Optimize Each Page
One of the most important things to understand is that each page is its own unit and has its own ranking potential and its own relevant keywords. Usually a home page has more value than the other pages since it is typically the easiest place to build links to. Home pages should generally be optimized for the most relevant competitive keyword phrases in your market that you feel you would be able to rank for. Interior pages should be optimized for other relevant phrases that relate to the content of each page.
There are many things to optimize on each page. Above we already went through how to choose your keywords, page titles, and meta tags. Within each page, there is also content that can be optimized.
On-the-Page Optimization Only Goes So Far
When optimizing a page for competitive terms, the bulk of the ranking algorithm will be based upon link analysis. Effective link building has no limit to how much it can help your rankings.
Some people think that more is better and more is better and more is better. This is not true with on the page keyword density and some search algorithms may discount artificial links which are created in quick bursts.
The algorithms for grading page copy are based on a bell curve. Some pages will have near perfect term weights and then after some point, added placement of certain words does not make your page any more relevant; in fact, it can make your page become less relevant.
Imagine a page that starts its page title, meta description, first header, first paragraph, and second paragraph all with the same word. Does that sound like natural quality information? Or perhaps more like someone trying to game the relevancy algorithms?
So the point is you have to mix it up some. Sure, make the page title ultra relevant, but don’t forget to use a few subheaders that might not be keyword rich, and don’t forget to use modifiers and related terms in some of your subheaders and throughout the page copy.
Each search engine has its own algorithms, and they do not all align with one another. Thus, the most effective way to improve your rankings on all search engines will be via link building, but proper page structure and on the page optimization does still play an important role in gaining targeted inbound traffic (especially for non-competitive keyword phrases or in search engines that rely heavily on page content).
Text is Important
Almost every page is going to have navigation and design elements. It’s impossible to have just one thing (usability or copywriting or SEO””you need them all). Building a page and a site is a balancing act. For search engines, the portions of the page that matter most, and that you have the most control over, are the text parts.
Some places try SEO so hard that the copy reads like rubbish. Obviously, that is no good. Traffic means nothing if people do not convert.
Use Keywords in Headings
Use keywords in headings and subheadings throughout the page””this heading should capture the person’s attention and tell them they are in the right place. “<H1>Optimize Web Pages – Learn SEO Copywriting</H1>” would be a classic straight SEO approach. You may wish to use something with a call to action as well. That would appear more like “<H1>Learn SEO Copywriting Techniques that Drive Killer Converting Search Engine Traffic</H1>”
Heading tags go from H1 to h3 with the biggest tags being the smallest number (i.e., HI renders the biggest font size). You can change how the text appears using CSS. Typically, think of these headings like you would a heading in a newspaper.
Place Your Keywords Where it Makes Sense
- Place keywords in paragraphs.
- Place keywords in heading tags.
- Place keywords in img alt tags.
- When the word is part of a small statement making a specific point, you may bold it or italicize it.
- You may also want to include your keywords a few times in bulleted lists.
- When possible, place the keywords in links, and don’t forget navigation.
- Don’t focus on just one core keyword over and over again. Mix in many variations.
- The key focus of the page should be on readability. If the page does not make sense to human eyes, then it is no good for a search engine and it will not make sales. You want to use keywords often, but not to the point where it sounds like you are writing for the search engine and not the user.
- When in doubt, ignore the keywords, write your article for people, and then come back to it and make sure you covered all the important topics you wanted to cover.
Using some mixture of terms and phrases is important (i.e., in some spots you want to use terms related to your keywords and not just your keywords) since latent semantic indexing type algorithms may be able to detect unnatural copy which lacks related terms and will score hyper-focused repetitive unnatural text as being less relevant.
If you took your core keyword out of the page copy and replaced it with blanks, would humans to be able to understand what the document was about? If they could, you are in great shape.
There are so many creative ways to mix in your keywords. Again, assuming we wanted to target eat cheddar, we could write the following:
“Cheddar is one of my favorite foods to eat. Cheddar is”¦”
Notice how the keywords overlap and are in different sentences. There are many different ways to get your keywords in the content.
Spread Your Keywords Throughout the Page
Some of the more recent algorithms may have the ability to look for natural language patterns. In natural language, the different words in a keyword phrase will appear spread apart from one another.
To boost your rankings in these algorithms, you will want to use the word eat in some spots and cheddar in other spots. Often your keywords will appear next to each other naturally. Some words like peanut and butter often occur together, but in general all of your occurrences of the keywords should not be together unless that is how they would appear in a newspaper article about your topic.
Keywords at the Top of the Page
Keywords near the top of the page, and before your navigation, may be weighted more heavily and enhance your search engine rankings
Search engines care about the order the content appears in the page code more than on the screen. Reorganizing the text can easily be accomplished by writing a sentence above your branding images or through using a floating DIV or other CSS techniques. When using tables, some people use a blank cell technique to make the search engines see the body content before navigation. If search engines place weighting on where the keywords are on the page, then they most likely use the order of the words in the actual page source code and not the visual display of the pages.
Microsoft did research into visual page segmentation, and Google hired some lead Firefox programmers away from Mozilla. As computer clock cycles get more efficient, if they can improve relevancy by looking closer at how words appear on displayed pages, they will factor that into their algorithms.
Naming File Paths
Usually, you want to use short file names and folder names so that the data is easy to transmit using various means such as e-mail. Long file paths may look a bit spammy to search engine editors or searchers looking through search results.
Generally, you want to use one to a few keywords in each filename or folder. Use lower cased file paths because some directories & content management systems do not handle upper-case filenames. Separate words with a hyphen (-) between each word. If you leave blank spaces it will look weird in the address bar and if you use underscores (_), some search engines will not be able to parse the individual words in each file name.
Some people will be more likely to click relevant looking URLs. Some will cite your web site using the URL as the link text. If you use descriptive URLs, that should help improve your traffic and rankings. If your site is already built and wellindexed, there is probably little reason to change filenames, but if you are making a new site, it is worth the time it takes to use descriptive filenames.