Free SEO Course Part Three: Site Content

Following on from Part Two “Keyword Research“. This is Part Three of a series of posts covering search engine marketing techniques in 2007. Together, they’ll form an easy-to-follow guide to some of the best up-to-date resources and advice on the topic.

Site Content

  • Two core criteria will affect rank and exposure in search engines – the content on your site, and the links pointing to your site (see How Search Engines Work). This part of the course will deal with the aspect most within your control: the content on your site.
  • Having decided on your keyword list, write pages based around your keyword terms. One page per term is a good rule of thumb.
  • Write with your audience in mind. Stick to the topic. Repeat your keywords in the title tag, headings, and spread your keyword terms, and semantic variations, throughout the copy. Don’t overdo repetition. Read the copy aloud, and if it sounds odd, you’ve probably overdone it.
  • Add a meta description tag that will entice users to click. The description tag often shows up in search engine result pages, so make sure it will appeal to your target audience. Use your keyword term within the description tag.
  • In the past, SEOs have often talked about keyword density, meta tags, the position of keywords on the page, etc. Much of this information is now redundant, as there are a multitude of other factors that play greater roles in determining rank and exposure. Cover the basics, as outlined in the step above.
  • Use HTML text, where possible. Search engine spiders have limited capability when reading the contents of graphics or flash files. Use a spider simulator to get an idea of how a search engine spider “sees” your site.
  • Focus on the user. Keep in mind what action you want them to take when they land on your page, and direct them towards taking that action. Keep in mind that readers tend to scan web documents, as opposed to reading word-for-word.

Tomorrow: Site structure and internal linking.

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