6/9/2011 3:57 PM
The following are a few recommended practices to optimize your webpages for the search engines. Of course we recommend using a professional firm like Narrow Gate Media for this but for educational purposes we wanted to share these points with our existing and hopefully new clients utilizing our sweet Edit On Site CMS.
A) Write your content for your page first without thinking about SEO. Think about your target market and what you want to communicate to them without worrying about keywords, yet. Since you are an expert in your industry and you know your customers, you will probably end up including keywords (in this stage) without thinking about it.
B) Now identify your target keywords that describe what the page is about. This is where you start thinking about optimization. Identify from your list of target keywords, any that best fit the pages content. If you find more that one keyword describes the page, try and use the one that has the greater search volume. If none of the keywords on your list are appropriate, you may need to do some further keyword research. If so, we recommend the Google AdWords Tool because it makes it quick and easy.
C) Create a Title Tag including the target keywords. This is probably the most important item when doing on-site SEO for the search engines and appears as a clickable link when your listing appears. We would suggest using the format below to make your tag ranks the best while being clickable. Keep it short; Google will not display anything past 69 characters. Primary Keyword | Secondary Keyword | Secondary Keyword | Site Name
D) Create a Meta Description that will convert. This description will not help influence your rankings in the search engines but it is a free ad for the page below your Title Tag on the results page. With that said, you should write copy that entices your audience to click on the link. Keep it short; Google will not display anything past 155 characters.
E) Add an H1 tag that includes the primary keyword target. Your H1 tag will show up as the primary headline on your page for your customers and will help the search engines rank the page appropriately.
F) Change your page copy, include your target keywords. Simply review your page copy and make sure to include the keyword(s) several times. Try and feature the keyword early in the copy and try not to be too aggressive by listing it too many times. You can be penalized for keyword “stuffing” so only include them a couple times on shorter pages and a few more on longer pages, but basically no more than what makes sense.
G) Italicize and Bold the primary keyword on your page copy. Use the primary keyword in bold and in italics at least once. More than once is not helpful unless for readability for your customers.
H) Add an image to the page then add an alt-tag to the image. Get an image that would work well with the copy of the page, place it in the body of the page and then assign an alt-tag to the image that exactly matches the keyword you are targeting. Even though the search engines can not see an image, they can read the alt-tag, so this can help.
There are more On-Site SEO items that we could list here but if you include these, you will probably be doing better than most of your competitors.