SEO Part 2: Optimizing Pages in Kentico
In general, good copywriting yields good SEO. There are core SEO tactics that can be implemented on every page but, after that, experimentation with title tags, headings, etc. should be used to help improve page rankings.
Page Outline and Headings
Creating an outline of the page by identifying the page headings is the first optimization step (Figure 1). The content mapping and keyword research data from the previous step can help guide the outline.
Figure 1: Content Mapping with Highlighted "Knee Replacement" Page Topics
The HTML heading elements (H1, H2, etc.) are used by search engines to better understand the structure and content of a page. There should be only one H1 per page, but multiple H2, H3, etc. headings can be used as needed (Figure 2). Headings should not be overused, though. They should deliver an accurate, concise outline of the page content.
Figure 2: Example Heading Structure for Content Outline
For the "Knee Replacement Surgery" page, consider that "knee replacement," "partial knee replacement," and "full knee replacement" could be integrated into heading elements. Figure 3 shows the headings selected for this page.
Figure 3: Knee Replacement Page Headings
Headings Selection in Kentico
In the Kentico editor, the "Main Heading" will be the H1 on the page (Figure 4).
Figure 4: Setting the H1 in Kentico
The Paragraph Format dropdown can be used to assign the remaining heading classes to text elements (Figure 5).
Figure 5: Setting Heading Classes in Kentico
There is no magic formula for optimizing page content, but here are some general guidelines for search engine-friendly copywriting:
- Good copywriting prevails over keyword "stuffing." Don't feel that it's necessary to repeat your exact keyword phrase over and over on the page — that will look to Google like an over-optimized page. Variants of phrases are not only more natural, but also search engine-friendly.
- Use headings and subheadings where appropriate throughout the page, as described above. In general, elements that are visually emphasized will be treated as more important by search engines.
- Use bold and italic styles to emphasize keyword phrases. Don't overuse this technique, though. If everything is bolded then it will all be given the same emphasis.
- If appropriate, add geographic relevance to the page copy (Figure 6).
Figure 6: Example Geographic Terms Incorporated into the Body Text
- Content near the beginning of the page will be given greater emphasis.
- All images inserted onto the page should have the required Alternate Text field populated. Use an accurate description of the image, and only incorporate keywords if they're relevant to the image content (Figure 7).
Figure 7: Setting the Image ALT Tag in Kentico
There are several page properties that can be set via the "Properties > Metadata" configuration page in Kentico (Figure 8). These include:
- Page Title
- Page Description
- Page Keywords
Figure 8: Accessing the Page Metadata Configuration
On the configuration page, uncheck "Inherit" attribute for all three properties (Figure 9).
Figure 9: Editing the Page Properties, Metadata Information in Kentico
The Page Title is the most important of these elements. Title tags appear in the tab area of users' browsers, and they are generally the text that search engines show as a title link in search results pages (Figure 10).
Figure 10: Title Tags in Page Tabs and Search Results
General guidelines for writing title tags:
- The title tag should be structured with the most important keywords at the beginning. You don't want the beginning of the title tag to be "Department of Orthopaedics…" if the topic of the page is "Knee Replacement Surgery." The most specific keywords ("knee replacement") should be placed before the more general ones ("Department of Orthopaedics").
- The most important keywords should be in the first 70 characters; the overall length of the title tag should be less than 120 characters. Search engines will truncate title displays to fit the available space in the search results pages.
- "Rochester, NY" or other appropriate geo terms can be added for pages that appeal to a largely local target audience.
- Make the title tag as specific as possible relative to the content of the page.
- Ensure that your title tag is unique for each page.
The Page Description is important to populate as well. It does not have the same importance as the title tag does, but search engines sometimes use elements of the page description in the snippet shown in search results, although most often the snippet is derived from the body copy on the page. Page descriptions should be one to three sentences in length, and should incorporate the most important keyword topics.
Do not populate the Page Keywords field. The keywords field of a page has little to no importance when it comes to search rankings. It is a common misperception that the keywords meta tag is a significant ranking factor.
Example of a completed Knee Replacement Surgery page.