SEO for Beginners: Page Titles, Page Descriptions, and H1s
If you have ever spent so much as a minute on the internet, then you have dealt with SEO (even if you don’t know it).
There's no denying it: in this modern age, the use of SEO is ubiquitous.
But what is SEO? It’s not a term very many people hear in their lifetimes, let alone in their daily lives.
What is SEO, Anyway?
SEO is no secret!
It stands for Search Engine Optimization and in its most basic form, it controls the results a user gets when they type a search term into Google (or Bing, or Duck Duck Go, it all works the same).
Have you ever wondered why you don’t get information on the former president when searching for ‘flights into JFK?’ It’s because of SEO.
SEO as a tool is used to sort relevant information from irrelevant information on search engines like Google.
The cornerstone of SEO is a concept we media-savvy professionals call keywords.
Keywords are words or phrases which bear relevance to a specific topic AND are commonly searched for on Google or other search engines.
Let’s look at an example.
You have a business that repairs computers. You want to improve your online presence and get found on Google more easily.
You need to make use of keywords on your website and blog.
An extra infusion of keywords such as 'best computer repair in Cincinnati,' and 'budget computer repair Cincinnati,' is a great start.
SEO gets more advanced than that, of course. But that is how SEO works at the most basic level.
Use keywords that people are searching for, and get found on Google.
Now that you have a basic understanding of what SEO does, let’s look at some specific places you can add keywords to give your site an SEO boost.
SEO for Page Titles
Believe us when we say, your page titles are one of the most important parts of your site.
Think of it as a title of a book. Your page title tells Google exactly what is on a specific page in a few words.
But does a page title really matter if your website content is sharp and full of keywords?
In short, yes, very much so.
Let’s say you’re in a bookstore and you are looking for a cupcake recipe cookbook.
You have three options:
- Ultimate Cookbook for Master Chefs
- Creative Cupcakes for Your Kitchen
- The History of Cupcakes in the Western World
You would pick #2 for your purpose.
It’s not that #1 and #3 don’t have relevance to a specific audience, but they are irrelevant to your needs.
The same principle applies when crafting a page title.
The average site will have 5 unique pages. Each should provide specific information. Your site may provide a comprehensive overview of food and desserts, but the page on cupcake recipes must be specifically about cupcake recipes.
Specify each page to a specific audience and topic for the best SEO returns.
SEO for Page Descriptions
Just like for page titles, generalists will fail for page descriptions.
Each page should have a unique description rich with specific keywords.
If you are using three primary keywords for your site, then each page description must use at least one.
This is not an article on determining the most relevant keywords for your site, but for page descriptions, you must think critically and decide which keyword is best for that specific page.
Use your page descriptions to attract readers to a specific page on your site, not to your site as a whole.
Don’t litter descriptions with as many keywords as you can think of either.
Your page description must be relevant to one topic on your site and should give the reader a taste of the page’s content so they will want to dig deeper.
If you watch a trailer for a movie, the entire plot is not laid out for you. Rather it’s a quick and engaging overview and the central topic. That’s how your page description should work.
SEO for H1s
Okay, page titles and page descriptions, we’ve all seen those before. But who has ever heard of an H1?
H1s are not an alien concept. It stands for Header 1, and it is generally the biggest strip of text at the top of the page.
H1s communicate directly with search engines to tell them exactly what the page is about. They contain one primary keyword (no more, no less) and can be thought of in the same vein as a newspaper headline.
H1s give you the who and what of a page. They give you the topic and the subject and nothing more.
Here’s a perfect example of an H1 for a (made up) software company’s History page.
Prince Software Company History
The H1 contains the name of the subject (Prince Software) and the topic (Company History) and leaves no space for expansion. If the company’s name were something that did not contain a keyword on the industry (software), then we may add in a keyword to give the page extra relevance.
Let's say the company Prince is no longer a software company. They now deal with recycled paper. The H1 for their company history page may read like this instead.
The History of Paper Recycling at Prince
Unlike page titles and descriptions, H1s are short and to the point.
Get Found on Google
The purpose of SEO is to get your site found on Google.
The use of relevant keywords is the best way to improve your SEO, but it can be hard to do on your own.
We all need a helping hand sometimes.
Legend Web Works offers the marketing and SEO support you have been looking for.
Our expert marketing team can transform your site from the bottom of the barrel to the top of the class with our proven and effective SEO and social media services.
You’re the best in your industry, it’s time Google starts acting like it.