Improve SEO with good page names, titles and headings
A good page title, strong headings and an SEO enhanced lead paragraph can have a huge impact on the SEO and position in SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).
Many websites and webpages naturally focus their energies on the immediately visible content of a page and there's nothing wrong with that.
Without doubt, what keeps a visitor glued to your page, is the content therein. The problem is that, almost inevitably, none of that content makes into a search engine result.
The tiny preview shown to potential visitors in a search result is therefore hugely important because that is what pulls people to a page in the first place. Makes sense then to ensure that all this information is relevant and meaningful to a human reader.
There are three main areas to focus on (aside from your META description, which is important and was discussed in an earlier blog):
In this instance I am referring to the page name as the name of the file that physically contains the content. For example, if you have a webpage about features that make a website great held in a file called page2.html then visitors to your site will have to go to http://www.mysite.com/page2.html in order to view that information.
Looking at the image in this post, note that WSM4B features fifth on Google's results for a search on 10 features of a good website - not bad considering there are 345 000 000 results overall.
Look specifically at the last line of the each result. Notice that Google counts what's contained in the URL as part of what it considers makes a page relevant - as denoted by the fact that the parts of the URL containing keywords are highlighted.
Do you think we would rank quite as highly if the URL was something like http://wsm4b.com/content/page2.html?
As an aside note, if you are manually having to save content files and naming them by hand, then it's time to move to a proper website platform that handles this for you.
Consider the freely available, world renowned Drupal platform (that comes with content naming features based on your page heading - for an example, compare the heading of this page with the URL).
A page title doesn't appear directly on a webpage. Instead it is contained within TITLE tags in the HEAD of a webpage. If you look at the very top left of your browser (not the webpage part, the actual top left), you will see the title of the page displayed.
So why is this important? Go back to the results shown in the search engine. The top line of each result is taken from the page title. Again, note that having keywords in the page title is important for Google as it highlights these. Y
our page title therefore must contain a phrase that is relevant and contains keywords that you want to rank highly on - even though, paradoxically, no-one ever sees it on any other webpage apart from the search results.
A webpage heading doesn't necessarily appear in search results, so why is it so important? There are two main reasons. One, in a powerful web platform like a WSM4B distribution (based on Drupal), the page heading is used to construct the page name, and is therefore indirectly displayed in the URL part of a search result.
Search engines also look at the structure of a page. They know that text that appears in heading format is likely to be more important than plain text, and so any words contained within H1 tags are valued more highly by searches than plain text.
It is important to structure your page using H tags as this not only helps to organize content for human visitors but serves as a guideline for search engines crawling your pages.
With all these elements in place (preferably handled automatically by your web platform), the only bit of content that you need to focus on is the META description.
This meta description should be written for human eyes (not simply loaded with keywords) and can also be handled automatically by using a good web platform.
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