Every so often while I am reading SEO news, I find something that tickles my funny bone. This morning, it was an article about Bill Gates’ blog and the SEO tactics that are either missing or need improvement on his site. I love this kind of tongue-in-cheek commentary, but better still, Danny Sullivan, author of “Some SEO Advice for Bill Gates” brings some good tips to light by using Gates’ site as an example. Although Sullivan digs much deeper, today I’d like to highlight two aspects of web page design that can increase your search ratings if they are improved: titles and meta-description tags.
Like many blogs and web pages, Bill Gates’s blog does not come out on the top of the heap when searched through Google. Shockingly, Bing doesn’t even rank this site in the top 10. Sullivan points out that although it is in the top 10 on Google, there are parody blogs ahead of him in the rankings.
Here are some of the main points I’d like to bring to your attention about titles:
1. Include the most obvious title for your page in the title text. In Gates’ case the sites that outranked him in Sullivan’s search did so because they had titles that said “Bill Gates Blog”. You might think that this phrase is too obvious to put in the title text, but it will drive up the site’s rankings. Sometimes it is about the obvious.
2. Each page on your website should have its own title, as this will provide another opportunity to be found by search engines. A little research on keywords can go a long way to increasing your site’s ranking if you include the top keywords used to get to your site in your title text.
3. Think of your website’s title as another opportunity to brand yourself and your business, but remember to combine branding with the top known keywords for maximum results.
4. Adding the word “official” to a website or blog can help rankings in certain situations. In the case of the Bill Gates site, it could make his blog stand out in the crowd of search results if he includes “official” in his title.
Sullivan’s information on meta description tags is also valuable. He points out that if you do not fill in your own information for your website, then “what shows is likely to change depending on the exact search someone does that brings up your home page. Usually, Google and Bing will try to automatically form a description based on what someone enters.” Meta description tags – which are done by – are another way for you to brand your own site and speak for your site, business, or person.
These are small things that can increase your site’s visibility, but small things do add up in SEO. If Bill Gates doesn’t have a handle on them, then there is a chance that your own website could do with a little tweaking too.