Question: How many characters should a meta description be?
Question: Can I wrap an image alt tag in a heading tag so that the keywords in the alt tag are also recognized as a part of the heading?
Question: How important are page aliases and are they also seen in source code?
Answer: The META DESCRIPTION tag is 155 characters long. Remember that you need to include your target keywords INSIDE the META DESCRIPTION and if they ‘match the inputted keyword, about 90% of the time Google will pull your META DESCRIPTION in the displayed text on a search. So a) include the target keywords, b) make it pithy, fun, exciting, hey click on me, and c) limit it to 155 characters.
As for your second question, that is a common technique. NEST an image inside an H1 / A HREF tag (or both), and put keywords in the ALT attribute. Google DOES seem to consider this a valid use of the test. I think it is less good than straight text, but if your page design is heavy in images it does seem to be beneficial. It’s always relevant to what you CAN do in terms of site design vs. the ‘best practice’ of strong, keyword heavy H1 / H2 tags on the page vs. what competitors are doing. Remember SEO success is a function of ALL the factors together, not just one.
As for your third question, I am not sure what you mean. Please send me an email and explain it. If you are talking about 301 redirects, then essentially Google just sees through them to the ‘real page’ and they have little impact.
Got a question? Click this link to email Jason or call 888-993-1122. Dr. Jason McDonald is founder and Senior SEO / Social Media Director of the JM Internet Group. He teaches the SEO training classes for the group, and therefore provides most of the SEO tips for this blog. His goal with this blog is to provide an easy 'one-stop shop' for the busy marketer looking for tips, tricks, and secrets on how to get to the top of Google and Bing for free using proven SEO tactics. When not dreaming up SEO tips, Dr. McDonald lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife, two dogs, a cat, four iguanas and twelve children (just kidding). Really you read down to the bio on this guy? Enjoy the blog.
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