When optimising pages, we can improve individual page elements (on-page factors) or external factors that can affect the page rating (off-page factors).
In addition to publishing relevant and high-quality content, on-page optimisation includes the creation of headings, HTML tags (title, label), pictures, and much more.
In addition to these optimisations, we focus on the appropriate professional level and credibility of the page.
Optimisation of on-page SEO factors
In the past, much attention has been paid to optimising on-page SEO factors. Optimisation of the site was practically solved in the first phase.
Even today, these factors are significant because they help users and search engines identify relevant content.
On-Page Factor is a designation for the elements of the site that we have under control as the authors of the site, and we can deliberately influence them.
In this chapter, we will discuss all the most important on-page optimisation factors, talk about their primary meaning, and what their optimal (generally recommended) settings are.
Basic meta tags SEO
Meta tags at the page level are an excellent way for site creators to provide site information to search engines.
Meta tags SEO are special tags written in the page header (HTML document header). On each page, you need to use a tag for the document type (the example below shows DOCTYPE HTML).
Some of the basic SEO tags are title and description.
The site’s header should consist only of the meta tags you want to use as a source of information for the external crawlers. There are many of these tags, and it does not make sense to put to the page each of them. The less, the better.
Each search engine or system only processes those meta-tags it understands while ignoring the others.
Meta tags are added to the section <head> of the HTML page and generally look like this:
<meta name=”Description” CONTENT=”Author: A.N. Writer, Illustration: P. Picture, Category: Books, Price: 10 eur, Pages: 784″>
<meta name=”google-site-verification” content=”+nxGUDJ4QpAZ5l9Bsjdi102tLVC21AIh5d1Nl23908vVuFHs34=”/>
<title>Book example – quality children’s books</title>
<meta name=”robots” content=”noindex,nofollow”>
Google can work with the following tags:
<meta name=”description” content=”Page description” />
You can use this tag to give a short description of the page. In some situations, this description is used as part of the snippet displayed in search results. We will discuss this critical metatag in the chapter Meta Description.
<meta name=”robots” content = “…, …” />
<meta name=”googlebot” content = “…, …” />
These meta tags control the behaviour of search engines when browsing and indexing.
The tag <meta name = “robots”> refers to all search engines. The tag <meta name = “googlebot”> is specific to Google. In the case of conflicting meta tags robots (or googlebot), the more restrictive is used.
For example, if the page contains both of the tags: max-snippet:50 (determines the maximum length of the description) and nosnippet, the nosnippet tag will be used.
The default values of each page related to indexing properties are “index, follow“, and they do not need to be entered. Google search engine understands the following values (if you enter multiple values, separate them with commas):
- index – allow page indexing.
- follow – when crawling, follow all links on the page.
- noindex – prevents page indexing.
- nofollow – do not follow the links from this page.
- nosnippet – prevents the preview of the text or video in search results. If possible, a static image will be displayed instead of a video preview. Example: <meta name=”robots” content=”nosnippet”>.
- max-snippet: [number] – reduces the length of the text snippet for this page to a maximum [number] character number. By a value of 0, you disable the excerpt entirely, and by a value of 1, you allow the excerpt of any length.
- max-image-preview: [size] – reduces the size of images associated with this page. [Size] can be “none”, “standard”, or “large”.
- ▪max-video-preview: [number] – reduces the video preview length associated with this page to [number] seconds. By a value of 0, you only allow a static image, and by a value of 1, you will enable any preview length.
- noarchive – do not display a link Archive for the page in search results.
- unavailable_after: [date] – allows you to determine the exact time and date when the page will be unavailable to be crawled and indexed.
- noimageindex – do not display the page as a reference in the Google Images search results. This setting prevents all images from indexing on this page.
- none – is equivalent to “noindex, nofollow“.
- all – [default] is equivalent to “index, follow“.
You can also include this data in the page’s header using the header of the HTTP protocol “X-Robots-Tag”. This is particularly useful if you want to limit file indexing in a format other than HTML, such as images or different types of documents.
