Google AMP bad for mobile SEO

The power of the web lies in its decentralization nature , it lies with its edge nodes, Google AMP is claiming dictatorship and taking our web freedom away.

Google AMP is not good for mobile SEO
Google AMP

What is Google AMP?

According to the Wikipedia The Accelerated Mobile Pages Project (AMP) is an online publishing format, created by Google as a competitor to Facebook’s Instant Articles, that is similar to HTML and optimized for mobile web browsing. Using special code, AMP-HTML is intended to help webpages load rapidly when clicked in the Google search results pages

AMP requires web developers to use a narrow set of web technologies to create pages. An example will be not allowing most JavaScript tags, this itself will cause the page to load faster. Also AMP pages are being served off of their own servers when they show up in the Google AMP result page

While most content management systems (CMS) like WordPress have their own plugins for generating AMP pages, most other websites achieve this by composing AMP pages at a separate subpage like yoursite.com/yourpage/amp

Benefits of using AMP

Wired says Google gives special treatment to the AMP optimized webpages like news and will have them show up at the top of the mobile search results. With its AMP search results, Google is amassing content on its own servers and keeping readers on Google.

What is the catch?

Besides having the AMP pages hosted on Google, if a AMP link is shared, it will have Google.COM as the domain and not the actual website. In other words, Google doesn’t let your AMP page content to show up in results unless AMP page is hosted on google. This is changing the search engine optimization methods for mobile pages from links and indexing to the AMP pages being hosted on Google

 

What do critics say?

There has been a lot of mixed AMP review : While companies like ABC, CNN, Fox News and Time Inc are huge supporters and implementer of AMP on their websites, from a speed perspective, Others like The Register has been a big critic : “Google’s AMP is bad – bad in a potentially web-destroying way. Google AMP is bad news for how the web is built, it’s bad news for publishers of credible online content, and it’s bad news for consumers of that content. It is only good for one party: Google. Google, and possibly, purveyors of fake news.”

There is currently no way to find the canonical link to the page without guessing what the original URL is. This usually involves removing either a .amp or ?amp=1 from the URL to get to the actual page. Make no mistake. AMP is about lock-in for Google. AMP is meant to keep publishers tied to Google. Clicking on an AMP link feels like you never even leave the search page, and links to AMP content are displayed prominently in Google’s news carousel. This is their response to similar formats from both Facebook and Apple, both of which are designed to keep users within their respective ecosystems. However, Google’s implementation of AMP is more broad and far reaching than the Apple and Facebook equivalents. Google’s implementation of AMP is on the open web and isn’t limited to just an app like Facebook or Apple.

Security and Privacy Concerns

The AMP HTML Specification states that all AMP HTML pages must load a JavaScript file from https://cdn.ampproject.org/. If you already run Google Analytics on your pages you probably don’t care that you’re loading yet another black-box JS file from Google. But sites that load absolutely nothing from external sources should understand the privacy and security implications that come along with running JavaScript that you don’t control. For something that is supposedly considered an open standard, requiring JavaScript and then forcing users to load that JavaScript from an external source should give any privacy conscious site pause.

 

Conclusion

While AMP is a part of the web but it is not the same thing as web. It can help webpages to load faster while increase their SEO ranking on the google but the ultimate decision is yours. Is speed everything we should consider in making such a move? I don’t believe so.

The Seven Factors Behind Link Optimization

Introduction to Link Optimization

The links to your website reflect a lot of information back onto your site. This greatly affects your website ranking. Link optimization is important to have as a part of your seo plan. This post will discuss the seven ways links to your website affect your search engine results ranking, as well as the importance of link optimization.

How links affect your search engine ranking
The seven factors of link optimization.

Anchor text

Anchor text is important for on page and off page optimization. It is very potent information for search engines. A website without crawlable information for the search engine to find will look for the anchor text leading to your site. Backlinks are important for getting a website higher up on search results. However it’s important to note where these come from. Backlink indexers are a great way to see where your site is being linked. Allowing you to determine how it reflects back onto the site.

