A few weeks ago I had a plumber come to my house to look at my malfunctioning furnace. The furnace is only two years old and I was hoping I hadn’t purchased a lemon because I had spent money servicing the furnace not more than a year before and I was dreading what it might cost me this time. The plumber spent 30 minutes evaluating the issue, made a phone call to the manufacturer’s tech support line and, after tightening three small grounding screws, the furnace came back to life. A small adjustment was all it took to have my furnace once again working efficiently.
Similarly, there are three simple adjustments you can make to the pages of your website that will improve their position and visibility in Google searches, also known as search engine optimization (SEO). Google evaluates these three elements to index your site’s content and rank each page according to its relevance to keyword searches.
I’ll be using an example page from my own site to show you how simple it is to make these changes.
Whenever you create a page on your website you should take the time to craft a descriptive meta title. This is the title that appears in the title bar (or tab) of your browser window. It is the first thing Google looks at when attempting to figure out what your site is about.
The example above is a screen shot of my website’s case study page. The meta title, “The Process of Design Problem Solving and Marketing Solutions,” provides a much more comprehensive description than if it simply read, “Case Studies.” This description also contains words and phrases that someone might type into a Google search to find the type of content that exists on my case study page.
The second thing Google will look at is the URL (or address) of the page. All of the pages on your website will begin with “www.yourcompany.com” but it’s the descriptor that comes after .com that will make the difference between your page being distinctive or being invisible to Google. Depending on the tool you using to create new content on your site, the friendly URL may be duplicated from the meta title you used but you can adjust it.
In the example of my case study page, I rearranged the meta title description a bit to “design-problem-solving-and-marketing-solution-process.” If you had several pages that covered the same general content you could include additional words in your descriptive phrase to make the pages a bit more distinctive from one another.
This is the title that you provide as the page header and tells your site visitors what they are about to read. Good website building tools (as well as savvy web designers) will wrap the page title in an H1 tag (an HTML designation that tells Google that this piece of content is the page title). Although a page title is mostly for the benefit of your readers, Google will also look at your page title to determine what the content is about and rank the page accordingly.
I wanted the title of my case study page, “I love solving design problems for my clients” to have a more human tone while still containing a key search phrase (solving design problems).
Did my efforts pay off? Yes. If someone does a Google search using the phrases “design problem solving marketing” or “design problems and marketing solutions” my page appears in the top three results.
By taking the time to change three small items on my case study page I was able to improve its relevance towards my target audience.