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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

On-page optimization is a great place to start your next search engine optimization campaign. Even though off-page optimization is essential for improving your Google rankings, on-page techniques can be used to build a strong SEO foundation and support good results on Yahoo!, MSN, and other major search portals.

Here are a few SEO tips you can use starting immediately to make your site more search engine friendly and begin enhancing overall rankings on all types of search engines. Optimize Your URLs

If you have not yet picked a domain name for your website, do not try to purchase your keyword dot com. Rather, pick a name that will be memorable and is something you want to build your company or brand around. You don't want to limit your options too severely. That said do try to place your main broad keyword into your URL.

Optimize Your Page Title, H1 and H2 Headers

Create a title that is relevant to your site content and which is no more that 60 characters in length. The reason you wan to limit the size of your title is because larger titles cannot be fully displayed on search engine results pages. The reason why the title is so important is because it gives you an opportunity to display your keywords first.

The first headline that appears on your page should include your keywords and be in the form of an H1 tag. The sub text should be presented as an H2 or H3 header. This reinforces the importance of your keywords and indicates prominence oriented around the specific content included on your web page.

Optimize All Your Meta Tags

SEO experts continue to debate the value of meta tags. I can tell you that although meta tags including the title, description, and keywords is less important that it was many years ago, it still plays an important role in optimization.

Today, meta tags are used as a starting point and a reference point for search engine crawlers. You meta tags need to be aligned to your page content and also include your keywords. This creates consistency, something that search engine spiders yearn for. So make sure to fully develop your description and keywords. I suggest limited your keywords to no more than twelve and limiting your description to about 150 words maximum.

Optimize your keyword density for Google

Creating a keyword rich content page is essential but don't get carried away. Your keyword density should be around 3 or 4 percent, no more. Some people believe that you could go as high as six percent for Yahoo! optimization but Google seems to like pages that have a smaller keyword density.

From my perspective you are better off focusing on the placement of your keywords and the type of emphasis you provide. Remember to focus on H1 and H2 tags and place keywords at the beginning, middle, and end of your web page. In addition you should have an instance of each keyword phrase in bold, italics, and underlined. This variety again reinforces the value of your links.

Keyword Variation

The last piece to focus on is keyword variety. Instead of stuffing your page with the same keyword phrases again and again, use some variety. A great way to do this is to add a word or two before your keyword phrase and after it. Creating variety is important because it shows each search engine that your site has a focus but that you are not intentionally trying to improve your ranking.

The most important part of any search engine optimization campaign is to make your site appear natural, present valuable content, and follow on-page optimization best practices. If you use the above suggestions as a guide, you will be well on your way to a fully optimized website.


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