SEO for local businesses pt. 3

SEO for local businesses

An in-depth series — Part 3 — SEO Basics

SEO basics for local businesses in Hawaii: meta analysis. In this third in our series on SEO, we will go over details of basic SEO meta analysis. This series discusses comprehensive on-site analysis. Another series will address on-page SEO analysis.

What is SEO?

For more details on what Search Engine Optimization (SEO) involves, see part 1 in this series.

A comprehensive website audit will address the following aspects of your website: 

  1. Basic Health Check
  2. Pages Analysis
  3. Meta Analysis (covered in this article)
  4. Content Analysis
  5. Links Analysis
  6. Images Analysis
  7. Mobile & Desktop Optimization
  8. Usability & Technologies

Since we already covered Basic Health Check in the first part of this series, this article covers details on Meta Analysis. Other articles in this series will address the remaining aspects listed above.

Meta refers to specific, targeted information contained in meta elements. A tag refers to HTML code inside of an element. An element is defined as having an opening and closing tag. An opening tag looks like this and is often compared to a "lesser than" sign. Meanwhile, the closing tag looks like this /> and is compared to the "greater than" sign; except the closing tag of an HTML element includes a backward slash ( / ); this is what defines it as the "closing tag." A "tag" is the descriptor at the beginning of the opening tag. There are many such tags and in this case we are discussing the "meta" tag. An example of a meta tag is: 

<meta name="language" content="en" />

This meta tag tells the search engine that the current page is written in English and intended for English-speaking audiences. 

Here are a few other meta tag examples:

<meta property="og:title" content="5 steps to creating a local business website">
<meta property="og:description" content="Wanting to create a business website? Here are 5 steps to creating a website for a local business.">

<meta property="og:image" content="https://link-to-your-image.png">

These elements tell search engines the following about the current web page: 

  • title
  • description
  • image location

Without meta tags search engines may not fully understand your message.

Information in meta elements are displayed in search engine results.

See this article for more details on meta elements and how they impact your SEO (including examples of how meta information is displayed in search engine results).

When you run a SEO audit you will notice meta tag analysis. Let's go over meta tag analysis and discuss ways on how you can improve your website's SEO by optimizing your meta elements.  

SEO Basics: Meta Analysis

  1. Title. Each web page on your site should have a title. The title is an HTML element and uses the title tag (<title>Catchy Title Here</title>).  This is reflected in the browser's tab as well as search engine results. 
    1. missing? Every page should have a title. Search engines display a list of page titles. This is how a user will decide whether or not to click the link to your page. 
    2. duplicate? Every page should have a unique title. This is where SEO starts to become tedious. The title should include keywords; don't include your trade name in the title.
    3. too long? 70 > Page titles should not be longer than 70 characters (characters include spaces).
    4. too short > 10 It's recommended that page titles should not be less than 10 characters (including all spaces). 
  2. Description
    1. missing? Every page should have a description. Just below the title, search engines display the description. A clear, concise description will encourage users to click the link to your page.
    2. duplicate? Every page should have a unique description. Now you are getting into the tedious depths of SEO. The description should include keywords; don't include your trade name in the description.
    3. too long? 130 > Page descriptions should not be longer than 130 characters (characters include spaces).
    4. too short? > 50 It's recommended that page descriptions should not be less than 50 characters (including all spaces).

Local businesses in Hawaii can benefit from following the directives of SEO experts; for further reading, see this authoritative starter guide. If you are interested in executing your own SEO plan, I recommend using SE Ranking

Their plan includes 35+ SEO tools to help you optimize your site; it also includes an in-depth guide on implementing an online marketing plan. Otherwise, I recommend running our FREE on-page SEO audit. This is a free SEO audit for a single page. We understand you have your choice in Hawaii SEO companies, that's why we are committed to providing neutral advice; consultation that is truly in your best interest. For an objective approach in SEO web design in Hawaii, contact Vital Tech Results