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Header Tags: What They Are and How to Use Them

On-page SEO
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Header Tags: What They Are and How to Use Them When I first started blogging, I had no idea how to structure my posts to rank for search engines, or even why it was important. I just threw in bolded words and phrases that looked good and hoped to be randomly selected for the search engine results pages (SERPs). Now I know there is a science to blog optimization, and what I was throwing into my blog posts to make them look professional was called header/heading tags — and are an important tool for comprehension and SEO. Here's a quick guide on header tags and what they're used for: H1 — The title of a post. They're usually keyword-centric, focused around the "big idea" of a page or post, and crafted to grab a reader's attention. H2 — These are subheaders that classify the main points of your paragraphs and separate sections. Consider using semantic keywords related to the "big idea" in your H1 while also helping the reader easily find the sections they want to read. H3 — These are subsections that clarify the points made in the H2 further. Alternatively, they can be used in formatting lists or bullet points. H4 —These are subsections that clarify the points made in the H3 further. Alternatively, they can be used in formatting lists or bullet points. The "H" in H1, H2, etc. officially stands for "heading element," though the SEO community also...

Hreflang Tags: The SEO Attribute for Content in Multiple Languages

On-page SEO
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Hreflang Tags: The SEO Attribute for Content in Multiple Languages Have you ever visited a webpage that was in a different language, and your browser asked you if you wanted to change it to your first language? It's a life-saver, right? Now think about whether you've provided the functionality so your own webpages are ready for a global audience. If you haven't properly tagged or re-directed your content to be optimized in different languages, it may not be gaining the traffic it could be. The name for this attribute is called language tagging, and it's an SEO tag you can use to make sure search engines know what language your content is in. Language Tags There are two different types of language tags: HTML tags and hreflang tags. While both HTML and hreflang tags are intended to optimize content in multiple languages, they have a couple of differences. Simply put, language (or lang) tag attributes on an HTML tag tells your browser the language of the current document or webpage, while the hreflang tag attribute tells your browser the language of the webpage that's being linked -- for instance, a lang tag on HubSpot.com tells your browser the language of HubSpot.com, but a hreflang tag attribute tells a search engine the language of HubSpot.com when a user searches for HubSpot. If a user searches for HubSpot.com from Germany, a hreflang tag is responsible for changing the link available in the search engines. However, when someone lands on HubSpot.com...

The Beginner’s Guide to Keyword Density

On-page SEO
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The Beginner's Guide to Keyword Density Keywords are a critical part of your SEO strategy. Along with relevant content and optimized website design, ranking for the right keywords helps your site stand out from the crowd — and get closer to the top of search engine results pages (SERPs). So it's no surprise that a substantial amount of SEO advice centers on keywords: Doing your research can help you select and rank for top-performing keywords in your market, in turn boosting user engagement and increasing total sales. But how many keywords are enough? How many are too many? How do you know? And what happens if Google and other search engines determine your site is "stuffed" with keywords? In our beginner's guide to keyword density we'll cover the basics, dig into why it matters, and offer functional formulas and simple tools that can help make sure your keyword strategies are working as intended. What is keyword density? Keyword density — also called keyword frequency — describes the number of times a specific keyword appears on a webpage compared to the total word count. It's often reported as a percentage or a ratio; the higher the value, the more your selected keyword appears on your page. Why Keyword Density Matters Keywords drive searches. When users go looking for products or services they'll typically use a keyword that reflects their general intent, and expect search engines to serve up relevant results. While tools like Google now take into account factors such...

