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Page Optimization

Posted by Steve | Posted in SEO - From Scratch | Posted on 12-04-2011

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Optimizing your web pages is the fundamental element of successful Internet marketing.

The process of optimizing your web pages can be a time-consuming process but it will pay big dividends and it’s not tremendously difficult to do. Web page optimization uses what is referred to as on-page factors or on-site factors. On-page factors include filenames, description tags, keyword tags, robot tags, filenames, alt image tags and title tags. We will take a look at these one by one and discuss how to optimize your keywords. There will more specific information in later posts.

Filenames: Every page on your website has a specific name. Because Google ranks pages not websites you should carefully choose a name for each page which reflects the content of the page. Google’s algorithms are clever enough to sense a “disconnect” between the search term and the page title and given that the first thing Google sees (after the domain name) is the page title your page will be ranked downwards if the relevance is not obvious.

Therefore if you sell flowers and one of the kinds of flowers in particular demand are native flowers your page title should reflect that. For example if your domain was www.wesellflowers.com then your native flowers page should be titled www.wesellflowers.com/natives.html or something similar.

Meta Title tags: Title tags are another very important on-page optimization factor. Visitors to your site see this title tag on the browser header and of course the search engines also, in a slightly different way, read this title tag. For both the search engines and the human user the title tag should be descriptive and contain a measure of keywords.

Meta Description Tags: These these are summaries of your page content. These are more important in some search engines and others but in all cases this needs contain a brief but meaningful summary of the web page’s content with a balanced amount of keywords included.

Meta-Keywords Tag: It is true that many search engines actually ignore  the meta keywords tag. This is essentially because the search engines now prefer to focus on the content of the page is which is a more accurate reflection of the relevance to the keywords in the search. However, some search engines still use this in their ranking algorithm so is it is wise to use keyword tags and make them consistent with the meta description tags. In other words, your meta description tags should contain the same keywords are used in your keyword tags. This makes seem obvious but it is often overlooked.

Image tags: Search engines like your site to be easily navigable both by graphical and non-graphical-based browsers. Websites littered with images can be difficult for the search engines to negotiate. In particular the spiders which map out your site will have a very difficult time understanding your page content and the relevance to your meta keywords and meta description tags. Using alt image tags, which are basically text descriptions for each of your pictures,  will give the search engines every chance of understanding the topic of your page.

Meta Robots Tag: Meta robots tags are particularly useful for defining what pages search engine spiders are allowed to visit. Only those pages you define will be indexed by the search engines. Take an example where you have a  specific page which is hidden but still does not require passwords to enter. This may be a thank-you page after payment is made or it may even be the download page. Your meta robots tag will let the search engines know not to index this page and not to send visitors directly to it. You can also define whether the search engines are allowed to follow links on pages to external web sites or web pages.

Bold Text: Bold text ( also underlined and italicized ) is used to emphasize certain relevant information in your text. Search engines look at modified text in context with the rest of the text on your page. Generally speaking your keywords or phrases should be in bold text but, as with all other keyword references in general, you shouldn’t overdo it. Keyword stuffing on your website should be avoided at all costs. More on this in a later post.

Header Tags: Your web pages should be as logically set out as any other formal document. Well written documents contain headings and subheadings and within these headings and subheadings there is relevant and meaningful  content. H1, H2, H3 etc describe a hierarchy of header tags, the most important being the H1 better which is where the main topic of your web page is contained and this is where the search engines would expect to see your keywords. More on this in a later post.

Links: your internal links describes of the search engines the relationship of all the pages on your website. Aside from the ranking algorithm which is impacted by your internal links structure to some degree your internal links should allow both the human visitors and the search engines to easily find all the relevant pages on your website.

At this stage this may all be sounding quite complex. It is complex but in small chunks I am confident your understanding will grow.  Having said that I have always been a big fan of automation. While I am yet to find a program that will actually do the work of optimizing your website there are some very capable applications which will do the actual analyzing of your on page SEO. In my experience you can spend a lot of time trying to understand the complexities of all these elements above. Alternatively, you can use a relatively inexpensive application to do all hard work for you.

Personally, I use SEO Power Suite. This suite include SEO Website Auditor which gives me a snapshot of my on page SEO and tells me exactly how I compare with my competition and exactly what to change to optimize the page.

Research: Take a look at SEO Power Suite

Next Post: Page Optimization In More Detail.

Steve Williamswww.earnyourmoneyonline.com

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