SEO covers many diverse practices. However, we very often find that the initial foundation of SEO optimization is not applied to 80% of websites.
If you have not already done so, see: Creating a seo-ready site.
The objective of this guide is to allow you to understand and apply a basic optimization to know where to place your keywords on your site.
This approach must be implemented BEFORE the site is designed. If it is not enough to position yourself on very competitive queries, without applying it, you lose all your chances, even on searches that are not very competitive…
SELECTION OF KEY EXPRESSIONS
It is illusory to think that targeted traffic (corresponding to the target of visitors that you want to reach) gets haphazardly. You will, therefore, need to identify your goals well, and the words they use when they are looking for a product or service such as the ones you offer.
In this guide, we will not expand on this search for keywords, but on how to integrate them in terms of location ( location of keywords ) in your site. If your list is not made, we invite you to read: How to choose its key expressions.
Also Read – How To Do Keyword Research
WHERE TO PLACE YOUR KEYWORDS IN YOUR PAGES AND WHY
It is commonly accepted that Google (we will take it as an example) attaches importance to the location where the words are found on a page. This location has a very strong impact on the ability of a page to position itself on a key expression.
The main locations are:
The title is defined by a tag: <title> The title of my page </title> .
This tag is generally manageable for each of your pages in your site management tool. This is probably the most important tag for positioning a page.
Note that this title will not be seen directly in your pages! However, it is the one that will appear ( most of the time ) in the search engine results.
You will, therefore, pay particular attention to the drafting of this title tag for EACH page of the site.
EXAMPLE OF USING A KEY PHRASE IN THE TITLE
We wanted to position this page of our agency’s site on the key phrase “responsive site creation.” We have therefore integrated this term into the title tag of the page concerned. In practice, we also wanted to position ourselves on the request “responsive site redesign”; this is why the term “referencing” is also integrated into this tag.
This is how Google displays our page in its results for the search “creation responsive site.”
We will note :
- That the term “responsive site creation” is placed entirely in the title.
- That the complementary term “recast” has been included.
- That no other page on the site contains this title
- The title “responsive site creation” does not appear as a title IN the page as the visitor consults it (this could have been the case), but only in the browser tab.
You will find that for most of the searches you do on Google, the pages that the engine presents contain all or part of the key phrase targeted in their title tag. The term “create” very close to “creation” may also appear.
THE H1 TAG
This tag is in the form <h1> my title </h1>
This title is the one that must appear first in the content of each of your pages. Just like a book with a title on its cover, your page must have an explicit title that presents it.
The first visible title of your page must be marked h1
There are several possibilities for writing your <h1> tag
USE THE SAME TEXT AS THE TITLE TAG IN ITS H1:
- This is often the default behavior on many CMS. If the target keyword is not too competitive, that that’s okay, but if the competition is tough + if the keywords are also in your URL + if the phrase is also in the editorial content of the page + if you have inbound links to the page on the same expression, it is assumed that Google may take this as a signal of over-optimization which could trigger a penalizing filter.
USE DIFFERENT TEXT FROM THE TITLE TAG:
- Less risky. This title can, however, be optimized with a key expression close to the primary key expression. We will try to take advantage of this to integrate a synonym or a word whose meaning is very close to a keyword of the main expression. This is the case in our example with the words “compatible mobile,” which in H1 complete the expression “site creation.”
We will note :
- That Google can sometimes replace your title with your H1 in its results if it considers it appropriate based on the request of the Internet user.
- As a page should always have only one H1 title, the other subtitles that follow will be marked up according to the rules.
The texts that are presented on the page are called “content” here. We will also briefly discuss image optimization.
When we want to position a page on a keyword phrase, it is easy to understand that Google will check if it exists in the content of the page.
In practice, we strongly recommend integrating the main (or extremely close) key phrase in the first paragraph of the page text (under the H1).
The key phrase is inserted in the first paragraph of the page.
To continue to optimize the editorial, we advise going further with the vocabulary search. The objective is to integrate into the page the vocabulary that the internet user (and google) expects to find on a page that deals with the subject concerned. Synonyms, co-occurrences, are useful for enriching your editorial content.
To note :
- Do not try to cram the key phrase 36 times in the content; the beneficial effect of repetition has never been demonstrated. On the other hand, we think that this may be a signal of over-optimization.
