Updated: 4 days ago
SEO was a big mystery for me before I started looking into it and got serious about improving my website performance. I have a Wix Website and the SEO Titles consisted of a brief page description | Website name | Location. or in reality eg; Home | David Condon Woodcraft | Tralee Wix suggested that every webpage would be done the exact same way which didn't exactly make sense. After loads of reading and so many differing opinions I finally came up with my own of doing it.
What I aim to do here is give you a very quick introduction to SEO so you can get started. Nothing too complicated, even a novice can do it. All you need is access to your website editor and to figure out where the options are to edit the SEO basics. Once you have the basic grasp of it, there are plenty of tools and articles to help you improve but that's for further down the road. If you are already familiar with SEO, you could probably skip this blog post and read one of my other posts instead ha-ha.
What Advice out there is correct?
I used many free tools to scan my webpages, I won't go into the names right now as there are many free and many paid websites to choose from. A lot of the blogs I read suggested a limit to the characters in the Meta Titles and Meta Descriptions but they all differed from each other. 80 characters, 70, characters, 60 characters etc. It may have been because those Blog Posts were written at different times and years when Google had set out its preferences for that particular year.
Currently the limit for Meta Titles is 60 Characters and the Meta description is 160. Keep within those limits and you will stay on the good side of Google. Sometimes less is better, 50 characters and 2 Meta Titles will do the job. From a basic Google search of your website you will see if you have too much. Keeping within the limits also looks better with no words cut off. Always view it from the point of view of a prospective customer. The following pictures show the basics of SEO, explained below.
Gallery Screengrabs Explained
I'm going to use my own website homepage as an example to help you here. Click on the images to expand them after you read the following paragraphs. The red line on the right in picture 1 indicates the Meta Titles and the Yellow line indicates the Meta Description. I was using Bing to take the picture, chrome and Firefox have different versions of this but the same rules apply. Underneath are the webpages that Bing has chosen to feature. Again, all browsers are different and will display what they want to display.
In the second picture above I hovered over the window tab in the browser with a mouse and it showed the Meta Titles and domain of the webpage. This disappears when you move the mouse away. You can do this for every website and webpage out there and it's a great way to see how websites structure their Meta Titles. This can give you an insight into which keywords you should be using based on competitors webpages. Try it now!
The 3rd picture shows the main paragraph on the linked page. Your Meta Titles should be repeated naturally in the Meta Description and those keywords should be found naturally in the first paragraph of your linked webpage. Also make sure that you have a H1 Header Title using some of those keywords. These 4 things tell Google that your page is relevant and accurate based on what you've typed.
From the images you can tell that I have tried to remain consistent. I have edited these several times as my website has changed and I have tried to grab better and more relevant keywords. Have a play around with your webpages to make a similar structure. I have strayed a bit from my original keywords recently but my homepage is well indexed at this stage and features well on Google.
Tools for SEO
There are so many tools out there that promise the sun, moon & stars and most of them tell you that there is something wrong with your website. Many will tell you something different with each scan. Most require that you register first which is probably fair since you are using their services. Gimmicks to get you using their tools mostly although it is possible that there is something wrong with your website. I use multiple tools at times to see where the truth lies.
I am going to pick 3 webtools here which I have used and which have been helpful. I am not going to grade or review them, all 3 have their pros and cons and it is up to you to choose what you want to use going forward. Google is free 24/7/365 advertising for your business so it is worth paying for an SEO optimizer tool if you are really serious about your business. Free will only get you so far!
Ubersuggest You have to register first to use it, it has some good tools that go beyond SEO stuff. I bought a lifetime membership around Christmas, the price and time was right. Neil Patel, the owner; has plenty of YouTube videos that you can watch too.
DIIB You have to register for free site check, has some helpful insights. I felt the pricing was a bit unclear and each product fix led you down a rabbit hole of text which outlined what you should do.
Sitecheckerpro You have to register for free site check. I found this site gave some new helpful tips and insights on my website.
My one gripe with all of these tools is they don't seem to differentiate between regular website pages and product pages. They often tell you that you don't have enough text on a page, then that there is too much, meta titles too long or too short, etc etc ad nauseum. I suspect that they give you so much so that you will book in a face to face (over internet) paid meeting to discuss your strategy.
If you have found this post and you are a complete newbie, the screenshots above and the explanation below them will be very helpful to you. It certainly helped me and I spent a few glorious days changing my entire website. Just make sure that your Title, Meta Description and Page Paragraphs are relevant to each other as much as possible. Be warned, SEO is a long and winding road and every time Google does an update certain things may change. It is not too difficult to do a lot of SEO work yourself without paying an SEO Expert to do it for you but at some stage you may feel that would be worth the money investment. Google won't find your changes straightaway and it could take a month before discovering your changes. You could always ask Google to re-index your webpage using Google Search Console so that the new changes can be picked up. This takes a few days but I've also noticed that sometimes Google doesn't update the requested pages
My advice is to open a new browser with your webpage and then open 3 competitor websites. See how they structure their SEO and then go from there. It's easy once you start, just take that first step! Good luck on your SEO journey!