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July 12, 2007

Search Engine Optimization – On-Page SEO Guide

There are two aspects to the search engine optimization (SEO) of a website: on-page and off-page. This article will give a set of guidelines to follow for on-page seo.

Your website will have one Keyword (or keyword phrase) which is what the website is all about (and often this is the target keyword for the index/main page) and then as many Secondary Keywords as appropriate. You must have a separate page for every Secondary Keyword. Start with 5 Secondary Keywords, then gradually add a new page each week to your website, each focusing on a different Secondary Keyword.

1. Your Title tag must contain your keyword – that is, the keyword that you are targeting that specific page to. Do not include such things as your website name or other irrelevant words such as ‘welcome” in your title tag as this will dilute the value of the tag.

2. You need two sitemaps – an HTML Sitemap for your visitors to use and an XML Sitemap for the search engines. Another article will follow shortly about these two sitemaps specifically.

3. Every page of your website must have relevant, quality content – that is, the content should supply the visitor with the details, the information that brought them to your website. The content should be between and 500 and 800 words. Judicious use of small graphics to break up the text is recommended.

4. Keyword Density – many seo authorities will tell you not to focus on keyword density and they are correct as quality content is more important. However, if your page is selling blue metal bolts, and this is your keyword for that page, if it is not mentioned on the page the search engine will not be able to categorize your page; the keyword needs to be there. More importantly, it needs to be there quite a few times and a recommended density (number of times) is approximately 5%.

On a page, try to use your Keyword 5 times in every 100 words, and also sprinkle through some of your other secondary keywords. On each page, ensure your target keyword is used in these tags: H1, strong, italics and as regular text. Try to use your keyword in the opening paragraph twice, at least once in every paragraph, and as near to the bottom of the page as you can.

5.Every page of your website must have two Meta tags in the Head section – one for your web page description < meta name=”description”…, and one for your web page’s main and secondary keywords < meta name=”keywords”……

6. Every image on your website must have an associated Alt tag, and this tag must describe the image itself and can include content also.

7. Inbound links. One of the many criteria used to rate your website for relevancy is inbound links. These are links from other website to yours. It is important that these other websites use relevant anchor text when linking to you, for example if you are selling Blue Metal Bolts then the ideal anchor text another website would use is “Buy blue metal bolts here”. The ideal links would be embedded in content, for example: “There are many retailer of blue metal bolts but aware that the quality of some producers is questionable”, and within that sentence the ‘blue metal bolts’ would be the anchor text, linked to your website. Your website needs as many inbound links as it can get, and it is the Anchor Text that plays a big part in the search engine assessing the value of the link.

8.Do not try to build a website with many pages in a short time; the search engines see the steady growth of a website (content and number of pages) as good. Focus on providing your visitors with the information they searched for.

9. Your main page does not have to be your landing page – every page on your website is a landing page, for its particular keyword, and every page needs seo focus.

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