Authority

Site authority is based first on topical relevance, and next on how respected the source is. Depending upon the authority of the site, having a link placed there could positively or negatively affect your search engine ranking.  A site with high authority linking to your site would increase the credibility of your site. This signals to the search engine that your site is reputable and deserving of a higher placement on the search results. It would take much website search engine marketing to get onto a high authority site without being respectable already.

Trust

How easily spammers are able to infiltrate a site determines how trustworthy the site is. A heavily spammed site linking to your site can damage your search engine ranking. However, a link from a trusted website will bring your site higher on the results page. Evaluating the trust of the website involves looking into sites that link to the site. If other trusted websites link to a site that in turn links to your site, then your site is more likely to be considered trustworthy.

Relevance

It’s important to be on sites that discuss relevant information. Websites that discuss the same topic as your site and link to your site are worth more than links from random sites. Sites that are topically relevant reinforces to the search engine what your site is about and makes it easier for the search engine to classify your site as being within a specific genre.

Temporal factors

Search engines keep track of when links pop up to your website. They look at whether they all appeared simultaneously or over a period of time. Search engines also notice if links to your site disappear, how quickly they appeared (or disappeared), and the authority of the site that they appear on. For the sake of website optimisation  and getting linked from sites, it’s important to have links to your site that are timely and steady. Search engines look out for sites that buy links and it definitely leads to a negative effect on the search engine results page.

Context and Relevance

The best search engine algorithm will compare the context and relevance of the links to your site among links. Search engines determine whether all the links on the linking site are of high authority and relevant to your site. Depending on the authority and trustworthiness  of the other links on the site, it could mean a higher or lower ranking on the search engine results page. The search engine also looks at the placement of the link on the site. Links in the body of the content are typically better than those placed to the side or bottom. Being a part of another site’s seo content, as a high authority website, signals to search engines that your website is trustworthy. Additionally, this will increase your placement on the results page.

Source diversity

As any seo guide would say,  a diversity of domains increases your spot on the search engine results page. In contrast, it is typically detrimental to have all of the links to your site from the same owner. Search engines like real, organic, trustworthy links from multiple domains.

What is the take away?

Link optimization should be an important part of your SEO strategy. Closely  monitoring your links will help optimize your search ranking. Search engine ranking tools are a good way to monitor how your website is competing against other sites. They can also help you move forward with an seo plan. The old adage,  “that you’re only as good as the company you keep,” rings true for websites as well.

 

How to Connect with a Marketing Influencer in your Niche

Market Influencer China

 

<>

 

How will you become the center of attention?  To be seen as important and to have people admire them and in social media terms “become a follower” Continue reading

YouTube subs – Social Media Influencer Marketing

Social Media Influencers & Your YouTube Channel

In the world of online marketing, the right link from the right site is the best way to improve your visibility in search engine results pages. But is this true when marketing YouTube channels? The purpose of this article is to document some research, tips, and food for thought regarding how to target the appropriate influencers, and how to go about getting their attention. Ultimately, I hope to answer a question of how to get more people to subscribe to my YouTube channel. Should I seek a mention from PewDiePie, who has the most subscribers on YouTube, or are more traditional methods of promotion more effective?

Why Subscribers?

There are really two ways to go about making money on YouTube. Many are aware of the massive impact viral videos can have. But, those who actually make YouTube videos for a living rarely, if ever, see a singular video actually attain this massive number of views. By seeking out subscribers YouTubers are able to develop a more reliable stream of income and eventually get paid sponsorships on their channels, as they become influencers themselves. Sponsorship deals are far more lucrative than the YouTube ad revenue that google shares with creators.

How to get YouTube Subscribers?