A widespread problem of non-indexing is the noindex, nofolow command. So check if you do not have this code on the site:
<meta name=“robots“ content=“noindex, nofollow“>
When users are looking for your site, sometimes in the Google search results, together with direct links to your site pages, appears a search box specific to your site, links to other subpages. This tag tells Google not to display the search box for links to subpages:
<meta name=”Google” content=”nositelinkssearchbox” />
When Google finds that the content of the page is not in a language that the user is likely to want to read, it often provides a translation link in search results.
In general, you have the opportunity to offer your original and interesting content to a larger group of users. In some situations, however, this may not be desirable. This meta tag tells Google that you don’t want Google to offer a translation of the site.
<meta name=”Google” content=”notranslate” />
The “nopageredaloud” tag prevents web browsers from reading aloud a page based on voice commands for Google Assistant “Read this page” and “Read it”.
<meta name=”Google” content=”nopagereadaloud” />
Some tags are used to verify the ownership of the page for connection with analytical services.
<meta name=”google-site-verification” content=”…” />
You can use this tag on the page of the highest web level to verify ownership for Search Console.
Another meta tag defines the type of page content and a character set. Be careful that the value of the attribute content is in quotation marks; otherwise, the charset attribute can be misinterpreted. Wherever possible, I recommend using the Unicode character set with UTF-8 coding.
<meta http-equiv=”Content-Type” content =”…; charset=…” />
<meta http-equiv=”refresh” content=”…;url = …” />
The “refresh” brand sends users to a new URL after a while and is sometimes used as a simple form of redirection.
However, some browsers do not support it, which cannot be noticeable to users. W3C standards recommend not using this brand. I recommend using the seo 301 redirection instead on the server.
<meta name=”refresh” content = “…”>
Another tag indicates that the page includes content only for adults and should be filtered out in the results of the safe search.
<meta name=”rating” content=”adult” />
<meta name=”rating” content=”RTA-5042-1996-1400-1577-RTA” />
Note to the meta tags
- Google can read meta tags HTML and XHTML (regardless of the code used on the page).
- Except for the tag google-site-verification, the size of the letters does not matter.
- This is not a complete list of all available meta tags. You can also use other meta tags if they are essential to your site. Just keep in mind that the search engine will ignore the unknown meta tags.
This chapter is dedicated to those who will only enter the online business.
Those who already have a domain can continue to the next part or can be inspired by the advice for other projects.
What is the domain
Domain names are unique, humanly comprehensible readable Internet addresses of websites.
They consist of three parts: the highest level domain (sometimes called the suffix or domain suffix), the domain name (or IP address), and the optional subdomain.
Top-Level Domain (TLD)
The top-level domain (TLD) is the formal name of the suffix that appears at the end of the domain name. Examples of the highest-level domains include:
Most of you know the above domains. In the world, however, there are about 1,000 possible variants of domain endings. For example, you can find .book, .clothing, .dog, etc. I would avoid buying these alternative TLDs; I see no benefit in them (note: my subjective preferences).
Choice of TLD (.org, .com, or something else?)
It depends on your intentions. For example, for the English e-shop, I would recommend national TLD .uk.
If you decide to do business in Germany, I recommend creating the e-shop on the national domain .de. If you are dealing with products and services for multiple countries, I recommend the .com domain and subsequently make individual language mutations in the style of domain.com/cz/, domain.com/de/, etc.
From the search engine point of view, the national domain is an excellent signal to which market you want to target. But you will not have a problem with the domain .com if you have content other than the English language.
Subdomains are third-level domains and are part of the second-level domain. They are added before the root domain and are separated from the name of the domain by a dot.
E.g., “mobiles.domain.com” and “shirts.domain.com” are subdomains of the 3rd level of the root domain “domain.com”.
The recommended procedure for domain choice from SEO perspective
The domain name must be memorable
Try to choose a short, easy-to-remember, easy-to-pronounce name.
Do not use domains with numbers or other non-standard characters. Do not use domain names longer than 15 characters.
The domain name should be related to your brand
Using the same name will help people find your site easier. If they learn about your products and services, they will probably look for your name in the search engine.
Using the same domain name and brand helps in consistent brand communication, thus strengthening its awareness and memorability.
Brand and domain should be:
Popularity, review, and frequency of searching for your brand can be an auxiliary signal for search engines.
