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Welcome to the GetNetSet SEO video series for tax and accounting professionals, where we talk about search engine optimization and marketing your business online. When writing content for your website, your priority should always be the people who visit the site. However, there are some things you can do on the back end of your site to make it more accessible to search engines and provide more benefit to your visitors.
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Ensuring your site is technically optimized will help search engines better crawl your site, making it easier for them to understand it and recognize its value. We’ll be splitting up this topic into two parts. In this video, part one, we’ll be discussing some of the on-page technical optimizations that can be made to each page individually, including headers, meta tags, and image alt text.
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First, let’s talk about headers. Also called H tags, these are the header tags used on your page to organize the content. There are six levels of headers. H1, H2, H3 all the way up to H6. These H tags are shown in the code of your site, but on the page itself they’ll be represented as bolded and/or larger text that stands out from the rest of the content.
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You want to use these to sort the content on the page in a hierarchical, ascending order with the most broad topics being H2’s and the most specific being H6’s. Your H1 tag is going to be the title of your page, so you don’t want to reuse it. H2 tags would be main ideas, H3 tags would be supporting details, so on and so forth.
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When you use H tags to organize your content, not only does the larger and bolded content help your readers follow along, but the code also helps search engines understand it too. Here’s an example of what each header might look like and how they should be used. The H number you see on each line is included to show you which level each header is, but won’t appear on page.
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As you can see, the H1 is the title of the page and you don’t see an H3 until there’s an H2 for it to reference. This hierarchical order is the organization structure that should be used to organize the content on just about every page on your web site– though don’t feel obligated to use all six headers. It’s ok if you only use H2’s and H3’s.
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Just aim to use an H2 before an H3, and an H3 before an H4. The next on-page optimization you should look at is the meta title, also called the title tag or HTML title. This is what appears in your browser tab and as the big blue links you see on search engine results pages, or SERPs. The title tag doesn’t have a character limit, but it is recommended that you keep it to under 60 characters.
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Anything longer can be truncated with an ellipsis, resulting in part of the title getting cut off. Title tags should be specific to the page that a visitor is on and each page will have its own unique title tag. Don’t reuse the same title tag for multiple pages and make sure the title is representative of the content on that page.
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GetNetSet sites have this automatically filled in based on the H1 title of your page and your business name and you also have the option to customize it. You also want to think about incorporating one of your keywords into this title tag as well. If you don’t know what keyword to use, we have a video on how to discover and use keywords on your website that you can check out. By incorporating your keyword into your H1 tag, your title tag, and throughout your natural sounding content,
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it reinforces your relevancy for that specific keyword. Keeping with the theme of meta tags, let’s talk about the meta description. While not a ranking factor, the meta description is still important for SEO. Meta descriptions are the short descriptions that appear underneath the big blue links and SERPs. And if this description contains words that a potential client searched for, these words can be bolded.
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This helps with clickthrough rates or the percentage of people that see your site on the SERP and click on it to access it. You’re looking at about 160 characters, max, for this description before it gets truncated with an ellipsis so you want to keep it short, specific, and highlight the content a visitor would find on your website. Search engines will automatically pull what they think is a good meta description
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from the content on your site if you don’t provide your own. If you do decide to write your own meta descriptions, make sure that you write only about what a visitor would actually find on that page. Think of it like a ten second sales pitch about what someone would find if they visited your page. Just keep in mind that search engines have been known to overwrite manually written meta descriptions in a few circumstances.
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This could happen for one of three reasons. One, if the meta description doesn’t provide a good summary of the content on the page, search engines may rewrite it to better reflect that content. Search engines may change the method description to highlight keywords from the search query that are found on the page. And finally, if the meta description isn’t relevant to the search query, but the content on the page is, then the search engine might rewrite the meta description to better address the search query.
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The last on-page optimization we’ll talk about is image alt text. Alt text is an attribute of the image tab in website code that allows you to give a verbal description of an image. Search engines are much better at understanding text than images, so putting a text description will help search engines understand what specifically is going on in the image and how it relates to your content.
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This is also useful for making your website more accessible to visually impaired users. These users will use a screen reader that reads the words on the site out loud to them. When that screen reader comes across an image, it’ll read the alt text out loud. Alt text isn’t necessary for every single image, and if an image is there purely for decoration, you can safely ignore this.
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It matters most when there is an image that actually adds value to the page, like a flowchart, infographic, or an image of you, your team, or your office. These on-page optimizations may need minor changes if you update a page or decide to change your keyword focus, but for the most part, they’re one offs at the time you create the page.
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Most of them can be done just once and then left alone. It’s also in your best interest to focus on things one step at a time. You can’t optimize a page that doesn’t exist, so if you only have time to either write a full page or add a meta title and description, focus on writing the page. Search engines give more weight to content than a meta tag, so for that reason, it’s recommended you write your page first and then come back to technically optimize it after.
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So to wrap up our video, today we talked about on-page optimizations. First, we talked about H tags, which are designed to organize and sort the content on the page. We also talked about the meta title, which is the big blue link that appears in SERPs and appears in the browser address bar. We also talked about the meta description which, while not a direct ranking factor, may be displayed in SERPs,
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so it can affect how many people click through to your site. And finally, you have image alt text which tells search engines what an image is and makes your website accessible for visually impaired users. The last thing to recap is that most of these technical optimizations are one off situations. Once they’re implemented, at most they’ll need minor tweaks or updates as things change on your website.
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But overall they can be done once and then left alone. We’ll continue this topic in part two where we discuss site-wide optimizations. If you’d like to learn more about how GetNetSet can help with your SEO, we encourage you to reach out to us here at GetNetSet.com. Thank you so much for watching and we look forward to seeing you in the next video.