We are going to consider the trends surrounding two YouTube creators who have experienced significant growth in the past few years, and try to identify the key drivers that helped each of them gain subs. Each creator primarily distributes their content via YouTube, and could both be classified as niche musicians. The reason that I have selected these two is that I initially heard of both creators because of the same influencer, Philip DeFranco of YouTube, and I know that they have had more main-stream mentions as well, that we can compare against.

Social Media Influencers for Kawehi

The first creator is the Hawaiian-born, Kawehi, known for several viral videos. Utilizing a looping machine, a few instruments, beat-boxing and vocals she is a one-woman band who as of this writing has gathered over 170,000 subscribers to her YouTube Channel
Kawehi Subscribers according to social Blade
Source
Using SocialBlade I pulled Kawehi‘s statistics from YouTube subscriber count for the past four years. I identified 4 major events to analyze using her subscriber count over time. After comparing the timing of those strong up ticks and google results for pages crawled at about that time I have concluded the following:

Start Date Most Recent Video at the Time Most Likely Source of Traffic
3/21/2014  Heart-Shaped Box – Nirvana (covered by Kawehi)  Appearance on Esquire
9/1/2014  Anthem – By Kawehi  Appearance on Huffington Post
4/19/2014  I’m Only Happy When It Rains By Garbage (cover by Kawehi)  Shout-out on Official Garbage Facebook page
3/21/2014  (Not Another Lame) Fight Song By Kawehi  Organic Video Impact

Although the influencer I was investigating, Philip DeFranco, mentioned her very shortly after the date subscriber count started rising, it seems that his mention was impacted by other sources that reported on the story earlier, and that most subscribers gained are because of those who broke the news. It is difficult to say for certain how the news outlets first caught wind of the stories each time they broke, and the role other social media influencers may have played in that. Additionally, looking at the data the news outlets seem to be associated with an immediate spike on the day the news article is posted while other influencers, such as the band Garbage who was covered in the video, seem to have their impact spread out over several days and even weeks.

One of the reasons that I chose Kawehi was that I know she also made an appearance in a Super Bowl Commercial on February 7th, 2016, as well as an in-depth commercial that was aired afterwards where she went into detail about how intel processors helped her make her music. What should have been a major source of interest for an up and coming artist is completely invisible on the time-line.

Social Media Influencers for Hot Dad

The second creator is another solo act, Hot Dad. Hot Dad has been described as someone who loves creating new theme-songs for people and businesses who never asked for them. As of this writing he has 60,000 subscribers.

Hot Dad YouTube channel Subscribers According to Social Blade

Source

Hot Dad has a far less interesting curve compared to Kawehi. Additionally, researching for an influencer for the smaller jumps in subscribers is encumbered by unrelated content, due to creator having a far less unique name.

For our purposes, I know that he has received a shout out from Philip DeFranco, on November 20th 2016, in response to Hot Dad’s Video, “YouTube Star Philip DeFranco Has Song Written About Him (?!)“. He also made a guest appearance on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, on January 18th 2017. The question now is which influencer has had more impact when it comes to gaining subscribers for Hot Dad?

According to the data, 24,408 new subscribers started following on November 17th, and another 10,490 subscribers where picked on between November 20th & 21st. What’s particularly interesting here is that the bulk of the subscribers came not because of action the influencer made, but before the influencer had even acknowledge the video that was clearly targeting him. The influencer happily accepting this significantly increased the impact, but overall less than the content simply being discovered, likely by fans of DeFranco.

His appearance on the Jimmy Fallon show gained him 115 subscribers on the day of airing, almost 100 times fewer subscribers compared to DeFranco. Over the next few days he lost 102 subscribers. The appearance arguably hurt his channel!

Conclusion

Though hardly enough data to draw any universal conclusions, there are some very interesting things discovered in this dive. The first is, what would be considered a major influencer marketing win, was repeatedly inferior to a far less popular influencer. Many people are aware of how Jimmy Fallon has helped create several viral video sensations, but seeking out someone who is more connected with the social media platform seems far more effective. Interestingly, getting mentioned in news outlets was still the most impactful way to get more subscribers on YouTube. A successful YouTube strategy seems to be a healthy combination of learning how to create viral videos, and building relationships with others in the YouTube Community.<

How can I Maximize my SEO ROI?

