So, you've got a great-looking website with a content management system (CMS) that lets you add new pages and put them online in the blank of an eye. Publishing new content should be as simple as adding some text and making sure everything looks the way it should, right?
While you certainly can add new pages to your website that way, a smarter approach is to give your CMS - and your search engine and content optimization strategy - a helping hand by making it easier for your content to get found (the key to findability). I'll be offering a free downloadable worksheet soon with step-by-step instructions for making new pages search-friendly, but in the meantime I can share a few tips to help get you started.
These five easy editing tips will help marketers get the most of their content management system:
1. Accurate page naming.
There are a lot of "interesting" ways that people try try for new pages. In some cases, marketers might have just been in a hurry; in other situations, they may not have known the proper conventions, or were trying to stuff keywords into a limited amount of space (not wise). A good rule of thumb is to use natural and relevant phrases to describe the page without spaces, since these can be problematic as your link moves between servers over the internet. For example, the page name for an article like this might read: creating-search-friendly-cms-pages (with the title possibly being, "Create Search Friendly CMS Pages for Better Findability").
2. Preview-worthy meta descriptions.
Although a lot of novices overlook the meta-section of their CMS, the description you add to your new page is intended to show up in the "preview" section of search engine results, right under the URL (page address). In other words, you can prompt someone to click through to your site with the right words, or even push them away altogether with the wrong ones. Marketers often consider this an elevator pitch for the page. For that reason, meta-descriptions should be short, relevant, and inviting. A good example might be: Learn 5 Useful Tips for Improving Search Positioning with On-Page SEO.
3. The right formatting for the job.
Your CMS doesn't know how you want different elements displayed, it can only follow the direction you give it. So, adding the appropriate tags like H1 for the primary heading (important to have only one H1) , H2 for subtitles, and so on. The structure is great for both readers and search engines. Also, Google and the other search engines make note of these tags to determine which keywords and phrases are most relevant to the content of your posting. If you forget to include them you're actually making your page harder to crawl and harder for searchers to discover.
4. Alt image descriptions (you did include at least one image, right?)
This is another area of your page that's extraordinarily easy to overlook if you're in a rush. However, the "alt image" description tells search engines (and visitors with assistive devices) who can't see the pictures on your website what it is you've placed in that spot. That could be important as it should be meant to fit in the context with your article, or in the event that a browser doesn't load the image. So, by labelling your images, you make it more likely that an interested potential customer will come across your page when searching a relevant keyword phrase. A good example might be: Discussing alt tags for enhanced SEO with a customer.
5. Actually publishing the page, sharing and engaging.
Granted, this isn't very technical, but we've seen a lot of people search in vain for their new content over the years only to discover that they never actually published it, or shared it, or engaged on it. It also goes without saying that Google and the other search engines will have a lot easier time finding all the great content you're putting out if it's actually 'live'.
There is a lot more that you can and should do before (and after) making a new page live on your business website, but these on-page SEO tips should help you get started, covering some important steps that you might have overlooked in the past. Make these tips part of your website and business marketing activities and begin building a better business website right away.
It's easy to skip over the details when you're in a rush to add something to your website, but in the end you're just making it harder to stand out and succeed. Remember, every page should be designed with your audience and purpose in mind, so why not send your pages off into the world with every possible advantage?