That’s how many couples have turned to The Knot for bridal advice since they were founded as a digital wedding pioneer 20 years ago.
Undoubtedly, The Knot is the powerhouse of the wedding industry, especially when it comes to their online visibility and keyword rankings. It seems if you type in anything wedding related, their website pops up.
This is because one of The Knot’s most overlooked strengths is their commitment to solid SEO.
Let’s take a look at a few things they are doing that has helped them rise to the top of the search engine rankings.
1. Keep Your Page Titles Under 55 Characters
Your title tags are the links that show up in search engine results that potential visitors will click on when performing a search.
Google typically displays the first 50-60 characters of a title tag in their search results.
Because of this, all page titles should be kept under 55 characters in total length to avoid being “cut off” or shortened within Google search results. Here’s an example of how that looks when it happens.
Having a truncated or incomplete page title could negatively impact click-through rates, which means less people clicking on your links. Not good.
As you can see above, The Knot has kept its homepage title relevant, concise and well under the 55-character limit.
2. Keep Your Meta Description Under 160 Characters
A meta description is the small snippet of text that is displayed beneath your title tag in search results.
Meta descriptions are important because they act as an organic advertisement enticing people to click on your website link. The better and more inviting your meta description is, the better your click-through-rate tends to be.
Google tends to “cut off” or shorten meta descriptions to a maximum of 160 characters in total length, so keep this in mind to avoid showing an incomplete message to potential visitors.
3. Make Sure Your Website Is Mobile Friendly
Did you know that people are five times more likely to leave a mobile site that isn’t mobile-friendly?
Having a website that loads quickly and correctly on a mobile device is an absolute necessity in 2017.
Head on over to Google’s official Mobile Testing Tool to see your website rating, overall mobile grade and areas that you can be improved or optimized for a better mobile-friendly score. Completely free to use.
The Knot has done a great job of optimizing their website for mobile visitors and is undoubtedly enjoying the benefits from doing so.
If there is only thing you intend to do to improve your website SEO, I recommend starting with making it mobile friendly.
4. Use H1 Tags
In a broad sense, the title of a page and the H1 tag share a similar function. Both give search engines a clue to the page’s main topic.
Think of the H1 Tag as a shorter, alternative page title that you can use to solidify what the page is about. Each page of your website should have a H1 tag and should include your targeted “keyword”.
Notice The Knot uses “Your Personal Wedding Planner” within their H1 tag.
Search engines pay special attention to the words in your H1 tag because they expect it to include clues to the page’s main topics. Take advantage of this and always include targeted keywords inside your H1 tag.
5. Make Sure All Images Have an Alt Tag
An alt tag (alternative tag) allows you to add a text description to any image you upload to your website.
Since search Google cannot “see” images on your website, it tends to rely on alternative text attributes to determine what each image is and what search query it is relevant for. Including an “alt text” tag to each image is good for SEO because it reinforces the relevance of the page for that page’s target topic.
There isn’t really any character limit, like there is for page titles, meta descriptions, etc., but I’d recommend keeping your alt text to under 6 words maximum to avoid looking spammy or redundant by Google. Adding alt tags to your images also helps it rank better within Google Image Search.
6. Improve Your Page Speed
Page speed is defined as the length of time it takes to display all the content on a specific web page.
As you can see above, The Knot has fully optimized their website to load quickly and as efficiently as possible.
Why is this important for SEO?
Because Google has officially announced that page speed will have an impact on organic rankings. Yep, that’s right. Slow loading websites will not receive the ranking boost a fast website will.
Check out Google’s page speed tool to check your website’s page speed and see if there are any areas that can be improved.
7. Earn Back Links
A backlink is a link one website gets from another website.
Backlinks are one of the most important aspects of SEO. The total number (and quality) of backlinks that your website has plays a major factor when Google decides where to rank a website.
The backlinks that The Knot has earned over the years has helped establish their website as an authoritative resource for all things wedding, and therefore ranks well for thousands of wedding related searches.
Gaining more backlinks to your website should be a huge priority in your SEO efforts.
If you feel that your website could benefit from having more backlinks, or if you would just like to see a quick report that shows how many backlinks your website currently has, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll send that over to you for free. Knowing where you stand is the first step in improving your SEO rankings.