Maximizing SEO ROI

The business world is “dog-eat-dog”. As competition for mind share, customers, market share, and profits continue to grow, creating a quality online presence becomes paramount. While many SBOs have a rudimentary knowledge of what SEO is, some might be asking themselves, how do I begin implementing SEO, and how do I maximize my SEO ROI?

There are Various SEO Tools

Most small businesses and startups have very limited capital with which to work, and need to capitalize quickly on the investments they make. If this is the case for your company, one suggestion is to learn SEO yourself. There are various SEO tools available online, which can help cash-strapped organizations achieve their website marketing goals. SEO courses such as Coursera can help you to master SEO tools and strategies for cheap. By consulting with SEO experts through an online course, you may be able to acquire the knowledge necessary to achieve the rankings you’d like without contracting an expensive SEO agency.

The SEO Calculator and Google’s Keyword Planner

In addition to online courses, an SEO calculator can be useful. This resource can be beneficial for defining search engine optimization pricing directly for specific business, and analyzing the efficiency of selected keywords and other campaign parameters. Compact reports provide information such as competitor keywords and can help you identify your required amount of link mass. Google’s Keyword Planner also provides excellent information regarding search trends, keyword search volumes, and can help you set up your search campaigns up for success by identifying opportunities for you.

SEO Specialists

While there are many online tools available, quality SEO books can also help to master the art of search engine optimization. For me, reading “The Art of SEO” by Eric Enge, Stephan Spencer, and Jesse C. Stricchiola has helped improve my knowledge of search engines drastically, and allowed me to better understand the strategic planning required to capitalize on SEO. SEO specialists and authors who have published their work are usually some of the best and most knowledgeable resources to learn from.

Online Marketing Companies

For some small businesses, personal research is not enough. In order to extract the full value from SEO, some companies find that contracting with a well-respected online marketing agency is necessary. By contracting with an SEO company in your area, it is likely you will find an online marketing company dedicated to walking you though your industry’s best-practices and guiding your website SEO every step of the way. While this option is likely to be much more expensive, relying on experts who work with SEO every single day can be comforting as you try to build your business.

SEO Strategy

Regardless of how you implement SEO into your online business, including all of the elements of SEO strategy into your plans from the beginning will help ensure that you maximize your SEO ROI. Some of these include understanding what your organization is trying to promote in the first place, and who the exact target market is. Other details which must be accounted for involve how you wish to structure your website (including site content assets). You should also have a good grasp of how you want to brand your company, your editorial resources, and what your competitive landscape looks like. Additionally, it is vital that you factor in the ease with which the content and site structure can be modified by understanding  your CMS and web development teams thoroughly.

Achieve the ROI Improvements you Desire

Ultimately, a company that seeks a high ROI from SEO must increase online visibility, drive targeted traffic, and measure the performance of that traffic to determine whether or not overall business objectives are being achieved. The various tools, resources, and suggestions listed above provide an excellent start for this. So whether you are just beginning your quest to implement SEO best practices, or you’ve been working at it for years, continuing your efforts through personal research, contracting with qualified partners, and simply outlining your initial SEO strategy better by accounting for key marketing elements will allow you to realize the ROI improvements you desire.

 

How to Maximize SEO ROI

Building Audiences Through Social Media

Building audiences through social media

When building an online presence, visibility is crucial. After all, to be successful, your service, product, or brand needs to be seen. There are multiple strategies for online content marketing, but we will focus on one method in particular, building audiences through social media followers.  According to Nathan Chan, guest writer for Entrepreneur.com, “No matter what stage your startup is in, you’ll want to start or continue to grow your social media audience. The more people you can reach on social media organically and through advertising, the better your launch and your on-going sales will be.”

