For most websites, Search Engine Optimization is the backbone of a marketing campaign.
When looking at your website's analytics data, you might find that a healthy organic traffic makes up anywhere between 35%-75% of the load. That is a huge range, and it's indicative of why controlling and managing your on page SEO is so important. Even if you don’t rank for any head terms, SEO plays a crucial role in your website’s ability to catch traffic.
It's not magical free traffic, though. It's earned through SEO initiatives.
SEO is largely employed through the use of HTML Meta Tags, which are in effect hidden messages that describe certain and specific aspects of a page to search engines. This, combined with some varied tactics, will help your website show up for specific search queries, leading your users to your sites and landing pages.
There are a few things that you can do to actively control how your website shows upon the Search Engine Results Page, or SERP. Think of them as best practices or as a guideline, but always remember to challenge assumptions and test your hypothesis. The internet is constantly changing, and we need to be adaptive to stay ahead.
Rule of Three
The premise of the Rule of Three is to create a cohesive and unified statement to the end-user as well as to the search engines crawling the site. The concepts here are simple and straightforward, and more importantly, can be applied in nearly all cases.
Put plainly, following the Rule of Three means you should always match your URL path, title element, and H1 text. Matching these three elements helps ensure that every page on your site maintains consistency and builds a strong relationship hierarchy.
In HTML, these tags would look like this:
- URL: The address of the page on your website
- <title>: The Title of the page on your website
- <h1>: The header text on the page of your website
- <title> This Is My Title | Website </title>
- <h1> This Is My Title </h1>
The above is one of the most powerful factors in terms of ranking signals that a website can employ. Gone are the days of keyword stuffing title elements. Long past are the years of having ugly, messy, indecipherable urls. Finally, reinforcing your idea through succinct messaging using the H1 (header text) is the pinnacle element that brings the plan together.
There are many schools of thought on the subject of meta titles. Some suggest that a title is a great place to stuff keywords. That is, when trying to rank for a particular term, why not cover all related terms in the same place?
While in the past, such tactics may have worked; search engines have become so much more sophisticated over the last few years that we no longer need to game the system. We simply need to state the case as it is. If you have a page about a “Purple Pigeon” than it’s probably prudent to title the page “Purple Pigeon | PigeonWeb” (where PigeonWeb is your brand or website name). It would probably not serve your best interests to call the page, “Fabulous Rats of the Sky: Pigeons, Benches, and Crackers” (although that would make a great documentary title).
Instead, prioritize your keywords by utilizing specific terms and reinforcing that concept through copy and outreach. This leads us to our next guideline: content.