A much sought-after brand, which has positive reviews and a great response from customers, will be very successful in some prerequisites in organic search.
Do not compose domain names from keywords
If you get to a domain that clearly and comprehensively reflects your business, plus it contains a key phrase, go for it.
You will probably not find suitable short domains containing a keyword that describes your business.
Avoid composing the domain name from keywords such as “mobile-phones-apple-iphone.com” or “Quality-vitamines-for-seniors.com”. These domains are nowadays associated with the prejudice of low-quality, up-to-spam content.
Avoid dashes if possible
If you have two words in the domain (e.g. www.domainname.com), you may want to separate these two words for better readability (www.domain-name.com).
I recommend avoiding the use of more than one dash.
Prefer subdirectories over subdomains
This point is more of an architecture, but I will mention it here anyway.
If you structure the site, use the directory after the domain. In practice, I prefer the form www.domain.com/name-category/ over name-category.domain.com. This is because search engines can approach subdomains separately.
The evaluation of the subdomain can then be fundamentally lower than the evaluation of the main domain. This may reduce the value of the content on the subdomain compared to the content that would be published on the main domain in the directory.
The same applies to blog and other content. Prefer the solution www.domain.com/blog/ over blog.domain.com
Do not care about domain registration date
According to Matt Cutts and John Mueller, the domain age does not play any role (I mean the time of registration).
What plays a role here, is the history of the domain that the search engines captured. What links lead to the domain, what is the indexed content in the search engine, etc.
If you have the opportunity to buy a domain without content registered ten years ago or registered yesterday, it does not play any role from the point of view of SEO.
Should the domain contain a keyword?
I will start with a very frequent assumption of the beginner in e-commerce.
“I will buy a domain with a keyword, and I will have a huge advantage in the search!”
The keyword in the domain can help with ranking on this particular keyword. But is one keyword important for your business? Do you think this is crucial in terms of your organic traffic?
To be successful in organic search, you must not concentrate on one, ten, or 100 phrases.
It would help if you tried to rank as many phrases relevant to your business as possible for all the phases throughout the shopping cycle (Framework See / Think / Do / Care).
Structure and URL
The structure of the pages and the related architecture is one of the cornerstones in optimisation.
In this part, we will look at what the optimal structure should look like. However, do not take it as dogma. If we are unable to achieve optimal structures (e.g. because of technical obstacles), it does not mean that search engines will not index us and that we will not appear in search results.
Search engines can cope with many things. However, if possible, create for the search engines as few obstacles as possible and make it easy to crawl and index.
Whenever possible, work with only one domain and subdomain
You will probably achieve much higher synergistic effects if you run your entire content on one subdomain. If you are unable to create a blog on the domain (e.g. domain.com/blog/), you can make it on a subdomain (e.g. blog.domain.com).
It is better to have a blog on a subdomain than no blog. However, the ideal solution is to run it like the first variant. I have no relevant study for this claim, but all authoritative sources recommend this strategy.
Of course, each URL part doesn’t need to be always absolutely clean and perfect. Try to keep the rules that the URL will be well identifiable for people and search engines.
The keyword in the URL still plays a role and has other meaning
It is still true that the use of keywords you target in search results plays a role in URLs. The presence of a keyword in the URL is a signal to the visitor that the site contains the topic that he is interested in.
Another reason for the importance of the keyword in the URL is that if someone uses the link for your website as the anchor text, you will have a backlink with the relevant text containing a keyword.
The keywords in the URL are displayed in search results, and according to surveys, the presence of a keyword in the URL increases the belief in the page’s relevance.
Canonise the URL with the same content
If you have two URL addresses with very similar content, consider their canonisation or use 301 redirects (unless there is a genuine reason to maintain a duplicate).
Use a canonical link if you want to keep slightly different versions for some visitors, such as a print version of a page, etc.
Duplicity is not the reason for the penalty of search engines (unless it duplicates on a large scale). Instead, the problem of duplicate is the page value reduction.
If page A has some value from the search engine and page B with the same or similar content also has some weight, you can help page A by transferring value from page B (canonical link or permanent redirection 301).
If possible, exclude dynamic parameters
If you can avoid using the URL parameters, do it. If you have more parameters in the URL, consider investing in a static URL with comprehensible text.
