Hello, my fellow webmaster warriors! In our SEO classes, we’re asked “what is organic SEO?” That’s actually one of the first questions we answer in the first hour of the first day of class at Search Engine Academy. When we say “organic SEO,” we’re talking about what we can optimize on a webpage so that it shows up in the search results BELOW the ads.
Let’s go over the organic SEO elements.
We have two metadata elements that are absolutely critical for organic SEO results in the search engines. These are the meta title and the meta description tags.
The meta title is the title of the webpage, but you can also have a website meta title tag. Remember that both must be unique. The website meta title should describe the overall theme, purpose, or subject of the entire website. Use one of your main keyword phrases you want to rank for in this title tag.
A webpage title tag describes the individual page content. Use the keyword phrase you’ve chosen for the webpage content in the meta title tag. Every page title tag should be unique to the content for that page. Duplicate title tags won’t get you anywhere with Google, my friends!
In general, the meta title tag should be a maximum of 70 characters in order for the entire title tag to fully show up in search engine results pages (SERP). Here are a couple of examples:
We also have a meta description tag for each webpage, and usually the entire website has a description tag as well. Same as the meta title tag, you need to make a unique meta description tag for your website that accurately describes its subject matter and use your chosen keyword phrase for that page. Again, webpage meta descriptions should also be specific and unique.
In general, keep your meta description tag to about 150 characters or less, so the entire tag shows up in the SERPs. Take a look at these examples:
One more note about putting some loving care, time, and effort into meta titles and descriptions: if yours are well written, they will increase your click-through rate (CTR). The more times your pages are clicked, the better chances they have of rising in rank for that particular keyword. Google takes note of this and rewards your pages accordingly.
More Organic SEO For Your Webpages
- You have a headline tag, called the H1. Don’t confuse it with the webpage title. I see so many students and clients who don’t leverage the H1 tag. Google recommends using one and only one H1 tag per webpage. Definitely use your keyword phrase for the webpage in this tag.
- Then there’s the H2, or subheading. Unlike the H1 tag, you can use multiple H2 tags on a webpage. Why would you use H2 tags? They’re great for breaking up long blocks of text. You can use them to introduce a new direction or content concept of a webpage. Use variants of your keyword phrase for the H2 tag, or use the phrase itself.
- Lastly, there’s the image alt text tag. This, too, is woefully under-utilized and poorly understood. For each image on your webpages, you have an alt text tag. This is another optimizable element: use your keyword phrase or a variation of it to describe the photo or image on your webpage. Make sure the image reflects what the content is about!
These are the basic elements of a webpage that need SEO done to them if you want to show up higher in the SERPs.
Here’s a tip: did you know that before you embark on a Pay Per Click (PPC) campaign, you should thoroughly do your organic SEO? It’s true! it could help bring down your Cost Per Click (CPC) for each keyword phrase you use in your ads.
Another great thing about applying organic SEO processes to your pages is that this is totally within your control. You do have the ability to edit your own webpages, right? And you can tweak or modify your webpage elements to see how high you can get them to rank organically. There’s no rule that says once you optimize a page, you have to leave it be. SEO is all about testing!
So if you know you could go back and re-do your organic SEO elements for your webpages, what are you waiting for? Make a goal to do one webpage per day, and you’ll knock them out in no time.
All the best to you,