- Your content must be really relevant to the request you are targeting, do not try to cast a wide net. Concentrate so that the content of your page is really useful for those who arrive from Google.
- If it is justified, you can integrate your keyword phrase in the “alt” tag of an image of the page. Do not abuse it; this “alt” tag must describe the image concerned.
THE META DESCRIPTION TAG
This tag looks like:
<meta name = ”description” content = ”here the content of the tag” />
The content of this tag is displayed under the title on Google
In most well-designed CMSs, it is possible to manage this tag individually for each page.
We consider that the meta description tag has no direct impact on the positioning of a web page on a request. However, it is recognized that it can have a significant impact on the click-through rate in Google results.
Correctly written, the text of this tag will generally appear under the title in Google results. To ensure that it is displayed, we recommend that you include the main key phrase of your page in the first 100 characters.
SUMMARY: OPTIMIZATION OF A PAGE FOR THE KEY PHRASE “PUPPY CROQUETTES.”
Example of a page where the keyword phrase is positioned in the right places
ORGANIZE SITE PAGES OPTIMIZATION
At this point, you understand that you will have to optimize 4 big items for each page of your site:
- The title (this is the title that appears in the Google SERP)
- The title H1 (this is the title that appears on your page)
- Editorial content (page text) + alt images
- The meta description (it is also called “snippet” when it appears in Google.
- The first one who tells me about the meta keyword I make him eat his computer…
- Keywords will often be inserted natively into your URLs by your CMS.
Yes, but there you are, when you are there all alone facing your screen, you dry, you say to yourself, but where do I start? Especially since we risk making mistakes. So I offer you a simple Excel table to avoid them.
The big mistake we can make is to optimize two pages for the same expression, we then speak of SEO cannibalization. Indeed, if you do not know which page of your site is the most relevant for a query, how do you want a machine (Google) to do better than you?
FINALIZE THE SITE TREE AND OPTIMIZE EACH PAGE
To remain concrete, we will imagine that we want to launch an e-commerce site of accessories and food for animals
We will, therefore, imagine the headings, under site headings, and some related pages for the example, then use our Excel table to prepare our title, h1, and meta description.
It is not fully completed, but what is done allows you to easily understand the principle and adapt it to your project.
- The depth level of the pages is represented by the signs _ / (level 1 after the home page), _ / _ / (level 2 after the home page), _ / _ / _ / (level 3 after the home page), which corresponds to the sections and sub-sections of the site up to the product pages. I advise you to keep this principle or something similar to find your way around.
- In initial work, start doing this exercise on the headings, under headings, without necessarily going to the products, but you will keep this logic when you start to integrate them.
- The principle of the levels is simple; it corresponds to the breadcrumb that can be found on your pages, ex: Home> Dogs> food> Dry dog food> Puppy dog food> product 1.
- This principle is also applicable to advise pages, FAQ pages, etc.
- Take the time to write the title, H1, meta description. In any case, you should never have two boxes with identical content!
ADVANTAGES OF THIS METHOD
- You visualize the hierarchy of your site by hierarchical levels.
- You don’t risk optimizing two pages for the same keyword phrase.
- You realize that the different levels allow you to optimize pages on similar key phrases without being identical, the more you go down in level, the more you target specific long-tail expressions where your pages will be highly relevant.
DID I OPTIMIZE MY SITE WELL WITH THIS METHOD?
- Yes, to place you on the starting line of the traffic race that you will achieve against your competitors.
- Not to hope to win this race, or at least not on all requests, especially the most competitive. We will have to go further…
There are many other levers for fully optimizing a website:
- the implementation of a strategy of complementary relevant content (files, infographics, video channel, comparatives, tests, user feedback, etc.)
- a discreet internal mesh of your pages
- the creation of advanced semantic clusters
- the obtaining inbound links (skilled, authority, theme, etc.)
Overall, you will find that a very large part of your competitors has not already made a quarter of what we have explained to you here. Without this basic base, they take part in the race with a real handicap.
By applying these “simple” optimizations (obviously it’sits work), unlike them, you will at least pass the qualification stage. You will then have to fight against other champions already in place, so I invite you to think about two crucial questions :
- How are your pages, your content, remarkable?
- What are you going to do to be better, more useful, more relevant than your competitors?
Never forget that Google has only one goal, to offer its visitors the pages that will give them the best possible satisfaction with the search they have just carried out…