Following on from our recent post on free keyword research tools, today we’re going to look at online freebies that can help with your SEO. We’ve got a mixed bag including a tool to help tweak your meta tags, and a schema creator and snippet viewer to help you deal with the semantic web.
Tool to Optimise Title Tags and Meta Description
Title and description tags don’t count that much anymore. But your description tags are important as they show up in the search results.
A well-written tag can work as a powerful call to action and help your listing stand out in the SERPs so it’s worth spending time to craft a good one. If you need inspiration, head over to http://seobin.org/.
Enter your keywords and choose your country (Australia is featured). In a snap, you’ll get a listing of the title tags for the top ranking sites for that keyword.
The site also offers a simple tool to optimise your title tag and meta description but its main value is in offering an insight into what the competition is doing. Simple and powerful, this site is well worth your time.
As part of its on-going quest to identify quality, Google has ramped up its approach to the semantic web. It’s good news for forward-looking SEOs as it offers a way to use mark-up language to ensure your clients’ sites stand out in the SERPs.
It works by allowing site creators to mark up pages with schemas. These are standards for web mark-up established by schema.org, a joint venture between the big three of Google, Bing and Yahoo.
You can use semantic mark-up in many handy ways. It allows you to add a menu listing to a restaurant website for example, or to have promotions, special offers or reviews show up right in the search results.
If you’re keen to get started, you should head to http://schema-creator.org/, which promises “The easiest way to create HTML with schema.org microdata”.
First you choose your type of schema whether person, product, event, review or so on. Then you get to a page with an explanation, an example, and also a video. Below is the tool itself.
You fill out some information about your event – type, name, URL, description, start and end date and so on. You can preview your schema in a box on the right, and there’s another box with the code for you to copy.
Google Snippet Preview
If you want a live preview of your snippets, head along to http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/richsnippets.
Here you’ll find Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool, which is actually part of Webmaster Tools. Enter your URL and you’ll get a preview of how your rich snippets appear in the SERPs.
These two tools work together beautifully to provide a nice introduction to using the semantic web.