Social media platforms provide a network of individuals that can be targeted and turned into followers. Make sure your social profiles and pages are strong and they contain all of the pertinent details people would want to know about your business. According to Quicksprout.com, when marketing online you need to build a community that gives you permission to market to them; “Eventually, your community will include potential readers and people that know your potential readers. The people that know your potential readers are influencers that can share and broadcast your messages.”

Getting Started

When beginning your online marketing strategy, create your own social media business page. For example, a Facebook for Business page. This helps present a professional front and keeps your personal account separated from your professional account.  Don’t forget to use friend-finding features offered on most social media sites. Use your personal friend list to start reaching out to everyone you know. Let them know you’re starting a business and you would greatly appreciate their help in spreading the word. As Quickspout.com says, “Most people are willing to help out a friend.”

Social Media Accounts

Make sure to link all of your social media accounts. Nathan Chan suggests to cross-promote your social accounts. Ask audience members to connect with you on anther platform. Look for opportunities to link one social account to another. Offering easy “click share to” buttons is a great way to encourage people to share your content on other platforms. The point of social media is to be social! Building audiences through social media means you can’t hesitate to interact with your followers. Try answering or asking questions or participate in Facebook Groups or LinkedIn discussions.

Target Audience

The next step is to understand who your target audience is and which social media platforms they gravitate towards. This will help you determine on which channels to focus your energy. For example, professional or technical readers may use LinkedIn, rather than Facebook, but younger generations may learn towards Snapchat or Twitter. You can use analytics to determine which social media networks lead to the best traffic.

Network

Next, find other brands or companies that aren’t in direct competition with you and are related to your industry or field . Begin interacting with them once you have complimentary companies identified. Giving “likes,” sharing their applicable quality content and making unobtrusive comments can help with your own reputation and give you access to individuals who may be interested in your field or business. According to Forbes, follow like-minded people in the business. Surrounding yourself with a network of people that value your brand and expertise, allows you to become an influencer among them.

As you get to know other businesses, a partnership may be a possibility. Publishing guest content can increase your exposure and credibility, with the goal of increasing your own audience. If you’re a newcomer to the field, offer to do a joint collaboration with an established complementary business.

Social Media Ads

Now that you’re on the way to establishing an audience and building credibility, your next step is social media ads. Depending on which social network you are focusing on, advertising with social media can be done in different ways. For example, marketing on Facebook by using targeted Facebook ads is a great way to ensure your ads are going to your target customer. When a social media advertising campaign is promoted to the right group of individuals, paid social media advertising is a direct way to grow your audience.

Facebook sponsored ads are a way to get your content promoted through clicks to website. An eye-catching title and interesting content in a well targeted sponsored story can provide substantial ROI in terms of either sales or interest.  Quicksprout.com states, “Paying for clicks and traffic on social media can be a great option to market… with paid social, you have the opportunity to pay for traffic and clicks right away. And if you do well to target your target audience on the right channels you can build your audience with advertising to supplement your organic efforts.”

Hashtags

One can’t discuss building audiences through social media without discussing the hashtag.   Hashtags are used on almost all social media sites to make it easier for users to find content that interests them. When combined with creative content, a hashtag can lead new audience members to your business. Hashtags need to be relevant and specific. According to Meighan O’Toole, “If you want to build community, increase your reach, find new followers, network, and improve engagement, hashtags are your answer… another great use of hashtags is creating a personal hashtag to gather your work into your own pool.”

Content

Another trick that is often overlooked is re-purposing content. When first starting out, you’re focusing on posting quality content. The problem is, your audience may still be relatively small. Once your community grows and you have a well-established audience, that is an ideal time to re-post previous content. Don’t feel like you have to just copy and paste, but you can get creative! Quicksprout suggests turning older posts into infographics, videos, or slideshow presentations.

