When you write a blog post everything about your page should define what your topic is in a precise way so as best index your content. The search engine bots are looking for quality information as well as certain coded identifiers. If they indeed find what they’re looking for when they follow your link and are happy with the results the better your placement will be on search results pages. In this post I’ll show you how to write a post that gives the bots what they want. See what bots see you’ll get a better idea of what is important to them. The hierarchy below is..
A: The order of importance the bots place on page elements.
B: How you can be using these elements most effectively.
For the sake of this post we’ll be going after the targeted keyword “See what bots see“.
View this page as Googlebot
See what bots see in a URL
The first element a bot sees is your url. If the bots had nothing else to go on other than the address of your web page this is what they would see. Since this is the first thing the bots come across and index it’s a good idea to choose these words wisely. If you’re targeting a particular keyword it should be at the beginning of this url minus “stop” words.
But Nate..What are stop words?
In computing, stop words are words which are filtered out before or after processing of natural language data (text).
Stop words are words that don’t any any SEO value to a key-phrase. Words like a, and,the, we, you,a,i etc, etc. Unless one of these words is part of a targeted key-phrase you’re targeting. For instance take the title of this blog post “Dissecting a Web Page to See What the Bots See”. If I wanted to write an effective url I wouldn’t use..
but rather I would use…
Removing stop words like “a, what and the”. Further removing any adjectives that aren’t part of the targeted key-phrase “See what bots see“. Also, the addition of dashes in a url to a bot are seen as spaces. Sooooo..
See how bots see a title tag
The second element a bot sees is your title tag.
<title>SEE WHAT BOTS SEE THE ANATOMY OF AN EFFECTIVE BLOG POST</title>
SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) on average display 55 characters of a title. This varies from browser to browser, but 55 characters is a good rule of thumb. When you write an effective title you should when possible add your target keyword to the beginning of your title if possible and surround it with qualifying keywords and or phrases.
See how bots see heading tags
Heading tags outline what the following paragraph is about. It’s a good idea to write controversial or engaging content that people want to read. It’s a good idea to add your key word or phrase here where applicable. The H1 tag has a little more importance that the H2. And so on and so forth. See the example below.
1st Most Important Heading Tag
2nd Most Important Heading Tag
3rd Most Important Heading Tag
4th Most Important Heading Tag
5th Most Important Heading Tag
6th Most Important Heading Tag
Notice a Trend?
See how the descending H-tags have a built in size defined hierarchy. These should be used in order of importance of key phrases on the page. The most important content located towards the top of the page.
<h1>1st Most Important Heading Tag</h1>
<h2>2nd Most Important Heading Tag</h2>
<h3>3rd Most Important Heading Tag</h3>
<h4>4th Most Important Heading Tag</h4>
<h5>5th Most Important Heading Tag</h5>
<h6>6th Most Important Heading Tag</h6>
See how bots see bold & Italicized Text
The fourth element that stands out to a bot are bolds & italicized text. When you disable the styles on a page you’ll notice bolded & italicized text stands out. The bots see this as well.
A Bot Sees Text so Use Title and Alt Tags with Images
Bots are pretty limited. They can only read text. When it comes to imagery they are lost. So in order to tell the bots what your images are you should add title and alt tags to the visual components of your post or page. This is also a good place to add your targeted keyword. Only use this where applicable and try not to over do it. If you go overboard with repetition of your key word you can come accross as a spammer which only negatively effects your marketing efforts.
Must Have Meta Tags
In addition to seo friendly blog posts the bots also favor being fed valid information through meta tags in your web page. In my next post, I’ll outline how you can utilize meta tags to better index your site as well as promote blog posts through social networks.
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