Effective use of SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a measure that helps to make content findable on the web. If you want your website to be listed high up in the list of organic search results, its content and technology must first be optimized.

SEO settings on the platform

It is important, first of all, to create relevant and unique content, use specific keywords and establish a meaningful linking concept. This is especially true of backlinks, i.e. links from other websites to your own, which are essential for achieving a good ranking.

In this article we aim to introduce you to three parameters that play key roles in search engine optimization, namely the page title, meta description and robots tag.

In the case of Regio and Destination product lines, these parameters can be maintained across a variety of pages, including the homepage, web-app homepages, custom pages (Destination) and travel guide pages (Destination).


Page title

The page title (which can also be referred to as the 'meta title' or 'title tag') is the title of an HTML document. It appears in the header of a browser tab and as the heading of a hit in search engine result pages (SERPs).

By naming the most important keywords, the page title describes in a brief and concise manner what a page is about- both for users and search engines. The keywords contained in the page title form a large element of the Google algorithm rating and so they are of considerable importance. 

Usually the page title will consist of a few keywords ("keyword phrase") and the name of the website or company. If the website is locally optimized, a geo-reference can also be specified in the title.

Example: "Hiking in Bavaria: the most beautiful routes on outdooractive.com".

Recommendations and tips for creating page titles

  • The page title should be no longer than about 65-70 characters (including spaces), as there is limited space in the search result lists. An exact specification of the maximum number of characters is not possible because Google does not shorten the text according to a fixed number of characters, but calculates the pixel length of the individual letters instead. If the text exceeds this maximum, it will be shortened, thus making it less attractive to the user
  • The most important keyword should be at the very beginning so that it remains visible, even if only a part of the page title can be displayed.
  • Each page should have a unique page title. This allows search engines to recognize that the subpages of a website are different.
  • Google may replace the page title in its SERPs if it improves usability. For example, if the Page Title is "Click here", Google can be exptected to replace it with a more meaningful title (determined by text elements on the page).
  • If the field "pagetitle" is not filled in, the page title will be assigned automatically by our system. It will then be comprised of a number of elements such as the page name, the page type and the respective channel where it is used.

 


Meta description

The meta description is a short text that describes the content of a website. It is read out by search engines and is thus visible to the user. The meta description appears in the SERPs below the page title.

Although the meta description has no direct influence on the ranking of a website, it does guarantee a better click through rate (CTR). The more informative and appealing the meta description is, the higher the probability that a user will click on the entry.

Example: Hiking in Bavaria is as diverse as the landscape: Discover the most beautiful routes around the Alps, the Bavarian Forest and the Main!

Recommendations and tips for creating meta descriptions

  • The meta description should not exceed a length of about 150-160 characters (including spaces), as there is limited space in the search result lists. An exact specification of the maximum number of characters is not possible because Google does not shorten the text according to a fixed number of characters, but calculates the pixel length of the individual letters instead. If the text exceeds this maximum, it will be shortened, thus making it less attractive to the user
  • Both the meta description and page title form a unit and should therefore use the same keywords. Keywords matching the search query are displayed in bold in the meta description.
  • Each page should carry its own unique meta description. This allows search engines to recognize that one subpage of the website is different to the others.
  • To increase the CTR, the meta description should contain a call-to-action to the user (e.g. "Learn more now!")
  • The meta description can also contain special characters and emojis - depending on the target group. However, it should be noted that having too many of these elements can create a more 'dubious' appearance!
  • If the field "metadescription" is not filled, our system automatically selects text modules of the respective page (usually the short description). However, since this is usually longer than 150 characters and the text is therefore dotted out in the SERPs, it is definitely worth maintaining the field.

Robots

Robots (also known as crawlers) are applications that search engines use to examine the availability of websites on the net and stores information about their content in an index.

This can be compared to an index in a book, which is consulted when a search query is made to then quickly present a list of websites containing information related to the specified keyword.

The "Robots" tag acts as a guide for the search engine crawlers by telling them whether they should include a page in the index or not.

 

There are two options available with regards to robots within in the SEO section of the platform:

  • "default" = "index,follow": The "index" setting causes the respective page to be examined and indexed by crawlers. This is a prerequisite for the page to be found by search engines. With the attribute "follow" the search engine follows both internal and external links.
  • "noindex,follow": If the setting "noindex" is selected, the crawlers will exclude the respective page from the indexing and the page will not be found by search engines. This is useful in respect of internal search result pages, copyright-protected content or duplicate content that should not be recognized as such.

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