Leave the possibility of using parametric URLs in case you want to exclude this site from the index, respectively, to restrict access to bots (using robots.txt).
The shorter =, the better
Shorter addresses are better copied, inserted, and thus shared. Moreover, every sharing counts, so let’s not do it unnecessarily harder!
URL should thematically correlate with the main heading of the page (the main topic)
The reason is again because of the users (or search engines). To facilitate a better understanding of the content of the target page. Try to use the title H1 in the URL.
Do not use non-standard characters in the URL
Some non-standard characters turn into complex and meaningless characters in the URL.
I recommend using standard alphanumeric characters (0–9, A – Z). Always separate individual words with a dash, which is considered a standard.
You will be sure that the page will be displayed correctly in all browsers, making it easier to analyse.
The dash is a standard word separator in the URL
Separate the individual words in the URL with a dash. Together with underscores, the dash is a preferred option to separate individual words in the URL.
However, if possible, prefer a dash!
Do not mess up the URL with keywords
Do not repeat or just alternate variants of keywords in the URL. Repetition of keywords does not help your ranking in terms of relevance. Both Google and Bing have already marked these practices as potential spam in previous algorithms.
The website’s home page has a browsing depth of 0. The pages on the same site directly connected (with one click) from the homepage have a browsing depth of 1.
Pages directly linked from the pages with a browsing depth of 1 have a browsing depth of 2, and so on. Important pages should be achieved ideally up to levels 4-5 (4-5 clicks from the title page).
Based on this information, create a site architecture. Do not create a labyrinth of directories and subdirectories in which users and search engines get easily lost.
A practical example with URL category and product
Successful are short URLs, which have the product name in the address. Authoritative pages with a long history and good reputation get to leading positions. And especially the site that can perfectly satisfy the intention of seeking.
IMPORTANT: The form of the URL itself certainly does not matter; it is just one of more than 200 evaluation factors that affect the position in SERP. In this case, it is a point to show how the most successful SEO specialists create the URL structure.
The <title> tag is significant for optimisation success. Missing, duplicate, and poorly written titles can negatively affect your SEO results.
The title tag is an element in the HTML code that determines the website’s name. The meta tag of the title is displayed on the search engine’s results website as the heading that can be clicked and is essential for usability, SEO, and sharing on social networks.
The name of the website should be an accurate and brief description of the content of the page. The headline provides the first hint of the context of what the visitor can find on the target page.
Titles are not a visual element of the page. Visitors will not see it on the page anywhere; it will only appear in the search engine in the open tab of your browser.
How to view the title and the description of the page
If the title is more extended, it will not be displayed entirely on the Internet browser tab. Likewise, only about 50-60 characters will appear in the search result (Google shows the maximum number of pixels, not characters).
If I want to look at the settings of fundamental on-page factors, I will use the installed add-on to Google Chrome, META SEO Inspector.
Checking the title and description of the page in SERP checker
You can check how the page is indexed directly in the search results.
If you want to see what title and description the search engine indexed and what title and page description (theoretically) the search engine shows to the users, you can use the following search operators.
In the search engine, you can input site or inurl search operators (valid for Google):
The display of a particular title and description of the page may vary in search results according to the search query.
Search engines show such titles and descriptions that match the search phrase. If the expression is not in the title and the description and the page are relevant to this phrase, the search engine will put the selected part of the content into the description.
You can use the cache command to see the entire content (page) that Google has indexed in search:
At the top, you will see options to display the full version, only the text version, or the source.
The title of the page is written in HTML between the tags of the header <head> and has the following form.
<title>This is the title of your page on the e-shop</title>
The optimal length of the headline
Google usually shows the first 50-60 characters of the page name.
If you keep your titles below 60 characters, you can expect approximately 90 % of your titles to appear correctly.
There is no exact character limit because the characters may vary in width (e.g. “I” is not wide like “M”). Therefore, Google shows the limit of the title width in pixels, and the maximum display width is currently 600 pixels.
Why are pages titles important
Metatag <title> is one of the main factors that helps search engines and people understand what the target site is about. The titles create the first impression of what people can expect from the site.
Page titles SEO are used at three key points:
- pages with search results (SERP),
- titles on web browser tabs,
- social networks.
