And it is here that my quest to understand true SEO strategy led me to 3 major realizations about SEO I had never comprehended before.
1. Make Your Meta Descriptions Matter
Me: “Dave, I need your help understanding SEO better for this blog post I’m writing.”
Dave: “OK. But first; your Meta descriptions suck.”
This is the first thing I learned about SEO from my brief 10-minute discussion with Dave. Apparently I have been approaching the Meta description in my posts all wrong. My original Meta descriptions for this post looked something like this for example:
“Learn about why Top SEO companies use these best SEO services…”
A good way to approach the Meta description, according to Dave, is to use words that speak to a particular person about their problem. By using words like YOU and YOUR, the Meta description ends up really speaking to someone rather than just coming across as an offer to learn something.
This is a SEO best practice that is proven to generate much more interest than a generic sentence like “learn more about blah blah blah.” Speaking to someone directly about a problem they may have or a question they need answered creates a much better all around conversion opportunity. A simple way of making the above Meta description more effective would be this:
“Learn how the best SEO strategies from some of the Top SEO Companies can benefit you…”
In the grand scheme of things, Meta descriptions carry little importance when it comes to search engine rankings. They are however extremely important in gaining user click-through. In essence, a Meta description is someone’s opportunity to advertise their content in hopes searchers will find it and click on it. Using keywords within the Meta can also help with click-through because Google and other search engines bold keywords in the description when they match search queries.
2. Don’t Overdue it on Your Headlines
The original headline for this post was:
“What the Top SEO Companies Know: The Best SEO Services Mean More than Just Keywords”
Upon first showing this to Dave, the headline came off as far too wordy. My two original keywords appear purposefully jam packed in there. Needless to say my headline, like my Meta description, sucked as well.
What I learned from speaking with my man Dave is that SEO best practices suggest using two long tail keywords within a headline may not necessarily be a good idea. Instead, our very own SEO strategist suggests using either one long tail keyword, or coming up with a clean variation of a long tail and regular keyword that fit together nicely and don’t appear forced.
Similar to the school of thought we discussed earlier about Meta descriptions, using words that connect a headline to a reader and their particular question works best. Using YOU and YOUR in a headline is good way to achieve this. The headline at the top of this post should serve a better example of how to achieve SEO best practices using a healthy dose of keywords, along with personal and possessive pronouns.
3. Invest in Online Real Estate
The third and final SEO pro tip I walked away with while watching Dave pour his French press into his ball jar mug involved the idea of taking up as much real estate as possible on search engine results pages or SERPs.
A good way to invest in improving your brand’s presence on SERPs is to employ a variety of SEO strategies that target a particular keyword. This includes pay per click campaigns, videos, images, press releases and blog posts. Dominating the entire first page of Google is no easy task though. When used successfully, increasing your real estate on SERPs can dramatically improve the search rankings for a particular keyword.
I’m still admittedly learning a lot about why the top SEO companies do what they do. I’m still very much earning an education in what it takes to make the best SEO services. But if there’s one thing I know for sure it’s that SEO is fluid, not rigid. While its premise remains in tact, its definition is constantly evolving.
SEO is so much more complicated than just doing endless keyword research with tools like Keyword Planner and Hubspot.The best SEO companies understand this, and do everything they can to execute and embrace a full-service SEO strategy.
At Vital, we’re lucky enough to have someone like Dave who understands the constantly evolving idea of SEO strategy. If you own a business and are looking to increase brand awareness, consider working with a digital marketing agency that knows SEO. Or, if you’re a SEO marketing specialist looking to learn a little more about the wild world of SEO or the ever-changing idea that is inbound, visit our blog.