Keywords Per 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.
Creating Search Engine-Friendly Web Content
The most effective way to boost your site’s ranking in the organic or natural search engine listings is to determine the search phrases 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 guide applies to the text that will be rendered in HTML on a web page because the engines cannot read the text contained within a graphic.
Keywords on your homepage: Focus on the critical two or three keywords that reflect the overall theme of your site.
Page Copy Length: Search engines love content-rich websites. Write at least 200-250 words of keyword-rich content for every page. Ensure that this content will appear in HTML text and contain your keywords used in a natural way. Broaden your site's ranking potential by using variations and modifiers of your keywords.
Title Tag: Ensure that every page of your website contains search terms in the Title tag. Every page should have a unique Title tag containing about five to eight words (60 to 90 characters). The Title tag should contain one to two of the keywords that appear on that individual page and the keywords should be toward the beginning of the sentence where possible. It's not necessary to use your company name in the Title tag as your name is referenced throughout the site's content.
Meta Description Tag: The Meta Description tag should be approximately 25 words, including key search terms, and contain a brief outline of your services.
Ways to Emphasize Keywords:
- Use clear page headings and sub headings 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> <H2> and <H3> tags.
- Use bulleted lists.
- Bold your keywords (but not every time!).
- NOTE: Use the H tags on the web page but define their style in your external style sheet (CSS) for precise control of the look.
Integrating Keywords into Page Content: Do not repeat search terms excessively, but use them in a natural manner in the site 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. Put a space on either side of the slash.
- Don't do this: We offer USB/Flash drives
- Do this: We offer USB drives and Flash drives
Every web page should contain navigation links to all main pages and to an extensive site map.
Ensure that you are applying the same search engine optimization techniques to other file 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 files (as long as they are not password-protected).
Some search engines pay attention to the page file name. Include a keyword in the file name as shown below.
- Don't do this: www.totheweb.com/products.com
- Do this: www.totheweb.com/site-optimization.html
Be sure that keywords are used in the text links to other pages within your site. Some search engines place greater emphasis on link text than on regular body text, so link text should include important keywords.
- Don't do this: Get ranked in search engines. Click here
- Do this: Get ranked in search engines
Some search engines include in their indexes the text content of ALT attributes (text associated with an image) and place greater emphasis on ALT text for images that are links. Use search terms in ALT text that are found on the page that the image links to. Be sure to use proper ALT text for any graphics that provide navigational links. For example, the ALT text for a graphic that says "About Us" should include the text "About Us". The ALT text for the company logo graphic could include a short company positioning statement as well as the company name. Don't 'stuff' ALT attributes!
CUSTOM 404 ERROR PAGE
Include your site map in your current error-trapping page to easily provide access to the rest of the site.
Great example at Apple.com, to view, www.apple.com/123.html.
Locate your site map in the main level on your server and make it available as a link from every page.
Include links to all important pages that you want the search engines to index in the site map.
Maintain a flat directory structure rather than nesting HTML files deep in the file structure.
Don't use a Splash page or a Flash Intro page. To search engines it's like a brick wall.
Don't create navigation menus in Flash. If you must, add footer links to all the main pages or use the tag under the Flash with the menu links embedded within the links.
Link to your homepage from all your pages.
Use 301 Redirects when removing pages from the server so that visitors locating these pages in the search engines will be redirected to the correct new page or the homepage.
When coding HTML text font sizes use relative settings in the style sheet to allow site visitors to adjust the font size in their browser.
HOW DOES A SEARCH ENGINE FIND YOUR WEBSITE?
Search engine software "robots" find your site by following links from one site to another. Once the robot arrives at your site, it follows the links on each page until it indexes as many pages as it can find. Every time it visits a page it loads the page's HTML content (both visible and non-visible "meta" text) into the search engine's database. It also analyzes the site content in an attempt to determine your site's theme or principal subject(s).Search engines consider over 100 factors when ranking a site. Each engine weights these factors differently, and the weightings change over time as the engines refine their algorithms and attempt to discourage scams and deception.
Search Engine Optimization is an ongoing process, not "do it once and forget about it". You have to keep working at it! Remember: your competitors aren't sitting still, so you have to keep moving forward.