SEO stands for search engine optimisation. Google and other search engines are the librarians of the internet, they collect information about every website on the internet in order to help people find what they are looking for. Therefore, SEO is the action of making your your website has content that Google wants to see. Google bases your rank off of:
- The text
- Image keywords
- Links between websites
- Words in links
Good SEO is ensuring that your website has great content that is supported by these key features.
Most people want as many people on their website as possible correct? In order to get the most people on your website naturally you need to implement good SEO practices. If you do your SEO well, Google will favour your website over others. Meaning your website "ranks" higher than others for similar content. For example:
For photographers, good SEO means more potential clients on their website and therefore, overall more weddings/clients booked.
Narrative allows you to add SEO content to your blogs in a few different way. We recommend using all of them in order to make sure SEO is the best it can be.
Through Narrative you are able to add titles, descriptions, keywords, text and links. This a very large chunk of the SEO space and we should suggest all users do this for there blogs.
We will now look at each type of SEO in the app, introduce what they are, best practices and general knowledge.
Narrative's focus keywords are specific to Narrative and are not used in anyway in the blog apart from as a guide for Narrative.
They are the keywords of that specific blog in which you want Narrative to focus on, Narrative will use these words in order to give you suggestions for how to do your SEO.
Focus keywords tend to be broad rather then specific, and should be thought about in context of the whole blog, not a specific image or a section.
We suggest using 3-5 focus keywords that describe a broad sense of the blog. This is so that Narrative can suggest feedback based on your keywords. The rest of the feedback in the inspector panel is based off of this.
Less than 3 is probably too broad, for example,
photographer. While more than 5 is starting to be too specific, for example,
Overall, Focus Keywords do not have a large impact on SEO performance, but it is a solid foundation to start your blog on.
The blog title (SEO title) is the title of your blog on your website. This will show up when you publish your blog and will be linked inside it, it's important for your audience to view and understand what the page is about, but also for Google to see what the website is about.
Narrative sets this as the
title tag and these tags are displayed by search result engines as a clickable headline for the blog.
It is meant to be an accurate and concise description of the page's content.
This title also gets shown as the web browser tab and the social network sharing title.
The goal of the title is to help you rank for a keyword and it must make the user want to click through to your page, this can be a hard mix to achieve. They are extremely important and deserve some time and thought.
There are a number of ways to ensure that your blog's SEO Title is the best it can be in order to contribute to your blog and websites overall rank. We will discuss a few of these below.
Google typically displays the first 50–60 characters of a title tag, so make sure to keep it under this amount. Narrative suggest 45 as the limit, if you go slightly above you should be fine also, but do not go beyond 60.
Avoid using all capital letters, these take up much more space then lowercase letters meaning less characters will show on Google.
Research shows that your more likely to rank better if your first word is your main keyword, in terms of Narrative, this would be the focus keywords. We suggest using all of your Focus Keywords as this is your focus of the blog, but make sure the title still makes sense!
It's also important to make sure your titles are unique and different to your own content as all webpages are different, so your title should fit the difference.
Research shows that authenticity and uniqueness are crucial to SEO title optimisation. So make sure they are crafted well otherwise they might rank well, but no one will click them.
Use the Keywords that fit your blogs context. For example, using the location is a good idea as people will often search for the location of a wedding shoot.
Use your brands name. It creates reliability, credibility and is good for user experience. If users already recognise your brand this will help them click. Some sources say that you should always add it at the end with a colon before.
Don't stuff your title with to many keywords. It creates a bad user experience and Google finds it spammy when you repeat or use to many keywords, leading to a lower rank score. This is the same for similar words being used multiple times and slight variations of words.
The meta description is an HTML attribute that provides a brief summary of blog page. It tends to be similar to the SEO title but with larger, more descriptive content of the page. It allows the reader to understand what the space is about before they click on the link.
Google does not actually use the meta description as a factor for calculating ranking, however, the Meta description is key for click through rate as users will read it. In turn this ends up leading to a higher rank score.
Meta description sits inside the
meta name tag on your webpage and should be altered for each page. Meta Descriptions also get shown when you share your blog through social media as the description of the link.
There are a few ways that you can optimise your Meta description to be the most impactful and encourage the most click throughs, we will cover a few of those now.
