If You Know Only One Thing About SEO, It Better Be This . . .
Imagine trying to find a specific article you want to read in the newspaper, but there are no headlines. Now imagine that you're google. And you're sifting through millions of websites. And some were kind enough to say, "hey, this is what my web page is about." Others don't bother. No "headlines."
Who is google going to find first?
Now imagine reading a how-to book on just about anything. And on the very first page, it says, "Step 1 is the most important one of all..."
Now imagine paying an outside firm to design your website, and guess what? They skipped the first step!
In Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Step 1 is to optimize your <title> tag.
And an appalling number of websites, from startup social media analytics companies to $1B+ business services companies, skip step 1. I'll never understand why.
In B2B SEO, especially in uncrowded categories, step 1 can get you very very far.
Think of it as one of the most powerful spotlights you can shine on your business in a sea of irrelevant websites. I've managed to get page one rankings for searches such as "SaaS CMO" and "B2B SaaS CMO". If I can then you can.
What's a title tag? The easiest way to understand is to do a google search on just about anything.
Every search result will start with a very brief one line description followed by another couple of lines of additional detail.
The first line comes directly from the title tag. There's a single line of code in the website that includes these words. And to google, these words are very, very important.
The title tag is your opportunity to attract the right visitors to each web page in two different ways:
First, it tells search engines: "When searchers use these keywords, my site is the most relevant"
Second, after performing a search, it tells searchers: "My web page is the most relevant site for your keyword searches."
Of course, the content must support the keywords and vice versa.
Include: only 5 to 7 keywords. More words will dilute the important ones
Use: 65 characters or less (including spaces). More characters are likely to get "cut off" in the search result"
Include: critical keywords
Exclude: Your company name (unless it happens to be keyword rich) and other meaningless words such as "home", "about", "contact us". Nobody is searcing on those terms, so there's no reason to waste your valuable title tag on them.
Every page should have it's own unique or semi-unique keywords. Otherwise google will ask itself, "which page is the right one?"
What keywords should you use? Start with your homepage. If you're a "Social Media Analytics Software" company, then those 4 words would be a good place to start.
Check your title tags. Do they simply say, "Company Name | Home" "Company Name | About"? If so, you can spend 10 minutes per page improving them, and you or a tech resource can spend another 5 minutes per page implementing them. You will be in a much better place.
And since some of your competitors have missed page 1 of SEO 101, you will leapfrog over somebody. Maybe over a lot of websites.