When possible, include the primary keyword for each page in the URL’s “slug” as far to the left (closer to the beginning) as possible.
The canonical URL tag tells search engines which URL points to the best representative page version for a page. This might sound complicated, but it’s actually quite simple. In most cases, especially when you publish original content, the canonical URL is identical to your page URL. Imagine the following scenario though:
You publish posts on your blog. As recommended in our course “Building a Content Marketing Engine” you have a predictable cadence of articles you publish. Most of these articles will be original content produced by you, but you might have some cases where you’d like to republish a blog post from an external source. After getting their ok, you copy their article and publish it on your blog. Now, you give it a unique page URL for your blog, but you use the canonical URL to point to the original blog post. It is very important to do this, as this signals to search engines that you are not intending to steal the original content. You are showing them that you have a new blog post on your blog, but explicitly point to the original source. This makes sure your domain won’t be flagged and consequently penalized.
Your page title should be your H1 headline plus the name of your site or blog. For example:
“This is my Article Title | @<our_twitterhandle> blog”
This ensures that your primary keyword is in the title, and it ensures that when people share the article on social media, the title already has your twitter handle in it. The twitter handle is not a requirement, but it’s an easy way to ensure people will “@” mention you.
The meta description for each page on your site is very important because it’s the text that typically shows up underneath the title of each search result on Google.
It should describe in detail what the article is about and entice humans to click to read more. The meta description does not need to have your primary keyword in it, but it can if it makes sense to include it.
All of your articles should have open graph image tags specified because these determine the picture shown on social media (Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook, Slack, etc.) when the URL is shared.
The goal of these images is to draw in readers with visual appeal and a clear call to action to read the article. Standing out in a social feed with a good picture will almost always meaningfully increase your click-through rate.
Just like the open graph image tag, the open graph description is automatically shown on social media when somebody shares the URL to your article. While you can specify unique descriptions for Twitter, Facebook, etc., it’s almost never worth it. The meta description used above should suffice. More information about open graph tags and protocol is available here.