Narrative suggests you use a Meta description of 125 characters, this is a good amount as it is not to long for people to read but provides enough length to understand the page. Google allows a max of 155 characters, meaning it probably isn't a good idea to go above this.
As Meta description doesn't contribute directly to SEO rankings its best to keep it snappy and not to long to read, so users are captured by it.
The Meta Description acts as an advertisement of the pages content, so make sure your copy is attractive, reads well, and encourages users to click through.
Similar to the SEO title, do not repeat similar or related words to try and be more appealing, if it sounds spammy readers will not click as they think that it is a fake website.
Don't use the same Meta Description for different pages on your website as it creates a bad user experience as seen below.
Its important to use your focus keywords inside your Meta description for a few reasons. Firstly, your focus keywords (which we set before) are what we think people will be searching for.
Include these keywords so when people search for them they can read it in the description. Google also makes this much easier by bolding the search terms that are apart of the meta description, meaning users can easily located something they are looking for.
Overall Meta description is an important area of SEO, its key for user experience and understanding what your blog page it about which all adds up to your rank score.
Image Keywords are a very large part of your blog and you should always put a large amount of effort in them to ensure your images are ranking well on your blog and with Google.
Narrative combines the idea of image name and alt tags into one SEO category called Image Keywords. Image keywords are the image, stripped from its colour and life and turned into text. They describe describe the elements of your image that Google uses to understand your image. Rather then being broad, image keywords can be the specific detail of the image, such as "Dog" "jumping" "For" "Ball". This text that is attached to an image matters significantly for your rank as it gives Google more context and more information about your page.
Image keywords give you another opportunity to add your keywords to your blog page, to reinforce the creditably of your page and images a like.
How Narrative Uses your Image Keywords
Narrative takes each image keyword you add to an image and uses it in two places.
The first is as the image title, this means that your original image title will be overwritten by the image keywords you set. If you have no image keywords set Narrative uses this original file name.
The second use of the image keywords you set is in order to set your alt tags. Narrative sets your alt tag to what you have written in the image keywords with a " " space separating them. This means to the Google bot it reads as a sentence.
For this blog we have an image with the Image keywords set to "Faroe" "Island" "Waterfall" "Village". These aren't a great set of image keywords, bit will work for this example.
Using the inspector tool we can see that our Image title is set to
Faroe-Island-Waterfall-Village and our Alt is set to
Faroe Island Waterfall Village.
Image Keyword Best Practices
The best image keywords involve enough of a description to understand about thats going on in the photo but also isn't spammy, similar to the meta description and the SEO title. However, we suggest using a max of 10 keywords per image. As a little test, get someone to close their eyes and you read them the keywords, if they can recreate the image from those keywords alone, you're on the right track.
You can also use your focus keywords as inspiration, but don't just use your focus keywords.
Here are a few examples to help you understand.
Image Keywords are a really important part of making sure your blogs are ranking well, make sure to include descriptive image keywords so Google can understand your blog.
Narrative blogs are almost always very image heavy, however, this doesn't mean you can't add body text to help improve your blogs SEO performance, such as recently Google has been seen to be favouring the relationship between images and body text for blog content specifically. So here we will look at some ways you can use the text box tool to improve your SEO.
Write good copy
Make sure your copy is good and attractive, the longer people stay on your site the better it will rank. You may assume that the more content the better, but if it isn't readable or attractive visitors will not stay long. So we recommend making sure your body text is a good user experience, split it up into readable chunks throughout the blog or craft it very carefully.
Use links well
Links are a really good way to improve your websites legitimacy in relation to others along with improving the ranking of other websites. Google recognises someone sharing your link as an indication that your website is good quality. For example, linking to another vendors website.
This image contains a link text, when Google crawls this, they learn context about the link based on the description. This helps build a good ranking for you blog. This process is done best if others link back to your website as well, so encourage your vendors and clients to share the URL of your blog.
Use your keywords
Using your keywords is a great way for Google to reinforce your blog page and what it is about. Therefore we recommend using your focus keywords inside your body text. However, this should only be done sparingly as too many keywords of the same will be viewed as spammy and Google will lower its reliability.
Each of these elements have a traffic light beside them, giving you feedback on your SEO at the present stage. The lights are:
- Green - great!
- Orange - maybe revise.
- Red - needs more work.
When you have good SEO, all the lights will be green in the SEO Inspector.