By Matt Jackson (c) 2006
Posted on this blog by Afzal Khan
Maintaining and marketing a website can be a difficult task
especially for those who are inexperienced or who have very
little experience. SEO rules are constantly changing and even
then, many SEO professionals disagree on the actual specifics
required to optimize a website. This is in no small part due to
the search engines themselves.
Major search engines like Google are constantly striving to
ensure that sites at the top of their result pages offer
invaluable information or service to their visitors. However,
webmasters who are looking to make quick money while offering
very little quality content are always finding new ways to beat
the search engines at their own game. For this reason, search
engines regularly change the methods they use to determine the
relevancy and importance of your site.
Evolving Search Engines
The first step you should take is to ensure that your website
will do an effective job of turning visitors into money. The
content needs to be optimized so that both search engine
visitors and human visitors both deem it to be a useful website.
Once upon a time, effective optimization entailed cramming
content with as many keywords as possible and while this once
generated good search engine results it invariably put visitors
off. It is also now frowned upon and penalized as being spam by
all of the major search engines.
The Evolution And Improvement Of Algorithms
Search engines use specific algorithms to determine the
relevance of your website. The calculations from these
algorithms determine where on the search engine result pages
your website will appear. In order to keep the unscrupulous
webmasters guessing and ensuring that results are always up to
date, major search engines regularly update their algorithms.
The result of some of the most recent changes has seen the
impetus move away from optimizing websites for search engines
and instead the algorithms are now geared to promote websites
that give true value to visitors. They're not only changing,
they are evolving into more intelligent and accurate algorithms.
While the use of keywords based around the relevant topic is
still important, it is also important to ensure that visitors
are your main priority.
Keyword optimization is now more heavily guarded. Those who
include keywords too often will have their sites labeled as
spam, whereas not enough instances of the appropriate keyword
means you won't receive the desired results. However, the
algorithms have become particularly smart and as well as the
keywords you want to target you should include other relevant
keywords. Including inflexions of keywords is one excellent way
to ensure that your site is deemed to be relevant. Inflexions
are slight changes to your keyword. For example, inflexions of
the keyword "advertising" include advertise, advertised,
Weight is also given to keywords that are included in certain
sections of a page. These sections include the title tag, meta
tags (only relevant to smaller search engines now), header tags,
image alt tags and formatting tags (e.g. keywords in bold or
italicized) of your text. With image alt tags and hyperlink
title tags it is important that you don't simply fill these with
keywords because this will be ignored at best, and penalized at
Natural Content Writing
One of the most effective ways to ensure that your site is
keyword optimized properly is to write the content naturally
first. Once you have done this, go through and ensure that any
relevant keywords are included throughout the text. Only place
them where they would appear naturally and remove them from
anywhere where they appear awkward. Once you've written the
content you should also check the remaining factors to ensure
everything is ok.
SEO Keyword Checklist
Below is a keyword checklist to ensure that you have fully
optimized your web pages to the current, generally accepted
search engine algorithm rules.
URL: Get your primary keyword as close to the beginning
of the URL as possible.
Title Tag: The title should be between 10 and 50
characters and include one or more keywords while still being
Description Meta Tag: The description meta tag should be
insightful and useful but it should also contain one or two of
your more important keywords.
Keyword Meta Tag: It makes sense that you should include
all of your keywords in the keyword meta tag. Do not include any
words that don't appear in the body of your text.
Keyword Density: Your content should be made up of all of
your keywords and other text. A total keyword density (all
keywords) of around 15% to 20% is the maximum you should aim for
and anything less than 5% is unlikely to yield good results.
Density for a single keyword should be between 1% and 7%.
1% seems too low, and 7% a little too high. Wherever possible
aim for approx 5% with the primary keyword and 3% with secondary
and subsequent keywords.
Header Tags (e.g. H1 and H2 tags): More weight is given
to keywords that appear within H1 tags, then H2 tags and so on.
Text Formatting Fonts (e.g. strong, bold and underline):
This may not offer much weight in algorithms, but generally if
you bold the first instance of your keywords and the last
instance of your primary keyword you should see some positive
Beginning Of Text: The closer you can get your keywords
to the beginning of your page content the better. Try to include
your primary keyword within the first sentence or two and also
within the last paragraph.
Key-Phrases As Whole Phrases:If you are targeting Internet
Marketing as a key phrase then do not split the words up if
possible. Some effect is noticed if the words are split, but
much more benefit is received by including the phrase as a
Alt Text: Include your keyword at least once in the Alt tag of
any images. Ensure that the text is relevant to the image and
gives some information.
Posted on this blog by Afzal Khan
Matt Jackson, founder of WebWiseWords (http://www.webwisewords.com),
is a professional copywriter offering a professional service.
Whether your business or your website needs a website content
copyrwriter, an SEO copywriter, a press release copywriter or a
copywriter (http://www.webwisewords.com) for any other purpose
WebWiseWords can craft the words you want.
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