Last month we kicked off our webinar series here at Three Deep with an introduction to SEO. There was a great turnout and some really good questions from the audience. So many questions, in fact, that we ran out of time and could not get to them all.

I wanted to make sure that everyone in attendance got what they came for so here’s a follow up with answers to those SEO questions that weren’t covered.

Thank you to all that attended, enjoy!

Is the order of the content on the page relevant to search engines?

A search engine crawler will “read” the page from top to bottom – much like human users. And, much like human users, a search engine will look at how information is categorized on the page to understand topical relevance. This is where using metadata properly (especially heading tags) is extremely important. Search engines look for heading tags in ascending order (H1, H2, H3, etc.) in an attempt to understand the main topic of the page and index it properly. So, ensuring that ensuring that your H1 is tagging the main page topic and H2s are tagging supporting information is more important that where that copy is physically on the page.

One caveat here: If human users are unable to find the answer they are searching for, they will usually bounce and search in a different location. Search engines take bounce rate into consideration when ranking a page. So, it is wise to organize page content in a way that is relevant to the human users first.

What’s the best way to make a JavaScript-heavy site SEO friendly?

Without getting too technical here, the simple answer is to convert all your content that is served via JavaScript into HTML.

Never use JavaScript in navigation or in pagination. If you currently have this problem on your site, the best thing to do is hard-code HTML links into the navigational structure.

Additionally, the presence of many JavaScript files on a page can bloat the size and load time of a page. Minification of these files is recommended where possible.

Are meta descriptions used by crawlers or is this purely for the human user?

Meta descriptions are not a direct ranking factor in the Google algorithm. However, they do hold some weight in other search engines like Baidu.

Meta descriptions are an elevator pitch for each page in the search engine results. The more compelling a description is, the higher the click through rate is for that page. Click through rate is a ranking signal to Google. So, a compelling and click-enticing meta description will indirectly affect your rankings in a positive manner.

Conversely, a boring or boiler-plated meta description can negatively affect click through rate.

How do you put links in the Google description?

I’m going to answer this question in two different ways because the definition of Google description may vary from person to person.

If by Google description you mean the meta description, the answer is you can’t insert a hyperlink. It is also not recommended to attempt to do so. As mentioned in the previous answer, the meta description serves as an elevator pitch for that specific page in the search engine results. It would not be wise to try to direct a user to a different page in this elevator pitch.

If by Google description you mean the description on your Google My Business page, the answer is the same – you can’t insert a hyperlink. It is also directly against the guidelines of what is acceptable in that field.

Can you get accurate ranking results if Google yourself in incognito?

When you use Google Chrome in Incognito mode you are simply asking Google to forget about the sites that you’ve visited in the past. However, there still are elements of personalization that are factored into the search results of an incognito search. Location and recent searches in that incognito session are taken into account when Google serves up results to you.

The best way to get “accurate” results for non-personalized rankings is to use a rank checking tool like SEM Rush or White Spark.

Keep in mind though, that your audience is searching with some sort of personalization happening – whether that is geolocation or search history. So, a better indicator of SEO success is conversions from organic search rather than keyword rankings.

Does duplicate offsite content kill SEO? (Posting a blog on site and as update on LinkedIn)

Duplicate content in any form, whether on-site or off, is a big problem for SEO. If you are posting a blog post on your site and then publishing the exact same copy as a post on LinkedIn, you are only hurting your site – LinkedIn will (almost) always out rank you.

However, if you are simply posting a link to your blog as an update on LinkedIn you are doing it right. This is content promotion and should happen every time you publish a new blog post.

Forcast.io FTW!

I would like to send out a big thank you to whomever gave the recommendation for Forcast.io! It has replaced weather.com in my bookmarks.

Will a recording of the presentation be sent out?

A recording of the SEO 101 webinar should have been sent out to all attendees via email. It can also be accessed on our blog and on YouTube.

 

Again, thank you to all that attended the SEO 101 webinar. For more SEO insight from me check out some of my previous blog posts. Don’t forget to attend the next installment of the series: SEO 201 How to Optimize Strategy and Content presented by Chrissi Reimer.

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