Brian Dean is an impressive SEO expert. I recently watched a video of his covering his favorite SEO tips, and wanted write a piece about it.
I’m not going to simply summarize what he said. (He does a fine job summarizing himself.) Instead I’m going to pull out a few of his points, expound on them, and offer some of my own insights.
If you’d like to see his original video, you can do so here…
I’m not going to cover all of his tips, (just the one’s I found most compelling) and then I’ll share my thought and insights based on my 10 years in the web design industry.
So without further ado, let’s get started…
Tip #1. Short URLs
“All things being equal, short URLs beat long URLs.”
When he talks about Short URLs, he’s not talking about short url generators (those things you use to make 12 character long urls for Twitter and such). What we’re talking about is, keeping your website URLs short (not stuffing them).
So, in other words…
will likely rank better than…
This makes sense when you think about it. Shorter URLs are easier to type in. If a URL is easier to type, that makes a better experience for the end user.
However, this goes against the conventional wisdom. SEO companies have been stuffing the URLs with keywords for years. But whenever companies try to use tricks to improve ranking without making the website better for their visitors, it eventually comes back to bite them. My guess, is that days of long keyword-rich URLs are becoming a thing of the past.
So don’t stuff your URL with lots of keywords, but do include keywords in your URL.
Tip #4 Longer Content Is Better
“Publish Content that is at least 1,890 words.”
According to Dean, when analyzing a large sample of first page results on Google, the average word count per pages was 1,890. He also mentioned that this may seem counter-intuitive because we always hear about people’s short attention spans on the web. But, Dean counters…
“When you create a high-value Resource, people will want to read it… Even if it’s really long.”
This also makes sense. Though, I wouldn’t worry about remembering that 1,890 figure (it’s just an average). Instead, just try to write around 2000 words (or more) to get that optimal ranking on Google.
That said, don’t fill your pages with fluff, like a high-school student trying to pad an essay for English Class. The whole point is people will take the time to read “high-value” content.
Writing a bunch of terrible text, hoping nobody reads is a bad idea. I’ve actually heard people say “I wrote some text for SEO, but I don’t want my customers to read it, can we hide it or something?”. This defeats the whole purpose. Don’t fall into that trap.
Always write your text with people in mind. If it’s useful, people will read it. If people read it and interact with your content, that will do more to help you (with Google) than anything else.
So, the real takeaway isn’t “write more words”. The real lesson is “take the time to write something useful”.
Useful things tend to go into depth. You probably won’t learn anything too much from a 3 paragraph article. Why? Because, a 3 paragraph essay doesn’t have time to go in depth about anything. It just skims the surface of a topic. It’s lazy.
Tip #5 Use Title Tag Modifiers
“Some of my favorite title tag modifiers are: (the current year), “best”, “review”, “free shipping”, and “checklist”.
So if your keyword is “Blue Fluffy Slippers”, name your page title “The Best Blue Fluffy Slippers (Free Shipping)”.
So, what is a Tag modifier? The video doesn’t go into much detail here, but in English grammar, a modifier is a world that describes another word to make it’s meaning more specific. These are usually adjectives or adverbs.
Often when scanning search results, I’m more likely to click on “the best” or “most useful”, etc.
Tip #7 Use Numbers
“One of the easiest way to get more click on your result is to add a number to your title tag.”
This one makes sense to me intuitively, as I often find myself clicking on article that say “15 great plug-ins for…” or “The 5 Best…”