Page with search results (SERP)
The title (with a few exceptions) determines your displayed name in SERP and presents the user’s first contact with your site. As I have already mentioned, in some cases, the search engine can replace the title with a more relevant one according to the search query.
Even though you are high in search results, the title, together with the description, can have a significant impact on the overall level of clicks on your site.
The internet browser tab
The page title will also be displayed at the top of the web browser (on each tab) and acts as a representative symbol, especially for people with many browser cards open. Unique and easily recognisable titles with essential keywords help users with the orientation in their browsers.
How to create a good page title SEO
Editing titles is a relatively simple and quick operation where you can see good results without much effort.
- Watch the length of the title
If your title is too long, search engines may truncate it by adding three dots (“…”), and you may end up missing important words. Although I recommended in the previous section to write titles under 60 characters, keep in mind that Google follows the graphic length specified in pixels (600 pix).
By using CAPS LOCK in the headline, you can get the attention of searchers, but you can also significantly reduce the length of the displayed headline.
Remember that even within a reasonable length, search engines may display a different title than the one you’ve created for the page.
Remember that longer titles may work better for social sharing in some cases, and some titles are just naturally long. It’s a good idea to consider how your titles appear in search results, but there are no penalties for using a long title. Use your judgment and think like users who search and select such pages from the SERP that they believe will best fulfil their search.
- Don’t overdo it with SEO (over-optimization)
Google does not penalise long titles. What can reduce the ranking of your page is filling the headlines with a series of keywords that do not make a good user impression, for example, Sale of mobile phones, cheapest mobile phones, discount phones.
Avoid site titles that are just a list of keywords or where you repeat variations of the same keyword over and over. These titles are bad for searchers and can get you into trouble in terms of search engine rankings. Search engines are focused on context, not verbatim keyword usage, frequency, and density.
- Each page should have a unique title (page name)
Unique titles help search engines understand that your content is unique and valuable to the searcher and increase click-through rates.
With thousands of pages, it may seem challenging to create a unique name for each page, but modern and best CMS systems for SEO and code-based templates should allow you to create a unique, data-driven name for each significant page.
For example, if you have thousands of product pages with a database of product names and categories, you can easily use this data to generate titles in the structure:
[Product Name] – [Category] | [Brand]
Exclude names like “New Page” and “Home” entirely from your database of page names.
Such naming is useless from the user’s or search engine’s point of view. They don’t say anything about the landing page, what its content is, or why we want to go there. These generic, meaningless titles also decrease the click-through rate (CTR).
Well, tell me how tempted you are to click on a page that has “Another product” or “Untitled” in the title.
Duplicate titles are confusing to search engines. In this case, the search engine will usually display the page in the search result that better matches the search query.
4. Put the keyword in front
According to a lot of research, testing, and experience, keywords at the beginning of the title (closer to the beginning) have a more significant impact on search engine rankings.
User satisfaction research also suggests that people often only scan the first two words in SERP. Therefore, the presence of a key phrase (the main topic of the page) at the beginning of the title tag can be marked as “SEO best practice”.
Be sure to avoid the following structure:
Brand | Main product category – Product subcategory – Product name
5. Choose keywords that match the search intent
People want to find exactly what they’re looking for, yet often the top search results for a search phrase don’t return the answer.
Knowing what your audience is looking for and how they are looking for it is critical for optimising your title and target page content.
If you don’t know the search phrases, there is a risk that you won’t even be able to prepare the correct answers in the form of relevant landing pages.
6. Promote brand awareness and leverage the power of the brand
If you have a solid and well-known brand, you can add it to your title tags to increase your click-through rate. Google may also automatically add your brand to display captions.
7. Write subtitles for searchers (for people)
Although page titles are essential for SEO, remember that your first task is to attract well-targeted visitors who will find your content valuable to click. When creating title tags, it is important to think about the entire user experience in addition to optimisation and keyword usage. The page title is the first interaction a new visitor has with your brand. It should convey the most favourable and accurate message possible.
8. Call to action
You will be fighting tough competition in the search results. Those who will make a good impression can gain an advantage, which will subsequently be reflected in their positions as well.
