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Writing Search Optimized Web Pages
This article gives you practical and useful advise for designing and editing articles to ensure they maximize your search engine efforts.
One of the most common inquiries and frequently asked questions I receive regarding writing effective internet web pages is about the optimization requirements. Uniquely, web pages require careful forethought and "design with a purpose". Not only do the pages have to sell the product to internet visitors, they also have to be structured in a way that allows the site to be "search engine friendly" and "optimized" to take full advantage of natural search traffic. Having "search engine friendly" web pages increases your potential to move up in natural search traffic rankings. The higher a web site moves up in the search engines the more traffic is driven to a specific site. In the long run, this translates into "free" web traffic for your site, versus a life-time of paid advertising and pay-per-click traffic. What then are the common elements needed that web owners must carefully incorporate into their respective pages? The following are the basic elements: The first and most obvious place to start is to ensure the "Title Tag" contains your most important keyword phrase(s). Ideally, 1-3 keywords should be used. Beyond this number, the density ratio of the overall page becomes diluted. Also, do not put the name of your business in the Title Tag. This is one of the single most common mistakes online marketers make. The focus of the search engines is on the keyword(s) and the products users are searching for. Unless your company is one of the Fortune 500 firms, users most likely will be searching for the product or service you are selling, not the name of the company. The "Description Tag" gives users a brief descriptive overview of what your site or a particular page is about and why users should visit. If you have ever noticed, the first portion of your description tag (approximately 158 characters) is displayed in the search engine results when a user executes a search query. For web site owners, it is a great opportunity to be brief, to the point, and help users quickly find out if your site has what they are looking for. Therefore, you will not waste either their time or yours. The "Headings and Subheadings Tags" should be used sparingly within your web text to highlight important sections or topic areas within the page. Within the text a "H1" heading tag should be used at the top or heading of the web page. And do not forget the use of "H2" or second level heading tags used in the body of the page. Ideally, you should use the heading tags surrounding your keyword text as headings within the page. The "Body Tag" text is the primary reading material of the web page. The text used should match the overall tone, marketing message, and theme of the product. Keywords used in the body of the web page should never be forced or blatantly repeated, just for the sake of increasing the use of the keywords. They should have a natural flow with the content and context of the other text on the page. The "Hyper Links" are incorporated into the web page throughout as needed. Consistently, users like the ability to simply "click" on hyperlinks to take them to an expected destination of interest, rather than a copy/paste or worst case ---having to manually type a url link to follow a desired direction. Likewise, the "Alternate Text" for the hyperlinks are ideal places to include additional words to encourage or direct users. Image "Alternate Text Tags" are not only ideal places for "advertising space" they also are great opportunities for placement of phrases that include keywords for users to see when they hover over the image. Additionally, alt tags provide added benefits from the search engines which give extra credit for additional usage of your keywords within the page. This is hardly a comprehensive list of all the other elements, but at least it gets you started with the fundamental features and components. Additional details and specifics for a full and wide range of search engine topics can be found in "Search Engine Optimization Made Easy", which can be found in the "about" section below. Armed this information, you will be writing web pages that are optimized with customers sales in mind, but also designed for moving your website up the natural search engine rankings as well.