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How to write an optimized page for a particular keyword

May 5, 2011

Search engine marketing is in no way an exact science, and people who pay thousands of dollars to get their perfectly optimized webpage on the 1st page of Google, find out a week later that they are back on page 8. Search engine ranking algorithms are constantly evolving and a well-kept secret. You have to constantly fine-tune your web pages to keep up and maintain you ranking, and choosing the right keywords to optimize your page is probably the single most important factor in SEO. It’s best to hire a web designer that is familiar with SEO techniques and can apply them to your pages during the initial design process, or the webmaster can work closely with an SEO expert during the process.

One of the most important aspects of SEO is using the right keyword density. Keyword density is the percentage of times a keyword or phrase appears on a web page compared to the total number of words on the page. In the context of SEO, keyword density can be used as a factor in determining whether a web page is relevant to a specified keyword or keyword phrase. Keywords are words or search queries that people type in the search engines when looking for information about that subject. Picking the right (relevant) keywords is an art by itself. You have to be clever and pick keywords that are specific and unique, because your ranking depends on it. Otherwise, you will be competing against millions of people who are using the same keyword. Beware of repeating the same keywords many times a practice known as keyword stuffing. This will result in your site getting penalized by the search engines and become labeled as a spam page. Many SEO experts consider the optimum keyword density to be 1 to 3 percent.

In the first part of this article series, I will explain the steps for choosing proper keywords to optimize your web page:

  • Choose one or two keyword to optimize in each webpage. The rest should be synonyms of the key phrases you are optimizing for the search engines. The Search engines do not only look for your keyword but also the keyword popularity, keyword density, as well as on-page placement of keywords.
  • Pick simple words that you would use yourself if looking for a particular item or service. Use keyword phrases instead of words on their own. For instance, if I select ‘shoes’ as one of my keywords, I’d be competing against millions of sites for the top positions. If I focus on a phrase and use ”gold sandals”, I’m only competing against a couple of million. Furthermore, if I specifically target ‘gold sandals under $20’, I’d only have to compete with a few thousand sites, only a few of which will put up a ‘fight’. The competition for focused phrases is much lower, and your chances of success are far greater.
  • Design multiple pages focusing on one keyword. Focus on 3-5 keywords for the entire website. This will help search engine crawlers determine exactly what your site is about.
  • During the web design process, include your keyword in the heading of the each page. This is called H1 tag and is a very critical step and what Google crawlers see when determining what your site is about. H1 tag is universal destination of “main header” or heading number 1 for the page. It is similar to the main heading of a newspaper page. If the main heading of my web page reads “ Gold Sandals Under $20 “, then my page is most likely dedicated to gold sandals that sell for under $20. Search engines figure this is a good place to send their customers to. If you were to look at the source code of the page, you would see < H1 >Gold Sandals Under $20 < /H1 >. This will help search engines index your pages correctly as well as making the site more users friendly. Words placed between H1 tags appear in large fonts. Your visitors will know immediately that they’ve arrived on the page they were looking for because their search term is the same as the main heading of the page.
  • Then continue adding subheadings using the next heading called H2. This is a systematic way of using certain important keywords to make each page visible to search engine crawlers. Browsers display any words within the H2 tags using large fonts but smaller than the main heading; H1.
  • Try to include your relevant keyword phrases at the beginning or end of the paragraphs. This signals the search engine crawlers that this paragraph is related to the keyword.
  • Always use Alternate Text (Alt Tags) for images: Alt tags are text descriptions about an image. You have probably noticed on slow loading pages, some text appears where the images will eventually load. These alternate tags are used in devices for people with disabilities as well as search engine crawlers. Remember, web crawlers are robots and cannot tell (at least not yet) the difference between picture of a cat and picture of gold sandals. They can only see an image through reading its alternate text, so it’s important to include keywords in the alt tags to tell the search engine crawlers what an image is and how to index it.
  • Name your page using your keywords separated by dashes or underlines. In our example the page would be named gold-sandals.html. This is another way to let search engine crawlers know what your page is about.
  • Name your web folders using your categories. In our example, my URL would look something like www.myshoesite.com/shoes/sandals/women/gold-sandals.html. Search engines love hierarchy and structured folders that use keywords.
  • Don’t spam. Don’t try to achieve high ranking fast by cheating and adding in hundreds of repeated keywords and words that don’t pertain to the content of the page. The visitors who land on your page are expecting one thing only to find another, are just going to be turned off and feel tricked and will likely leave immediately. This will result in your site being penalized, marked as spam and placed on the blacklist of search engines.
  • Last but not least, the content or links at the bottom of the page (footer) should be related to the content on the page. Search engine crawlers generally look at the footer of the page to determine what the page is about.

Effective search engine optimization will ultimately dictate how search engines see and index your site. Using the above simple steps to optimize your page for a particular keyword may help you achieve higher ranking in search engines, but there are many other details that one can include in the above processes. To get your page perfectly optimized, consult with and hire an online SEO expert. They usually do not cost much and can relieve you of the daily headaches of handling your own SEO. In my next article I will include more SEO practices that can help your SEO campaign.

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