SEO – What it Means
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is the process of getting traffic from the “free,” “organic,” “editorial,” or “natural” listings on search engines (Search Engine Land). Major search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing all spit out results in an order based on what the engine deems as the most relevant to the searcher. Unlike paid advertising, SEO is free.
Meta Tags – What They Mean
Within the pages of your website lies the source, or the coded makeup of your multiple pages. Unique to each page, the source contains two critical elements: The Meta Title and the Meta Description. Let’s take a closer look at each one of these –
1. The Meta Title
The Meta Title is the most important element to the makeup of any page on your site, and generally contains no more than 70 characters total. Contained in the Meta Title are a select number of keywords, related to your property, site, and specific page. When Google indexes a search query, it looks for and deems words that it finds to be the most relevant to the search. For example: If you have a hotel in Phoenix, Arizona, and you are writing the SEO specific to the Spa page of your site, your Meta Title might look something like this at its most basic form:
<title> Arizona Hotels – Phoenix – Spa </title>
“Arizona Hotels” is the most relevant search term in this Meta Title, so you want to put it first. Next, specify where exactly in Arizona your hotel is – in this case, Phoenix. Lastly, curate the Meta Title to the specifics of each page – in this case, the Spa page. If this Meta Title were for the “Golf Course” page, you would curate the title accordingly.
2. The Meta Description
The Meta Description is the snippet of information that is displayed on Google, directly below a search result (insert screenshot). Again, curated to specific pages across a site, the Meta Description is loaded with keywords, generally containing no more than 150 characters total, that search engines index as the most relevant. While the value of the Meta Description has declined in recent years, it is still important to tuck in as many keywords as possible when curating the content.
The Big “No No”
When writing the SEO for your site, it is important to keep in mind a number of factors – keyword relevance, page specification in the Meta Title (as mentioned above) and content curation specific to the page (the Meta Description).
What is often times overlooked, and what is a major mistake in SEO, is duplicate title tags. Duplicate title tags are Meta Titles that contain the same keyword more than once. For example:
<title> Arizona Hotels – Phoenix Hotels – Hotel Spa </title>
Notice the number of times that the words “Hotel or Hotels” were used. What is the problem here? Google, or any other search engine, reads that title as having duplicate content. When a duplicate is picked up, the search engine squashes it…disregards it, throws it out of consideration completely. Essentially, your page becomes non existent to a search engine result.
Whether you outsource your SEO to a web services company, or house your SEO internally, the points covered here are extremely important to take into consideration. It is important as a property owner or marketing team member to understand the value behind quality SEO. A solid SEO plan accompanied by a great website design is a golden ticket to success in the marketplace. An investment in your sites SEO lands a solid chance that you will see a positive ROI. For all of the latest and greatest SEO news, tips, and insights, check out the links below, and visit our business blog.