Optimizing Your Web Pages for the Search Engines
This step is most commonly called Search Engine Optimization or SEO for short. This is where you will optimize your pages around your keywords.
You would think we would have most of this done back in the content stage. You would be right except creating and optimizing these "Puller Content" pages are a continuous part of your website marketing efforts.
This optimization process goes way beyond just the search engines too. They also have to be targeted to real people, your target audience. And although these on-page strategies are important to be ranked, it is not where most of that ranking will come from. We'll cover that in the off-site strategies section.
Some things that are important to on-site SEO are:
- The Page Title - This isn't just what you place at the top of your text. The most important title is in html title tag called "title". This is one of the first keyword indicators for the search engine spiders, and might even be the most important.
- H1 and H2 Tags - These are also in the html of your page. But these will be the title and the subtitles on your page. The spiders also consider these to be important.
- Page Length and Originality - There is some debate when it comes to this. But rule of thumb. Write what you need to write in your own voice. Do this often enough and you won't need to worry at all.
- Keyword Density - Again, this is highly debated. Some say 3% some higher. I say write naturally about the topic you are targeting. Do that enough times and your keywords will fall into place naturally.
- Image Names and Alt Attribute - It is a good idea to name your image using a version of your targeted keyword. The spiders can't see pictures, but using the alt attribute with your keyword on the image tag, tells them what it is. By naming your pictures using your keywords, you may also get some exposure in image search engines. Be sure to watermark with your domain name.
- Page URL - Just like naming your images, we also make sure your keywords are used in the name and address of the page.
- Inter-Page Linking - How you link your pages together with your navigation will not only help the spiders find your content, but will also help your visitors get to the right spot quickly.
Even though you make sure everything is good at the destination, your ranking is still going to be zero. In order to get some oomph you need to rely on off-site methods.