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On Page Optimization

The primary purpose of search engines is to bring relevant content to their visitors. Not meeting the needs of the searcher will cause the search engine to lose market share in a hurry. Gaining higher rankings on the search engines requires you to bring keyword focused content which the search engine will recognize as relevant and just as importantly not recognize as spam.

Keyword search

When writing content for your web, it’s important to start with a keyword search. Billions of searches are done each month on the Internet and some of those are looking for you and your competition. In order to help them find you, you need to determine what words and phrases they are using that are related to your business. Start by brainstorming and making a list of terms which pertain to your business. Then search these terms in several of the many free tools available on the Internet to help you with your search. These tools will show you which words and phrases your customers are using in searches on the Internet. Just a few of are:

Wordtracker http://freekeywords.wordtracker.com/

Trellian http://www.keyworddiscovery.com/search.html

Google http://www.google.com/sktool/

Once you have determined a list of words and phrases separate them into categories. You can then emphasize these categories in the content of the pages on your site. Remember to think in terms of key phrases. It has been shown to be easier to get results on 3 to 4 word phrases than it is to get results on one-word keywords.

Meta Tags

As you develop content for your web page remember the importance of meta-tags. All major search engines utilize part or all of the meta-title and description tags in order to understand the relevance of your site. There are several meta-tags used in HTML but only three have any significance in your search engine ranking. These are the title tag, the description tag and the keyword tag.

  • Title tag – Few hard and fast rules have been established about the title tag but it is generally accepted that it is a very important part of a web page. The title tag should be to 8 to 10 words long and no more than 80 to 90 characters. It should also include your keyword or key phrase for the page. Try to place them at the start of the tag. It’s usually a good idea to include your company name in your title tag.Remember your title tag appears in your visitor’s browser. Make your title interesting and appealing to the searchers to convince them that they should click on.
  • Description tag – The contents of the description tag are what most search engines will show under your title on the search result list. If you do not provide a meta-description tag the search engine will typically try to make one for you often using the first few words of your webpage or a text selection where the keyword phrases searched by the users first appear.Your description tag should be kept to 25 to 30 words including the target keywords or key phrases of the page. Take care should not to repeat target keywords too often to keep the search engines from thinking you are trying to spam them.
  • Keywords tag – Originally the purpose of the keywords tag was to give the search engines an idea of what the page is about. So many people used this tag to spam the search engines that most spiders give this tag very little if any weight.The best way to use the keywords tag is to place your main keyword phrase, a second keyword phrase, and maybe a few synonyms of your keyword phrase in the tag. Focus your tags for this page only and do not use many of the same words over and over in the tag. It may look as if you’re spamming the engine.

Keyword focused content

When you’re writing content for your page, it is import to focus on 1 to 3 of your most important keyword phrases per page. Too many keywords will confuse the search engines. Emphasize your main keywords in the first paragraph.

Many times it’s easier to write content for a page by writing non-optimized copy first and adding your key phrases later.  Search for words and phrases like “our product” and “it” and change them into keyword phrases. This covers your text and marketing flow and adding keywords is simply filling in the blanks.   Do not clump your keywords and key phrases into a big block of text separated by commas.  Not only will this be considered spam by your prospects will be unimpressed.  Keep your copy tight and focused writing in short paragraphs and including keyword rich headlines and bullet points.

Search engines consider the headings and sub-headings of your page, (especially those in bold), to be important. Take advantage of this by using H1, H2 and H3 tags instead of graphical headings, especially towards the top of your page.

Using keywords is also important in the anchor text of links pointing outside of your domain as well as links to internal pages of your site.  Make sure your links contain keywords and key phrases. But don’t plug your links with keywords

The Alt attribute of images was included in HTML as an alternative for browser or so that can’t display images including the talking browsers used for the blind.  Search engines cannot see images either but many pickup the Alt attribute and use it to boost your relevancy.  Try to use keywords and key phrases in Alt attributes but don’t use them to spam the engine.

Optimizing pages for the search engines is not rocket science. You will need some knowledge of HTML along with patience and attention to detail. Think you need someone to help you through your on page optimization. Contact us here.

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