Building audiences through social media can be time consuming.  The authors of The Art of SEO state, “You can create the world’s greatest content, but if no one ever sees it, you will not have accomplished anything useful. You have to get exposure for it, and one way to do that is to build a loyal following of people who learn to love your content.”

Effectively Using Boolean Internet Searches

Boolean expressions are at the heart of all Boolean internet searches!

Effectively Using Boolean Internet Searches

If you find the graphic shown below to be confusing, you are not alone. It is only meant to be a funny example of a Boolean expression. Despite the strange name, there is nothing fearful (“Boo”lean) about its meaning. It is far from rocket science. In fact, you may have used something similar and not even been aware. Odd as the name sounds, Boolean logic is the foundation of all Boolean internet searches today.

Boolean expressions are at the heart of Boolean internet searches!

Background of Boolean 

Derived in the nineteenth-century by George Boole, Boolean logic is a form of algebra. All answers are either a TRUE or FALSE value. This discovery proved its worth in the early stages of computer science when everything was denoted by a single bit-value of zero or one. The value one equaled true, and zero equaled false. Now all those binary ones and zeros actually made sense! As time went on, Boolean search capabilities became even more powerful when searching databases. Different operators included or excluded certain elements depending on the type of search. To clarify, all Boolean operations contain at least one possible search operator. This provides users tremendous flexibility to limit, expand, or just further refine their search.

Boolean Operators or Terms?

Early on, Boolean operators were first introduced using mathematical symbols (ie addition was a plus sign, and subtraction was a minus sign). These signs were translated into more user-friendly Boolean search terms (actual words with the same meaning) at the start of the internet.

The AND Operator

One of the most common examples of substituting a term for an operator is using the word AND in place of the addition operator (+).  Results will include all terms as a means of limiting your query. To illustrate this, if you searched for the terms: black AND white, only results containing both terms would be returned. Thus, every AND used in your Boolean search logic will further restrict your search by only providing results containing just those terms specified.

The NOT Operator

Similarly, replacing the subtraction operator (-) with the word NOT is an exclusionary way of refining your search. It excludes the term(s) specified preventing the query from returning any results containing that term (or terms). Let’s say you wanted to search for an airline, but did not want to include Delta. Your search terms would be: airline NOT Delta, which should return results for any other airline but Delta. The NOT operator can have two main uses in that it can be used to exclude specific terms you do not want to retrieve, or allow for a more restrictive initial search which can be gradually loosened until the desired results are obtained.

The OR Operator

One Boolean search term not often considered is the pipe (|) or OR operator.  In many internet search engines this operator does not get used much. Being the default, it does not need to be included as part of your search. Many people assume this operator is an either/or operator however this is not the case. The OR operator actually offers elastic inclusion, meaning it will typically expand your search results. It can be interpreted as “at least one is required, more than one or all can be returned.” (booleanblackbelt.com) Referring back to our airline example, searching for multiple airlines such as Delta OR United OR Southwest yields results containing one, two, or all three terms.

The NEAR Operator

One last (but not least) Boolean operator often overlooked is the NEAR operator. This operator incorporates Boolean search strings into your searches without using quotation marks.  An example of this could be: NEAR The Cat in the Hat. This search only produces results containing that specific string or phrase. Using the NEAR operator “is equal to putting a search query in quotes… essentially telling the search engine that you want all of these words, in this specific order or this specific phrase.” (www.lifewire.com)

While other Boolean operators are available to work with, the four previously mentioned are the most common. As a matter of convenience, each operator can often be swapped with its math equivalent (where applicable) depending on the user’s preference and search engine used.

Boolean Search Modifiers

In addition to Boolean operators, search modifiers can also enhance your Boolean internet search techniques. The most common modifier previously referenced is using quotations marks to search for word strings or phrases.

