts and services of your company.
Not all websites have blogs / news sections; however, we highly recommend designing and developing one if you don’t have this section currently. Why? Blogs allow you to target more keywords and long-tail keywords specifically with respective posts targeting them specifically.
Think of interlinking as a flow chart of ideas. You basically want the user (and Google’s Site Crawlers) to never reach a dead end on your site, i.e. any given page / post should link to another and so on and so forth.
Note: You don’t want to link articles to one another just for linking sake. It’s best to use one to two top links (and contextually relevant links) on any given page / post. This does not include the Navigation Bar and Footer links, as those are always present.
Social Media / External Media
Reinforce your list of long-tail keywords with #hashtags, branded keywords, and branded #hashtags. Also, use social media and other channels as a means of diversifying your website’s traffic. Remember to link to the blog pages or other relevant URLs of your site when posting content on other platforms.
Conclusion of Fundamental Elements for a Website’s SEO
Rome wasn’t built in a day, as they say, and the same goes for any website’s SEO and web presence. The fruits of this labor will show over time and consistent, disciplined application of the aforementioned concepts.