9 June 2017
Common Search Marketing Myths – Part 2: Meta Tags, H1 Headings and Google AdWords
All Meta Tags are Important for Successful SEO
Whilst any SEO expert will no doubt stress the importance of using meta tags within your website, not all meta tags are helpful. Not only can a variety of meta tags do more harm than good within your website when used incorrectly, some others are arguably completely pointless. Here’s a brief guide on which meta tags to use, and which to avoid:
- Meta Title Tag – This is an important tag used to assign a title to each of your website pages. Not only will this be visible at the top of your browser, it will also be used wherever your website is displayed within organic search results. So, whilst it needs to be well optimised for search engines, it also needs to attract potential visitors and prompt click-throughs to your website.
- Meta Description Tag – The meta description is another element within a page which is crawled
by search engines such as Google, and which is also visible to potential site visitors within organic search results. Again, this is an important on-page element of technical which should be optimised for search bots and human users alike, before being added to each page of your website.
- Meta Keywords Tag – The keyword tag is an attribute you no longer need to use for successful SEO. Several years ago, this tag would be used to outline your target keywords / search terms you were trying to rank for within Google and other search engines. These search engines were able to detect meta keywords when crawling a site, which gave them some indication of the site’s purpose / content. However, this tag began to be widely abused by individuals and agencies who would add keywords to the tag which were completely unrelated to the page(s) in question. They would try and target unrelated but popular keywords in an attempt to steal traffic from more popular pages. Because of this “keyword stuffing”, Google and similar search engines have stopped using meta keyword tags in their ranking algorithms, due to how easily and how often they were abused.
There are a variety of others tags you can use within your site to help improve your overall SEO – such as meta robots and more. For more information on how to best optimise your website pages with the use of tags, please contact the search marketing experts at Varn.
You Should Never Have More Than One H1 Heading Per Page
When optimising content within a website, many SEOs will recommend the usual – optimised metadata, high-quality, original content, optimised imagery… and one optimised H1 heading, amongst other elements. This has been standard practice in SEO for several years, and is a commonly followed rule when adding heading tags to website content. However, there are some exceptions to this rule.
This ‘One H1 heading per page’ practice started around the time black-hat SEO techniques started being penalised by the major search engines. People started noticing that organic search rankings often reflected keywords being used in meta, H1 headings and other basic SEO elements within a website. So many individuals and agencies decided to take advantage of this fact by adding multiple H1’s within each page, which were full of a variety of popular keywords – in an attempt to rank well for a multitude of commonly searched terms, in turn increasing site traffic. Google picked up on this manipulation of heading tags and started to penalise sites utilising similar spammy techniques. Which is why, nowadays, more SEO’s recommend using one keyword-rich H1 heading per page, which is directly linked to the content within that page.
However, there are situations where a page might cover more than one topic – and each topic might require their own optimised H1, targeting different search terms. Thanks to HTML5, this is possible. You can use multiple H1 tags on a single URL, and have it recognised by search bots as quality, non-spammy optimisation. Having said this, you do need to ensure that these H1s are still relevant to page content, that they’re well written and that they’re not being used in an attempt to manipulate search engines. If you have questions regarding the use of H1’s in SEO, Varn are happy to help.
The Top Paying Advertiser in AdWords Will Always Rank #1
The final Search Marketing myth or misconception we’re going to look into as part of this blog is related to how AdWords adverts / campaigns rank within Google search. A commonly held belief is that when you run a Google AdWords campaign, increasing your ‘bid’ (the amount of money you’re willing to pay per click through to your website) will in turn increase your rankings within paid search. Whilst bids can certainly play a part in rankings, paying more per bid than a competitor won’t necessarily get you to the top of rankings.
Where you rank within Google AdWords results depends on your Ad Rank. This is a value determined by Google, which takes into account a number of factors before determining how well your campaigns / adverts should rank, and whether they’re eligible to show at all. Ad Rank is impacted by your bid amount, but is also affected by the quality of your adverts and the website being promoted with these ads, as well as any expected impact of ad formats and ad extensions within search results – all of which are evaluated by Google.
So, even if you pay more than a competitor for a particular campaign / keyword, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll outrank them. If their website and their adverts are of a higher quality than yours in Google’s eyes, they’re likely to rank above you, regardless of your bid amount. Ad Rank is also recalculated each time an ad is eligible to appear within AdWords search results, so ad positions can fluctuate rather regularly depending on what your competition are doing at that particular moment. To stay ahead of the competition and improve the quality of your website and AdWords adverts, simply contact the search experts at Varn.
That’s it for another installment of common search marketing myths, we hope you found it helpful! If you haven’t yet, do take a look at the previous blog in this installment, Common Search Marketing Myths – Part 1: Exact Match Domains, Backlinks and Google. If you have any questions about the myths included in this blog, or would like to recommend a subject for next month’s installment, do please let us know! We’d love to hear from you. Until next time…