The Asterisk Modifier

Another type of modifier, the asterisk (*) will shorten your searches. If you entered sun*, you may get results such as: Sunday, sundial, sundown, and even sundress. Your results will include anything beginning with the word used in your search. Not all search engines recognize the asterisk as a Boolean search modifier however. In that case, you may be left creating long OR statements attempting to identify every way a term can be expressed. It is in this scenario where parentheses, the last of the search modifiers can come in handy. Parentheses encapsulate multiple OR statements to ensure Boolean internet search engines perform the search as the user intended generating the desired results.

Boolean search engine technology is the backbone of modern search engines today. As their reach continues to expand, the principles behind internet Boolean searches remain the same. There is no reason to be intimidated by the uncommon term by which it is called. Practice using the common search operators, along with the correct search modifiers where appropriate. Doing so will allow you to effectively hunt down any form of electronic media your heart desires. Say goodbye to unrelated gobbledygook. With a little practice, and a lot of experimentation, anyone can become a Boolean search master!

 

Examples and Explanations of Anchor Text

We’ve all heard rumors and blanketed statements that the golden ticket to ranking well in Google’s search results is based upon link building. This likely holds solid elements of truth. But, the art of SEO is inherently more complex than simply SEO backlinksIn this blog post, we will take a deep dive into anchor text in order to gain a thorough understanding link building and the implications on SEO.

What is anchor text?

The anchor text definition is the clickable links that are visibly apparent on websites that direct viewers to an external site.

Similarly, anchor tags are links to an internal section of a single website, much like bookmarks in Microsoft Word. (For example, quickly jump forward to Anchor Text Best Practices.)

Conversely, backlinks are links included on external sites that provide a web reference to your own site.

Different types of anchors:

Exact match anchors are textual links which precisely spell out a targeted keyword phrase.

“Read on for more about anchor text WordPress tricks and tips”.

Partial match or phrase match is an anchor which includes the keyword phrase for which the author aims to rank.

“This post will provide examples and explanations for anchor text”.

Branded anchors correspond with particular brand names or company names.

“A high authority anchor SEO source is the Ahref blog”.

Naked URL’s (also called HTML anchors) are anchors that are raw. They read just like the reference URL.

“For further reading on anchor text SEO check out: https://www.gotchseo.com/anchor-text/.”

Generic anchors are frequently calls-to-action links like “submit” and “view article” in the original image included below.

Generic Anchor Text Examples
Multiple generic anchor text links are seen on this webpage.

Image links can also be anchors. The alt text of the original image above reads “Generic Anchor Text Examples”.

What are the current anchor text best practices?

Prior to Google’s Penguin 1.0 release in 2012, anchor text SEO practices relied heavily on backlink building, or including links on your site that directly referenced external pages that held relevant backlinks. But, after the first Penguin launch, website backlinks that were deemed to be unauthentic or spammy were not given the same treatment or held in the same regard as quality backlinks.

HTML tags: Title Tag and Heading Tags

The Importance of HTML tags: Title Tag and Heading Tags

A great website has three things: HTML tags, including a title tag and heading tags (ex. h1 tag), a sleek design, and relevant content packed with keywords.

Any great SEO professional will tell you that relevant, unique content is the most important aspect of any website. But what else do you need to worry about, other than the body of the content and relevant keywords? Perhaps the easiest and arguably most important next step is utilizing a title tag and heading tags, which improve rankings and encourage clicks. In this article we’ll define these tags and give you the best hints and tips to craft your own.

What is the Title tag?

The purpose of a title tag is simple –  to describe what’s on the web page. Title tags, much like chapter titles of a book, tell search engines and individuals what information they can expect to find. To be effective, the title tag must be accurate, concise, descriptive and 50 characters or less. The title tag is located in various places: the <head> section of your website’s HTML, the blue clickable link in a Google search, and in the browser bar. Here’s an example of the title tag “baby boy clothes” from Carter’s:

The title tag in the <head> section of your website’s HTML, and usually the title of the page:

HTML Title Tags on Title Page
HTML title tag as it appears on the Title Page

The blue clickable link in a Google search:

HTML title tags on Google Search Page
The HTML title tag as it appears in a Google Search

The browser bar:

HTML title tags in the browser bar
HTML title tag as it appears in the browser bar

The title tag is important because it appears three or more times, and according to The Art of SEO, the title and tag is “the only piece of meta information about a page that directly influences relevancy and ranking.” Need more evidence? Moz.com claims the title tag is the second most important on page SEO factor.