The Ultimate Guide to On-Page SEO in 2020

On-page SEO
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The Ultimate Guide to On-Page SEO in 2020 So, you've read dozens — if not hundreds — of SEO articles online. You've digested countless tips and tricks for improving your website's SEO. You've even (over)paid that self-proclaimed "expert" to help you develop an SEO strategy that aligns with your business goals. But after all of the reading and learning and strategizing, it dawns on you: You haven't actually done anything yet. Perhaps you're intimidated. Maybe you're crunched for time. Regardless, when it comes to on-page SEO, there's no excuse for dragging your feet. On-page SEO has the power to bring countless new visitors — and customers — right to your website. On-page SEO is also completely up to you: You get to establish what the topic and/or goal of each page will be. You get to decide on the target audience for that page. And you get to choose the target keywords and phrases you want to focus on. All you have to do is get started, and we built this guide to help you. Google's algorithm ranks your website on three main factors: on-page SEO, off-page SEO, and technical SEO: We'll cover on-page SEO elements below. Off-page SEO refers to social sharing, external linking, and more. Technical SEO refers to all the SEO elements not included in on-page and off-page practices, such as structured data, site speed, and mobile readiness — the more technical parts of SEO. Note: This SEO "trilogy" isn't always divided...

How to Optimize Your URLs for Search [Quick Tip]

On-page SEO
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How to Optimize Your URLs for Search Organic search is the most consistent, long-term way to drive traffic to your website — if you can perform well on the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). While many SEO factors are out of your control, such as who you're competing with and what they're doing, you can still benefit from on-page optimization, which is very much in your control.  One on-page best practice is optimizing your URL slug for each page and post you create. It's one of those SEO best practices that's actually stood the test of time, left relatively unscathed by violent little penguins and fuzzy-yet-aggressive pandas. What Is a URL Slug? A slug refers to the part of the URL that identifies the address of the individual page. The slug is located at the end of the URL after the domain and any subdirectories. Let's use a physical address as an analogy. If your website was a complex filled with offices, your domain is the address where the "complex" can be found. The slug, then, would be a box number or suite number that corresponds to a specific place in that complex.  Just as that box or suite number directs people to the correct office in the complex, a URL slug directs your browser to the correct page on your site, differentiating it from all the others on your domain. URL Slug Example Let's take our URL for this post: https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/how-to-optimize-urls-for-search Here...

How To Write Meta Descriptions That Don’t Suck

On-page SEO
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How To Write Meta Descriptions That Don't Suck I'll be the first one to admit it: The first time I wrote a blog post, I had a lot of new terminology to learn. SEO, alt text, headers, all of it was new to me. Thankfully, learning how to use these acronyms to my advantage was a quick learning process. However, there was one function of a blog post that took some time getting used to, and that was a meta description. At first, I didn't know the purpose of a meta description, and why it was so important that I should add one to a blog post. "Google will show the accurate text of my blog posts in search results," I thought, "So there's no need for me to add meta descriptions, right?" Not necessarily. This post will show you why meta descriptions are important and how to write effective ones. Before all that, though, let's discuss what a meta description is. What is a meta description? A meta description is the snippet of information below the blue link of a search result. Its purpose is to describe the contents of the page to the searcher. Any words that match the search term are bolded in the description. The end goal is to convince and persuade the searcher to click through to your website. Here is an example of a meta description as it would show up on a search engine results (SERP) page: Notice that, because the...

How to Write the Perfect Page Title With SEO in Mind

On-page SEO
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How to Write the Perfect Page Title With SEO in Mind In high school, the hardest part of writing an essay for me was coming up with the title. To be honest, titles are still a struggle for me to this day. However, writing titles for blog posts or page titles are a part of my day to day as a marketer. And now I have to think about SEO as well. If you're anything like me, it's helpful to learn best practices you can refer to when you're writing a title. Below, let's learn how to write the perfect page title while keeping SEO in mind. Page Titles and SEO A page title is the title tag that tells a search engine like Google what the title of your web page is. However, a "title tag" is distinct from the "H1" of a page. Your web page can have an H1 that's different from the title tag, though they're often the same by default unless changed in the HTML header of the page. For example, an article title is your H1. If you had a creative idea for an article title, but wanted Google to index a title tag that’s more likely to get clicked, you could edit the title tag to be different from the H1. When you type in a query on Google, title tags are the titles you see on the search engine results page (SERP). So, why do you have to keep SEO...