Get Organized for the Biggest Challenge: A Website Relaunch
Developing website content is one of the greatest challenges in creating a new site. This document provides a guide to the process.
Download a PDF file of our Sample Content Document
Download the MS Word document template and get started organizing and search optimizing your content now. Don’t forget to 301 Redirect old URLs to new URLs.
Guidelines for creating search engine friendly web content that ranks high in Google
The most effective way to boost your site’s ranking in the organic or natural search engine listings is to determine the search phrases (keywords) most likely to be used by prospective customers and then write your site content using those keywords. This is the foundation of what is known as search engine optimization, or “SEO”. This applies to the text that will be rendered in HTML on a web page. Search engines do not understand text shown as a graphic.
How many keywords can be used on a page?
- Depending on the length of the page content, select two or three highly targeted keyword phrases to weave into each web page.
- Use variations and modifiers. Replace marketing jargon with keywords that will resonate with your site visitors.
- Don’t use excessively broad or general keywords: there are too many competing web pages that use those words to outrank larger sites. How do you identify the best keywords for your homepage?
- Focus on the critical two or three keywords that reflect the overall theme of your site. Do your research using Google’s free AdWords Planner.
How can you emphasize important keywords within your content?
- Create concise page headings and subheadings that contain the search phrases used on the page.
- Code properly with H1 as the main title, then H2 as the next sub-heading and H3 as the sub-sub-heading. MSN particularly likes page headings rendered in h1 and h2 tags. Use the H tags on the web page but define their style in your external style sheet (CSS) for precise
control of the look.
- Include keywords in content in bulleted or numbered lists.
- Bold your keywords (but not every time!).
- Do not repeat search terms excessively but use them in a natural manner in the site content.
→ Download the Quick Start SEO Guide
What else is important in creating search-friendly web content?
- Don’t combine a pair of words with a slash “/” character because the search engines don’t separate out the words from the slash. If you must use a slash character then put a space on either side of the slash.
- Every web page should contain navigation links to all main pages and to an extensive site map. A site footer map is an easy way to accomplish this.
- Ensure that you are applying the same search engine optimization techniques to other le types such as PDF or Word documents that appear on the website as White Papers, data sheets, etc. Search engines index PDFs, Word, Excel and PowerPoint les (as long as they are not password-protected). Learn More Here
- Keywords are not case sensitive and search engines ignore punctuation.
Do file names matter to search engines?
Some search engines pay attention to the page file name. Include an important keyword used on that page in the le name as shown below.
- Don’t do this: www.totheweb.com/products.com
- Do this: www.totheweb.com/products/site-optimization.html
Is there a best practice for the length of content on a page?
Search engines love content-rich websites, and longer pages tend to dominate search results. Write at least 250 words of high-value content for as many pages as possible. Ensure that this content will appear in HTML text and contains your keywords used in a natural way.
How should you use the Title tag to encourage click-throughs from a Google Page?
(AKA “title attributes tag” – this title is not visible on the page but often appears in the search engine results page)
- The Title tag phrase should contain one to two of the primary keywords that appear on that individual page and the keywords should be towards the beginning of the tag where possible. Except for the homepage, it’s not necessary to use your company name in the Title tag as your name is referenced throughout the site’s content.
- Every page should have a unique Title tag containing roughly five to seven words (55 characters).
What is the Meta Description Tag and how should you use it?
This tag is an HTML element that Google may use below the Title in a search results page. The Meta Description tag should be approximately 25 words, including key search terms, and contain a brief outline of your services.
How can I get Google to return my site’s images for a Google image search?
- Your best chance at having important images and graphics appear in organic image search is to use the Image ALT ATTRIBUTES tag.
- Use search terms in ALT text that are found on the page that the image links to. Don’t ‘stu’ ALT attributes with multiple keywords!
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