If it makes sense concerning the landing page for SEO and the content, you can explain to the searcher one of your unique advantages or invite them to some activity.
9. The title should correlate with the content of the landing page
The title alone will not work from the SEO point of view. The title should reflect the content of the page. If you use keywords in the title, logically, the same and related words should also appear in the content of the page, in the text, alternatively in subheadings, in alternative image tags, in the meta description, in the URL address, and in other aspects of the page.
Thus, the title should be 100% relevant to the content of a specific page!
What separator to use in the title
It is a good idea to visually separate the individual parts of the title from each other.
The SERP meaning of the primary goal is to stand out, highlight the title, and thus attract attention. On the other hand, there is an effort to minimise its width so it is, ideally, displayed in its entirety.
When Google will not use the title we created
Google may sometimes display a title that doesn’t match what you’ve submitted.
This may bother you, but there is no way to force your title to appear. Reasons why the search engine ignores your title can be:
- Title covered with keywords
As mentioned above, if you try to stuff your title with keywords (sometimes called “over-optimization”), Google may simply rewrite it. Rewrite the headline to make it more useful for searchers.
- The page title does not match the search query
If your page corresponds to a search query not well represented in the title, Google may decide to overwrite the title. This is not necessarily wrong. Again, consider whether you can write the title of the page better to describe the main topic of the page.
- You have an alternative headline that better matches the search query
In some cases, if you provide alternative meta titles, such as meta tags for Facebook or Twitter, Google may decide to use those titles instead of the classic <title> tag. Again, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but if this creates an unwanted display title, you can re-create alternate tags to suit your intent better.
Meta tag Description
Meta tag description is an HTML attribute that displays a brief summary of a web page in search results. Basically, this is a concise “advertising text” for the landing page that appears below the page title.
You can come across different designations for the page description: Meta description, SEO description, Google calls it in its official help as snippets.
The description should be written naturally, not over-optimized, and it should not spam keywords. It should be compelling and attractive for its relevant content that is on the page.
An attractive description, like a title, affects the click-through rate in the SERP. Note that search engines will bold the search phrase that matches the word in the page description if there is one.
A short description of the page is written in HTML between the header tags <head> and has the following form.
<meta name=”description” content=” This is a sample of a short page description that appears in search results.”>
Optimal page description length
Some search engines report the recommended length in characters, Google in pixels, which is more accurate than the limit indicated in the characters. The letter “I” has a different width than the letter “M”. The resulting width in the letters may thus differ fundamentally depending on the text.
Description can have any length, but search engines shorten them to approximately 155-160 characters. The maximum length of the displayed text of the page description in the search result is 920 pixels.
The maximum length in mobile search results is 680 pixels, corresponding to about 120 characters.
It is best to maintain meta descriptions that are sufficiently long and descriptive. The aim should be to briefly explain the content and principal value of the target page. The optimal length of the description is between 50 and 160 characters.
Remember that the “optimal” length will vary depending on the situation. Your primary goal should be to explain the value of the target page and increase the number of clicks (CTR) thanks to a quality presentation.
The description is not a search engine evaluation factor! In 2009, Google announced that the page’s description is not an evaluation factor for search engines. However, it is crucial for the number of clicks in the outcome of the search, which is already very likely in the evaluation algorithms of search engines.
How to create a good meta description
- Write a convincing and relevant advertisement
The description tag serves as an advertising trailer for your target page. It attracts the sight of the searchers and is an integral part of marketing in the search result.
Creating a readable and convincing description with relevant keywords can improve the number of clicks on the website. Keep in mind that search engines highlight in bold the corresponding part of the searched phrase. This bold text can attract the eyes of the users. So the ideal situation is when the searched phrase overlaps with the part of your description tag.
- Avoid duplicate page descriptions
As with page title seo, it is essential that meta descriptions are unique on each page. Each unique page = a unique description. One way to deal with the duplicate is to implement dynamic descriptions, which are created according to the content of the page.
- Manual descriptions create only for the most critical page; the rest leave to the “automats.”
If the page targets two to three frequently searched phrases, you can invest time in the page and create an attractive title manually.
If the page targets a long – tail or possibly one phrase (e.g. product name), you can use the possibility of your CMS system to create the description from the tag in combination with the product name.
