25, Aug 2022
Once you have a list of keywords, the next step is to embed targeted keywords into your site’s content. Each page should be focused on the main query or group of queries.
Let’s take a look at a few important basic page elements that are essential if you want to drive targeted traffic to your site:
This tag helps search engines understand the actual meaning of the page, what it is about, and also recognizes the queries you want to rank for. And this is the most effective place to place your keywords. But do not forget that Yandex and Google still punish aggressive and manipulative use of keywords.
The Title tag is not the main title of your page. The title you see on the page is usually an H1 (or possibly H2) HTML element. The Title tag is what you see at the very top of the browser, and it’s populated with the page’s source code in the meta tag:
JSC “Tinkoff Bank”
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The length of a Title that is shown on Google will vary (it’s based on pixels, not character count), but 55-60 characters on average is the ideal size in practice.
In the case of Yandex, the optimal length of the Title tag is 65-70 characters. In this case, the length and occurrence of the key query that makes up the title text plays an important role.
When composing the Title, remember that this is what the user sees in the search results, what gets into the snippet.
The title should give an answer to the main intent of the user, not break off in half a word and be written in human language, and not “Buy DVR Moscow”.
While the Title tag is actually your site’s title in the SERPs, the Description (another HTML meta element that can be updated in the site’s code but not appear on the page) is actually additional advertising for the site.
Google takes some liberties with what to display in a snippet, so your meta description may not always appear. Instead, Google’s crawler can rip out the piece of content that it thinks best fits the description of the page.
But if you can write an attractive page description that convinces people to click on the link, then you can significantly increase traffic to the site. (Remember: appearing in search results is only the first step! You still need search engines to come to your site.)
Example Description in Google search engine:
Description example in the Yandex search engine:
Body. Page content
Of course, in addition to the meta description (Title and Description), the actual content of the page itself is also important. Different pages serve different purposes.
Google and Yandex are increasingly favoring certain types of content, and there are a few things to keep in mind when creating any of the pages on your site:
Extensive and unique content. There is no magic number in terms of word count, and if you have multiple pages of content on your site with a few hundred words, you won’t lose favor with the search engines. But more often, longer unique content is preferred.
If you have a large number of very short (50-200 words) pages or a lot of duplicate content where nothing changes except for the title tag of the page, this can negatively affect the position of the site. Look at your site as a whole: is a large percentage of your pages skinny, duplicated, and of little value or low demand? If yes, try to find a way to “make” these pages better, full of content. Check your analytics to see how much traffic these pages are getting, and simply exclude them (using the noindex meta tag) from search results so that search engines don’t think you’re trying to flood their index with lots of low-value pages in an attempt to rank them up.
A tool for webmasters will help you find low-value and low-quality pages on the site. For example, Yandex Webmaster will help you find such pages through Indexing, then Pages in the search, here we select Excluded pages, in the Status filter we select the necessary parameters, in our case, a low-value or low-demand page.
Involvement. Search engines, especially Google, are paying more and more attention to engagement and user experience metrics. You can positively influence these indicators by making sure that your content responds to the user’s request, it (the content) is really useful, interesting and can be interacted with. Make sure the pages load quickly and don’t contain unnecessary design elements or, for example, overly aggressive ads above the content.
“Sharability” or “sharing capability”, i.e. the ability to share this specific content on social networks
The way you mark up your images can affect not only how search engines perceive your page, but also the amount of search traffic generated by image searches on your site.
The alt attribute is an HTML element that allows you to provide alternative information for an image if the user cannot view it. Your images can break over time (files get deleted, users can’t connect to the site, etc.), so a useful image description can be important in terms of overall usability. It also gives you another opportunity – beyond the content – to help search engines understand what the page is about.
It is not at all necessary to “stuff” with Alt keywords. Just don’t skip it and try to give a complete and accurate description of the image (imagine describing it to someone who can’t see it – that’s what the Alt attribute is really for!). You can read more about the ATL and title attributes for images in the Yandex help.
The structure of your site’s URL can be important both in terms of tracking (you can more easily segment data in reports using a segmented logical URL structure) and in terms of being able to share the URL of the page (shorter descriptive URLs are easier to copy and paste and tend to be erroneously cropped less often). Once again: don’t try to cram in as many keywords as possible; create a short, descriptive URL.
What’s more: if you don’t have to, don’t change your URLs. Even if your URLs aren’t “beautiful”, if you don’t see them negatively impacting users and businesses in general, don’t change them to be more keyword-focused for “better SEO”. If you really need to change the URL structure, make sure you are using the correct 301 page redirect. This is a common mistake that companies make when changing the design of their sites, we have a separate cool article on this topic: “Website redesign or how to maintain your ranking in search engines without losing positions and traffic”.
- By Artur Dent