As 2010 comes to a close and 2011 brings hopes of a better economy, we'd like to present to you some basic SEO ideas that we've not yet covered through our Daily Gold Nuggets.
Before we get into any specifics, let's introduce you to some basic terminology and search engine ideas.
First, you need to know that there is no magic silver bullet that will make your website show up in the search engines easily. It takes a lot of hard, tedious work.
Second, if you spend just one evening researching SEO techniques on your own, you will find huge inconsistencies between what all of the search engine optimization professionals say to do. There is no way that everyone is correct, yet every one of those professionals seem to get the job done using their "proven" techniques. Google and Bing do not freely publish a real how-to document, so we're all making our best educated guesses. We suggest that you find a single SEO professional that you know and trust and follow them only, although you should also make sure that he/she can back up their SEO claims with real data.
Third, if you try to learn everything about SEO on your own, your head might explode. There's simply too much information and what's worse is that the search engine playing field changes every day. It's quite disgusting how fast it changes.
Fourth, it's been reported that Google measures more than 200 different "signals" when determining how to rank your website in their search results. The value of each signal is unknown, and the list of 200+ signals has never been published; again, more guessing here. However, one thing is sure: the more known signals you include, the better your organic search ranking will be.
Here at the Jeweler Website Advisory Group, we monitor Google Blogs, Google educational videos, SEOmoz.org, SMX webinars, Search Marketing Now, Search Engine Land and, most importantly, the data gathered from retail jewelry websites that have hired Sapphire Collaborative (www.sapphirecollaborative.com) for SEO services. Our founder, Matthew Perosi, routinely compiles the ideas presented by all those professionals and compares them to the Sapphire Collaborative data. This is how we generate the information we present to you.
There are some SEO signals that seem to be highly important year after year; a good example would be the Page Title, and that's what we're going to tell you about today.
The Page Title of every web page is the word, or group of words, that appear at the top of the web browser window. You never see the Page Title within the actual web page, only across the top of the browser window.
We recommend having a max of 5 words in your page title. A few years ago, one of our SEO campaigns was utterly trumped by another company using only 3 words in their page title. This led us to some interesting in-house theories that we couldn't test on our own but were later validated by SEOmoz in 2010.
In short, you need to have a Page Title that gives an exact description in 10 words or less. Your primary keyword for that page should be one of your first words of those 10.
In other words, if "bridal" is your primary keyword then make it the first word of the page title.
"Bridal Rings for Your Wedding"
Is better than
"Your Wedding & Bridal Ring Store"
The words at the beginning of the page title are more important than later in the title. According to SEOmoz published data, the words in position 11 or greater seem to have zero signal value. So if your SEO expert is stuffing town names, zip codes or county names in your Page Titles it's just a waste of time.
This Page Title strategy is what led us to the idea that every page of your website needs to talk about a single topic. After all, how can you have a simple page title if the page covers 10 topics?
In conclusion, create simple pages that cover a single topic and give them straight forward Page Titles of 10 words or less with your most important word first in the title.
We will continue our basic SEO Nuggets tomorrow. Until then Google TFYQA and have a great day.