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Design Trends March 26th, 2010
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SEO Basics – Where To Place Keywords In Your Webpage



Introduction

Where to place keywords You don't need to be a genius trickster to give your website great Search Engine Optimisation. In fact simply playing by the rules is going to get you much further. Google does not like cheaters and if it finds out you've been devious with your SEO campaign it will eventually catch you out and penalise you. SEO is not about BEATING Google, it's about working WITH Google. The best thing you can do for any page on your site with regards to SEO is to follow this tutorial and give it the best possible start for it's climb up to the top of page one. By following these steps you an be sure that when Google finally comes a-visiting everything you want it to see is in all the right places.

The first thing you should do before building your web pages is decide what your target keywords are. Keywords are a selection of words that relate to what each page is about, for example, if your page is all about hairdressing, then your keywords might look something like this: hairdressing, hairdressers, hairstyling, haircuts, hair beauty, etc. These keywords are vital so take some time to research them. When Google indexes your site it will look through all your content and use the words it finds to list your website for searches containing those words. Keyword selection is quite a broad topic that I will touch upon throughout this tutorial, but won't go in to much detail, I will post an article soon covering the subject more thoroughly.

So when you have your list of keywords where are the best places to place them?

Page Titles

We'll start off with the page title, when your site gets listed in Google, this is going to be the heading of your listing. The title is very important, Google will regard the keywords in your title very highly when it indexes your site. Try to have the more vital keywords at or near the beginning of the title and don't make it too long; Google is going to get annoyed if it sees that your title is in fact a 40 word paragraph of crammed-in keyword nonsense. Make the length of your title around 60-75 characters or approximately 6-8 words long.
To add a title to your page put your title inside <title> tags and place it inside the head of the page.

Example: "<title>Your Page Title | SEO Checklist</title>."

URL Of Your Page

It's very important to aim to place keywords in the URL of your page. It's common sense really, if your page is all about gardening equipment then save the page as gardening_equipment.html, not something useless like page3.html. Whatever you name it, make sure that the keywords in the URL match the keywords throughout the content of the page, as Google will certainly be checking for this, it doesn't want to turn up at muscles.com/body_building.html and start reading about the best recipes for a maple syrup walnut cake.

You will also want to make sure that there are highly relevant keywords in your domain name. Domain name purchasing can be highly competitive but try to get a domain name most relevant to what your site is all about. If you sell luxury wedding cakes then the domain name luxury-wedding-cakes.com is going to do you a lot of favours in SEO.

Keyword Density

Keyword density Another important SEO factor is the density of your targeted keywords throughout the content on your page, keep real human visitors in mind foremost and refrain from typing stuffed keyword dense gibberish. Make the content of your page well written and useful, but try and aim to get a 3-7% density for your most targeted keywords, 1-2% for secondary keywords. If your keywords show up three times in every sentence Google is going to get suspicious, and we wouldn't want that. Spend some time getting your content up to scratch and of a good quality, content really is king.

Links/ Anchors

There's no denying nowadays that inbound links (other websites linking to yours) play a huge part in the success of your SEO. Building up links can be tricky and can take a long time, but resist the urge to pursue cheap and quick links on large directories and link farms, they won't help you. Of course it's always a good idea to actively try and provoke the development of inbound links but the best way of gaining inbound links is to provide good, useful content that is clean and easy to read so that people organically link to it.

There will be more on link building in an upcoming article, as it's a vast subject, for now just try to remember to structure your anchors well with relevant keywords, if you are linking to the news section of your site, make your anchor something like this:

<a href="news.html">News</a>.

If you ever have control over links on external sources linking to your website then fill the anchor tag with highly relevant keywords.

H Tags

Use H tags throughout your site, if you have a main heading for a page then wrap it in a <h1> tag, with sub headings wrapped in <h2>, <h3> etc. Google likes these, as they show what you consider to be important headings and titles on your page. It goes without saying, make sure they are keyword rich. Google will also pay attention to bold tags (<b> </b>) as they show emphasis is meant for the words inside.

Alt Tags

Google wants keywords Make sure all your images have alt tags. It's a good idea to name the image file a relevant name as well, image7.jpg helps no-one, but chocolate_milkshake.jpg means something to you and to Google. Google is extremely clever, so clever it's best thought of as an actual person, with opinions, moods and a rational mind that is very hard to fool, but one thing that is still beyond it is looking at images on your site, there is no way that Google is going to know that that picture of a donkey is indeed a donkey, unless you provide an alt tag.

Example: <img src="images/donkey.jpg" alt="donkey" />

Beginning and End of the Page

Another hot tip is that Google is going to regard keywords at the beginning and end of your page more importantly than copy in the middle, don't by any means leave the content in the middle of your pages baron, remember you cater for the human visitor first, but this little fact is worth keeping in mind. I have heard that the first 25% and last 25% of content is considered a little bit more important in Google's eyes.

Meta Tags

Meta tags, at one point this was all the rage in the SEO world. One thing I always keep in mind is that Google's job is trying to separate the good from the useless for it's search listings; if everyone jumps on the same bandwagon it's harder to differentiate sites from each other. This is perhaps what happened in the case of meta tags, a lot of other major search engines still take them into account but Google seems to have gotten bored of them and doesn't really pay much attention nowadays. Having said that, the meta data that is still very important is the description meta. This is where, a lot of the time, Google gets the brief two line description of your page when it lists you, so include it in each page.

Example: <meta name=”description” content=”For over 20 years we have been providing clients in the London area with fantastic services and products...” />

Secondary Keywords

Have a list of secondary keywords as well and include them in the content of your site. An SEO guru once said to me:

Think of the three most important keywords for your site, now forget them, make another list of ten secondary more niche keywords and write them down, it's these that will make you money.

However true this statement is he definitely has a point, the keyword “jewellery” is bound to be completely saturated in the world wide web, with competition for it fierce. But what if more specifically you sold silver butterfly jewellery? You may not be optimising directly to the millions of people searching for “jewellery” but what you are doing is directly optimising for the hundreds of people actively searching for your niche product. This will lead to more focused web traffic and a much higher traffic to sales ratio.

This is the first of many SEO tutorials I will be providing, I hope it helps, watch this space for more advice on link building and more advanced SEO strategies. If you'd like to be the first to be informed when new articles are posted follow us on Twitter. Click here to go to our Twitter page.

Mark

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Your Comments...

Anon rabbit blogger
4 SHABNAM YASMIN

very good topics, thanks for the post

Anon rabbit blogger
3 Nigel

Another great post! As a teacher I can better inform my students when I introduce them to HTML and teach them about SEO.

Anon rabbit blogger
2 Katie J

Thanx! :)

Anon rabbit blogger
1 James

I’m a student studying web design in Wolverhampton and I often hear how meta tags are what makes SEO. I agree that Google doesn’t seem to bother with meta keywords anymore, but I think Bing and Yahoo still take them into account so it’s still worth putting them in.

Good post and I’m loving the new site.



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