Search engine optimization – SEO – helps our pages to show higher up in search results. SEO involves both on-page and off-page actions (such as creating external links pointing to our Web page). In this article, the focus is on the on-page actions.
Identify the search terms searchers use: Your first action should be to identify the particular words and phrases Web searchers use to look for your topic. These words and phrases are known as “keywords” and you have to optimize each page for one or two keywords.
If you optimize for words that searchers do not use, you will receive no visitors through search engines. Your page might be at the top of search results for some obscure words. However, because nobody is searching with those words, the page will not come to anybody’s attention.
Optimize the HTML code: The page you see on your computer screen is created by coding in HTML. This code contains several things that you do not see on the page. When we speak of page-optimization, we are talking about the actions you do with this code.
Some familiarity with HTML is assumed in the discussion below.
Title Tag: From an SEO point of view, the content of HTML title tag is of critical importance. Use your keywords in this tag; but avoid keyword-stuffing in a meaningless manner.
Description Tag: The description tag describes the content of the page, and is typically used in search results along with the title contents. Use keywords in this tag.
Heading Tags: Include your keywords in the h1, h2 and h3 tags.
Body Content: The body content should include keywords in the first paragraph, and keywords and synonyms should be sprinkled in the body copy in a natural way. Use them in the ending paragraph also.
Anchor Text: Anchor text consist of the words you see as clickable links. Include keywords in the anchor text, instead of using generic words like “Click Here”.
Alt Text, Titles: Images can be described through an alt attribute. Use keywords in the alt text. Different code elements can also have title attributes. Use titles wherever possible and include keywords in these titles.
Emphasized Words: Emphasize keyword-containing text in the body, in a natural way, making them bold, italic, etc.
Keywords Tag: You can use the main keywords, and related words, in the keywords tag. Make sure that you use only the words actually used in the body content.
Use SEO-oriented Page Design: Design of the Web page also has significant impact on SEO.
Text Content: Your page should contain a reasonable amount of text. Graphics cannot convey what the page is about to text-based search engines. If your page lacks text content, it might not be indexed under relevant topics.
Code Layout: Keyword rich content should be at the top of the underlying code. Keep long scripts and CSS files in separate external files and include only links to them in the web page code. Move code for footers and other incidental elements to the bottom.
Validate: Use code-validators like http://validator.w3.org/ to ensure that your HTML code is valid. Otherwise, search engines might not be able to crawl it properly.
Page URL: Use a page name that contains relevant keywords.
If you follow the above guidelines, your Web page will be optimized for the keywords you selected. You will now need to create external links from reputable sources to your web page. In today’s competitive Web, numerous high quality links are essential for high search engine visibility.