Do-It-Yourself Search Engine Optimization Part 2: Web Page Optimization

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Once you have chosen your keyphrases, the next stage is to optimize your page for those keyphrases. You do that by positioning your keywords in strategic locations within your page. What follows is a checklist of tips and steps you must complete to optimize your page:

1. Keyphrases in the web page title:

a. Create a descriptive title for your page. Your web page title is very important because it is what the search engines display as link text as the result of a search. The title must include your main keyphrases, while at the same time it must describe your business very well and should entice readers to click on it.

b. Unless your business is big and well known (like Microsoft or Coca Cola) don’t start your page title with the name of your company. Start your title with the words search engine users will most likely use, and those are your keyphrases.

c. Put your main keyphrase at the beginning of your page title (keyphrase prominence) and keep your keyphrase together (keyword proximity).

d. Put your second keyphrase somewhere else in the title.

e.Make the title short (8 words or less).

2. Keyphrases in your Keyword Meta Tag: Search engines rarely use the Keyword Meta Tag any more (Google completely ignores it). However, place a list of your main and secondary keywords in the Keyword Meta Tag of your page, just in case search engines decide to use them again in the future.

3. Keyphrases in your Description Meta Tag: The Description Meta Tag is still important, since some search engines use them to elaborate on the results link. Remember to:

a. Include your keyphrases (main and secondary) in your Description Meta Tag.

b. Make your description descriptive, concise and professional. Avoid using hype.

c. Make it short (25 words or less).

d. Don’t make your description sound just like a collection of keywords.

e. Keep your keyphrases together.

4. Keywords in the body of your page: It is important to use your keywords heavily on your page, since this will help the search engine determine the topic of your page. Follow these tips as much as possible, since they will help search engines determine your page’s relevance to your chosen keyphrases:

a. Use your keyphrases several times, and place them as close to the top of the page as possible.

b. Place your keyphrases between Header Tags (H1, H2 or H3) in the first two paragraphs of your page.

c. Place your keyphrases in bold typeface at least once.

d. Repeat your keyphrases often to increase your keyphrase density. Repeating your keyphrases between 5 to 10 times for every 100 words in your page is considered effective.

e. Since you have to repeat your keyphrases often, you must be especially careful not to make your text sound awkward. Your visitors should be able to read your page fluently and effortlessly. Remember that ultimately it is your readers who will decide if your page is worth the time they spend on it. A pleasant experience will make them more likely to come back.

5. Other Web Page Design Considerations:

a. You must make your page easy to navigate by the search engines. Search engines heavily favor text over graphics, and HTML over other editing formats.

b. Use text heavily, especially in your navigation bar. Avoid placing text in graphic format since the search engines won’t be able to read it.

c. Avoid frames. Search engines have trouble following them, and they may index only the framed content page and not the navigation frame.

d. Avoid Flash and Javascript: search engines don’t follow either one. If you use flash, make an HTML version of your site available to your readers and the search engines. If you use a Javascript navigation menu, include an alternate text menu at the bottom of the page, so it can be followed by the search engines.

e. Create a Site Map that includes all the pages in your site, and place a Site Map link close to the top of the homepage. When the search engine follows the site map link, it will find and index all the pages in your site!

f. If you use a left navigation bar, the search engine will read it before the body of your page. Make sure you include your most important keywords there, too.

g. Make sure that all your internal pages link to your homepage. g. Don’t try to describe all your products or services in one page. It will confuse the search engine and dilute your page’s relevance to your selected keyphrase. Instead, create different pages, each with its own content and keyphrases, and optimize them too.

This is pretty much all you have to do to make sure that your page is optimized for your chosen keywords. The next and final step to increase your site’s ranking is to get as many links to your site as possible, from quality sites that have a topic related to yours. This is what we will see next week, in Part III: Off-Site Factors.

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Mario Sanchez publishes The Internet Digest ( http://www.theinternetdigest.net ), an internet marketing content site packed with useful articles and resources, and SEO Tutorial (http://www.seotutorial.info) where you can learn the basics of search engine optimization in four easy steps.

Do-It-Yourself Search Engine Optimization Part 2: Web Page Optimization
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