We have spent plenty of time researching our keywords trying to make sure we have found terms that are relevant for our site, have acceptable level of traffic, have acceptable levels of competition and demonstrate commerciality. Armed with our list, we are now ready to begin writing quality content that search engines will love.
The purpose of this lesson is to provide some details about on-page optimization and then we will turn our attention to the quality of the content.
When you create quality content on your site, there are few elements that are critical for your page. How you address these on-page issues will have a significant impact on how your page will rank. This ‘On-Page Optimization’ is an important step in the process.
The Ideal Page
A highly optimized page is going to be keyword specific and going to adhere to the following:
Title: Arguably the MOST IMPORTANT element for on-page optimization. There is a high correlation between pages that rank in the first postion and the keyword in the title. Higher ranking sites have the keyword as close to the beginning of the title as possible, preferably the first word or phrase.
Meta Description: The meta description is not used for ‘ranking’ by Google, Yahoo! or Bing, but it is a critical place for keyword placement because of the way results are displayed. The meta description is pulled and displayed and the keywords are bold. This has an impact on clicks and appearance of relevancy to potential visitors.
URL: The keyword should be found in the URL and the closer to the domain the better. The URL media317.net/wordpress-consultant would outperform media317.net/services/wordpress-consultant. There also seems to be a preference given to subfolders over subdirectories. The URL media317.net/wordpress-consultant would rank better than wordpress-consultant.media317.net
Keyword Repetition: There is not a hard and fast rule on how frequently you should include your keyword in your content. The general rule of thumb is about 3% – 5%, which means about 3 – 5 times per hundred words. The important point is that is should be natural.
H1 Headlines: The H1 tag should be used around the main headline of your post or page. The keyword should be in the tag.
Alt Attribute: The alt tag appears to carry some high SEO value. It is recommended that your graphics/images/photos have alt attributes with relevant keywords.
Bold/Strong/Italics: Using keywords in bold/strong/italic seems to have some weight with SEO. It helps provide information to spiders as to which terms are important for the page.
Internal Linking: It is recommended that you build internal linkage for your site. Internal inks help push visitors further into the site and help spiders recognize relevant content. Sites with higher internal linkage tends to outrank lower internal linked sites.
The Next Step
Armed with what is required for quality On-Page Optimization, we will now look at what it takes to create quality content. Quality content encourages link building and link building is the holy grail of SEO. You cannot out rank your competition without getting solid back links. We will discuss the factors of content creation that encourages linking and how this effects your SEO ranking.
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This lesson is one in an e-course on the Basics of SEO. It covers the cornerstones of basic SEO.