How do you create the best title tag?

There are three important things to keep in mind to craft the best title tag.

Use Top Keywords for HTML title tags

Repeat after me, “top keywords belong in HTML title tags.” One more time, “top keywords belong in HTML title tags.” Including keywords in HTML title tags is vital – 94% of SEO industry leaders say that the most important place to put keywords is in the title tag to achieve high rankings. Mashable has a great formula for creating title tags: “Main Keyword | Company Name Secondary Keyword.” Mashable’s formula uses the “ | “ divider. Other great dividers include >, -, and :.

Understand Intent to Optimize HTML Tags

Do you anticipate your clients are searching for information or looking to make a purchase? What intent does your web page best fit? This is important because if the intent of the user is to obtain information, a more descriptive title tag should be used. However, if the intent is to make a purchase, you will want your title tag to indicate that purchasing can be performed by clicking on the link.

Name Tags for People, Not Google 

It can be tempting to cram as many keywords as possible into your title tag. This strategy, however, does more harm than good. It creates a messy and incomprehensible tag. You must keep in mind that real life people will be clicking on the title tag. If the title and tag doesn’t make sense, it is less likely to be clicked. Like all content developed with on page SEO in mind, keywords should be included naturally and wording should flow.

What is a Header Tag?

Heading tags are a way to organize website content, and are comparable to headings in a research paper. Heading tags range from h1 to h6. Instead of Heading 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, heading tags appear as <h1>, <h2>, <h3>, <h4>, <h5>, and <h6>, with the h1 tag being the highest and most important heading, h2 being the second most important, and h6 being the least important.  Header HTML tags are important for both readers and search engines. As Yoast points out, readers tend to scan documents instead of reading them in their entirety, and an HTML header makes this easier. Similarly, a header HTML tag makes it easy for Google to understand the main topics included on a page, making it more likely that your page shows up on search results.  Need more evidence of heading tag importance? Forbes reports that 80% of the top 10 pages used an h1 tag.

Top webpages use an h1 tag
According to Forbes, 80% of the top 10 pages used an H1 tag

Heading Tag Tips for On Page SEO

Use Keywords in HTML Header Tags (h1, h2, h3, etc)

Heading tags are another important area for keywords to appear. The Art of SEO states, “search engines have shown a slight preference for key words appearing in heading” When crafting your h1, h2, h3, h4, h5, and h6 tags for your page, be sure to include relevant keywords.

Limit One H1 Tag Per Page

The h1 tag assigned to one web page should not be duplicated elsewhere, and each page should only have one h1 tag. The h1 tag is the main subject of your page. All subsections or subtopics of the page would be assigned lower-level HTML header Here’s an example:

<h1> Buying Your First Utah Home in 2017

<h2> Navigating the Search Process for Your Utah Home

<h3> Using Utah Real Estate Websites to Find Your Perfect Home

<h2> Making the Offer on a Utah Home

<h3> How Low is Too Low?

Unique and Relevant H1 Heading tags

Unique and relevant content is at the heart of all things important to on page SEO. The same is true for HTML header tags. The more unique and relevant a heading is, the more weight it carries, and the more likely it is to show up in Google Search. Headings tags should be self-explanatory, catchy, and most importantly, relevant to the content displayed on the page.

Pro tip: use a question as your h1 tag. This practice is becoming more common as seen by the influx of top search results containing a question in the H1 tag.

Once you’ve incorporated HTML tags – the title tag and heading tags – in your sleek new website, you should be ready to finally hit the launch button! Good luck!