How to easily improve your SEO ranking? With clear URLs and Metatags! (part 3/4)
09 May 2019
A few weeks ago, we published an article around SEO. We talked about the importance of the LUMPS principle. If Links, URLs, Metatags, Paragraphs / Page speed and Sitemaps are handled properly it can have a very positive impact on your SEO score and resulting rank in the search results. A well thought-out plan for each of these topics in your overall content strategy is key. The importance of links was described in the previous article. This week our developer, Janiek shares his expertise on URLs and Metadata. Discover how - with just a few minor changes - your SEO score could significantly improve!
SEO boost thanks to smart URLs
The importance of keywords in the URL
Using keywords in your URL is a must. In this way, Google knows quickly and clearly what your page is about and that page will be easier to find. In addition, it is best to place the most relevant keywords at the beginning of your URL, because these words seem to be the most important to Google. In this way you will also be found faster. That is why you should avoid irrelevant words and keep your URL as short and legible as possible.
Take a good look at the URL of the blog below:
In the example above, 'article' is not a relevant word, therefore this second example is better:
Moreover, a clear structure in your URLs is often an indication that your site is well-structured, which is also positive for your SEO score. You can read more about that in the last article of this series on SEO.
The importance of url extensions and localization
Keywords are undoubtedly the most important element in your url. Just look at our friends from UXmen who even adapted their name to it. However, customers often spend a lot of time choosing between a '.com' or a '.be' extension and on how to represent the different languages. At Oak Street, we have 'nl' or 'en' in the url instead of 'nl-be' or 'en-us'. When using 'nl', you will target the Dutch language. When using 'nl-be', we will score less high in the Netherlands, but more in Belgium.
In general, the advice is to use the extension that is most applicable to your target group. If you only have customers from Ghent, a '.gent' domain name will be beneficial for you. If however, you are more internationally active, then an extension that is also used in other countries is recommended.
Metatags for pages, images and videos
Meta titles and meta descriptions for pages
The purpose of meta tags is to share information about the content of a page without this information actually being visible on the page itself. In the code of the page, a title and description is provided that enables search engines to determine even better what kind of information can be found on that specific page apart from the actual content visible on the page.
If you do not specify these meta tags, the search engine will generate them based on the content of your page. For an optimal result, however, it is better to determine them yourself. With the CMS systems that Oak Street sets up, you always have a simple interface where you can manage these meta titles and descriptions yourself. The trick is to keep it short and powerful. Use your keywords and words that summarize what the page is about.
Let us go back to the example we quoted earlier:
Our keyword "Content migration" is clearly present in the title. So far, so good. But the keyword is still missing in the meta description. The article will score even better on the keyword "content migration" if we also add it (preferably in the front) in the meta description
Title tags & alt tags for images and video content
In addition to a meta title and description for your pages, it is important to include a title and alt tag with every image or video. Both tags are used by Google to connect searches with this content. The alt tag also promotes the user-friendliness of your site since this piece of text will be displayed if an image cannot be displayed due to cookies and caching, for example.
A clear URL structure and a good title and description for every image and page on your website do wonders for your SEO score. In the last article of this series we will elaborate on Paragraphs, Page speed and Sitemaps. So keep an eye on our blog!