If someone is looking for a long-tail word, the description search engine generates the description from the page content that contains a search expression.
- Page description will also be useful for social networks
The description is also important for social sharing. Social networks take the page description and create shared content. If the description is not filled in, the social network can take the first text on the page it encounters. This can cause a non-ideal user experience.
- Avoid spam techniques
Do not write titles JUST IN UPPERCASE LETTERS. Do not use special characters such as a star (☆), copyright (©) symbol, a symbol for a registered trademark (®) or a trademark (™), etc. Search engines may be unable to cope with them so they can ignore the full description. Do not use punctuation too much.
All of the above can be evaluated as an effort to gain unauthorised benefits.
Search engines create up to 70 % of their own page descriptions and ignore the original ones. This is due to the relevant description (snippet of the text from the page) with respect to the search phrase.
Inappropriate practices mentioned by Google
Google, in its official help about meta description, presents the following practices that you should avoid:
- Do not put meta tag description text unrelated to the page’s content.
- Do not use general descriptions such as “This is a website” or “Baseball card page”.
- Do not fill the description only with keywords.
- Do not copy the entire content of the document into the description tag.
- Do not use the same description tag for all pages or a larger group of pages.
The heading structure on the page is used for a better orientation of the visitors. The headings thus form a hierarchical arrangement of the document.
HTML heading tags (H1 -H6) distribute content into sections according to importance, with H1 as the most important and H6 as the least important. The title of the headline should be used naturally, and if it is relevant, it should contain your target keywords, which can bring a small advantage in optimising content.
For someone who is used to the heading structure in Word, the heading hierarchy will not be anything new. Here is a simple example of the practical use of headings on the HTML code page:
<h1>Heading 1 – The main heading of the page</h1>
<h2>Heading of 2nd level</h2>
<h3>Heading of 3rd level</h3>
The headline of the highest level H1 should be a brief and concise designation of the page’s content. The title should be unique throughout the domain.
Each page should contain just one H1-level title. And what about the keyword in the title, is it necessary?
In 2003, the headings were a strong evaluation factor, and the presence of keywords in the title played an important role. Nowadays, the headings and key phrases play only an auxiliary role and help users and search engines better understand the context of the content.
John Mueller of Google emphasises that the heading structure is especially important for understanding what the text is about. No matter what level of the heading.
The heading at any level should refer to the content, which is important for evaluation. The headings help us better understand what the text is about.
How to create a good heading
- Try to keep the headings short and concise
Try to keep your headings short and easy to read. However, the good news is that the length of the title is nowhere set.
- Use only one title, H1, on the page
The HTML5 specification introduced the possibility of using multiple H1 headings on one page. However, the HTML5.1 Standard has eliminated this option and returned to the previous standard: 1 page = 1 title H1.
Anyway, Google will cope with more H1, and it will not be a problem.
- Focus on the relevance and arousing of interest
The heading should always be relevant to the content below. Write the headings attractive enough to raise the reader’s interest.
In some cases, when the page does not have a filled headline, search engines can borrow H1 for search results instead of tag <title>.
- If it makes sense, use a keyword in the heading structure (topic for a given paragraph)
Although the presence of a keyword in the title may not affect the overall evaluation, its use can help users and search engines in content orientation.
- Don’t be afraid to use the title as a question
You can sometimes create an excellent title using the question.
Potential readers will know in advance what question your content will answer, which is always good.
- Use a number in headings
Several studies have shown that headings and titles with numbers arouse the higher interest of readers.
Inappropriate practices of working with headings
- Do not put text into the heading that is not useful to define the page’s structure.
- Do not use heading tags in places where other tags (such as <em> or <strong>) would be more suitable.
- Do not confuse the sizes of the headings
- Do not use too many heading tags on the page.
- Do not use too long headings.
- Do not use the heading tags only for text formatting.
Google, in its official headlines, states the following practices to follow:
- Do not use a name that has no relation to the content of the page.
- Do not use default or vague names such as “Untitled” or “New page 1”.
- Do not use the same name on all pages or a larger group of pages.
- Do not use extremely long names that do not help users.
- Do not insert unnecessary keywords into the title tags.