For many marketers—especially those who are tasked primarily with producing thoughtful and effective copy—the very thought of SEO (search engine optimization) is enough to send them running for the proverbial hills. But not to worry—it doesn’t take a computer science degree to effectively optimize your website and help your brand climb higher in the SERPs (search engine results page). Even if you don’t quite speak fluent HTML, there are several simple steps you can take to elevate your brand’s SEO—without having to hard-code a thing.
SEO Tips for Marketers
Optimize Your Titles for Desktop and Mobile Search
To optimize your title for both desktop and mobile search, aim for a length of about 60-70 characters when possible. On desktop, titles currently will be truncated after (roughly) 70 characters, while on mobile, we can show full titles of up to 78 characters. Expect these parameters to change slightly over time, but one thing is for sure: with the increasing popularity of web searches completed on smartphones, if you have to choose between optimizing your titles for desktop or mobile, your best bet will almost always be to go with mobile.
Don’t Forget Those Keywords!
And while we’re on the topic of titles: make sure to include keywords and frequently searched phrases that are relevant to your brand when composing the title and headings throughout your piece. Writing a piece about artichoke recipes that would be perfect for date night? Make sure your heading for that section isn’t just “Recipes.” The more relevant you make your headings, the easier it is for the right people to find your content while searching online.
Include Metadescriptions for Each Webpage
A metadescription is basically a short summary that appears under your page title in search engine results and tells the viewer what content they would find if they click on your link. Essentially, you can think of a metadescription as akin to the thesis or topic sentence of your page. Current wisdom is to keep these between 150-160 characters, though this is wont to change slightly over time.
Note: Google had increased this number for a while but currently truncates metadescriptions longer than 160 characters.
Create a Rich Internal Linking Structure, One Blog Post At a Time
It takes time to improve your SEO, just like it does to build a website that is robust, informative, and visually appealing. One of the best ways to achieve both goals at the same time is beef up your website and blog content with internal links to relevant web pages and posts authored by your brand. The more accurate, helpful information you have on your website, the more trustworthy and helpful you appear—both to consumers AND to Google.
Optimize Your Photos for Web Search
How many of us have ever been short on time and simply left our photos named something generic like “IMG2754?” I would guess most marketers have been in that boat before, but making that a regular practice means missing out on another SEO opportunity! We all know the power of ranking in a Google image search, especially for recipes and similar content—unfortunately, having nameless photos won’t help get you there. We suggest including terms that succinctly describe your photo (such as “strawberry fields Watsonville California”) along with the name of your company and one additional (relevant) keyword.
Above All, Seek to be “Helpful First”
At DMA, one of our guiding values is our commitment to be helpful to our clients and to this industry as a whole before seeking to promote our own interests. Believe it or not, effective, SEO-savvy copywriting is marked by a similar approach: your content should provide answers to questions that people are typing into Google, your headlines should never be misleading, and your copy should be informative and truthful. At the end of the day, consistently providing useful information is the most important way to elevate your search engine ranking—and your brand’s status in the minds of consumers.
Have other helpful SEO tips you’d like to share? Leave us a comment below, or tweet us @TheCoreBlog!