Here are 4 of the top search engine optimization techniques used by SEO experts to get their clients’ websites onto the first pages of the search engine results. The tips I discuss in this post are on-page techniques – in other words, they are under your control.
If your keyword phrase doesn’t appear on a web page, it has a snowball’s chance of appearing in the search engine results for that phrase.
1. Write the title of each web page?with the search engines in mind. The page title is the most important on-page SEO element. It tells the search engines what the page is about. The page title should contain the primary keyword or keyword phrase you want people to use to find the page.
The title is generally used by the search engines as the first line of the listing on the results page, so it plays an important part in telling human readers what the page is about as well.
In this example, you can see a search engine listing displaying the title of a blog post. I use a plugin to create the title automatically from the blog post heading.
The plugin (All-In-One SEO Pack) allows me to write a title which is different from the post heading, if necessary – for instance, if I used a very long heading, I could write a shorter version for the page title. This is important because the search engines only display the first 65-70 characters of the page title.
Type untitled page into Google and see how many websites are missing this opportunity.
I see way too many commercial websites where the title is exactly the same on every page – this is another missed opportunity. Every page you add to your website is a new way for visitors to find you, and should have a title which tells the search engines what it’s about.
2. Write a page description?which tells searchers why they should click on your link. The page description is important – not quite as important for the search engines, but it’s usually used for the second and third line of the search engine listing. In the first example above, I’ve used a WordPress plugin to automatically use text from the first paragraph of the article as the description. Ideally, I should have written a short summary of the article.
If you pay no attention to the page description, the search engines will use the first text they find on the page – which might be the menu options or something equally useless.
Here are two examples from large corporate websites:
From a business perspective, the purpose of the description is to persuade searchers to click on your link rather than anyone else’s. You should be looking at it as a piece of ad copy, and write it with that in mind.
3. Descriptive headings also help the search engines.?Headings and sub-heading for articles or blog posts also help the search engines work out what the page is about. These headings are wrapped in the HTML “<H1>” and “<H2>” tags. There should be one and only one H1 heading on each page; there can be as many subheadings as you like.
4. Make sure your keywords appear in the body of the text.
It used to be possible to improve your search engine rank by “keyword stuffing” – repeating the keyword phrases over and over again. Fortunately, the search engines have become more sophisticated over the years, and now they would ignore or penalize a site which tried this.
Of course, your keywords should appear in the text on the page so that the search engines can confirm that the title and heading match the actual topic of the page. It’s suggested that a ‘keyword density’ of around 3% is best. That means that your keyword (or keyword phrase) should appear? 3 times in every 100 words.
It is also useful to highlight the keyword phrase once or twice, by using italics or bold text.
If you pay attention to these 4 tips, you’ll find that your web pages are much more? likely to appear in the search engine results.