On-page optimization for Google
Onpage optimization is about what you con do within your webpage that will boost its ranking within Google (and for that matter, other search engines as well). So far, I have covered how off-page optimization. Those are improvement you can make outside
your website. Between off-page and on-page optimization, the more important is off-page optimization, which is why I covered it first, in the article "How to Boose the Popularity of Your Website"
. It is the biggest priority that you get it right. Nevertheless, you should not disregard onpage optimization entirely, because pages that are badly built will be ignored by Google spiders as well.
Add a Title to Your Webpage
You cannot imagine it, but a lot of people do not title their pages. Some do not even know where the title is located. Let me show you where your title appear:
What to put in your title? Keywords. If your page is about "orchid growing", then "orchid growing" is your keyword. You may have more than one, such as "orchid growing", "healthy orchid growing", "growing orchid hybrids", etc. Consider for a moment what people will be looking for in order to find your page, and place the keyword that is their most likely search on the title.
Keep your title short. The fewer words you use on your title, the more weight Google places on each of the words you use there. Do not stuff your title will all the words you can think of, and don't string all your keywords to the title for the benefit of the search engine. Always write for humans, not for machines.
Wrong way to title: Orchid growing, healthy orchid growing, growing orchid hybrids
Right way to title: Growing healthy orchid hybrids
The trick is to write a title that incorporates the various combination of keywords in your list. Make full use of all the keywords and optimize the title by economizing its length.
If you are not sure where to add your title, look in the source code of your page. It appears here. <title></title>
So insert your title into it, like this: <title>Growing healthy orchid hybrids</title>
Use the <h1> header tag
Google believes that a well-written page should have headers that are accurately labeled. Instead of filling your whole page with body copy of the same size and weight, optimize specific keywords into the headers. The most important header tag is <h1>. It provides you the biggest size, followed by <h2>, <h3> and so on. Make sure your keywords appear in <h1>. When Google's spider pick up the keywords in the <h1> header tag, it immediately recognize it as the most important words of the page. Like in the title, try to be economical with words, and use as few words as possible on your <h1> header tag, but make sure they are the words you want Google to find.
After the <h1> header tag, use also a few <h2> header tags for your secondary keywords. These are the second most important words to appear on your webpage, and acts as a support to the main keywords.
Having covered the title, main header tag and secondary header tag, ensure that your keywords appear within the bodytext of your page as well. Don't overdo it - I will cover this in greater detail in the next chapter, on keyword density - but suffice to say you want the keywords to appear regularly, but in a natural way throughout the page. You can also use the <h3>, <h4> header tags, but they have lesser weight than <h1> and <h2>.
Format your text (bold, italics, underline)
Believe it or now, whatever you do to your text affects how Google reads it. If you bold, italicize or underline specific words within the texts, Google will regard those as more important. Do not bold/italicize/underline the entire text! Be sparing, format specific words according to the additional emphasis you want to place on those keywords. Do not bold your keyword each time it appears. As a general rule, do it only once per keyword when it appears. Again, you are writing for humans to read, not for machines, but you bear in mind what the machines want.
Ensure your images are properly labelled
When I say properly labeling your images, I am not talking about proper captions. Rather, I am refering to <alt> and <title>. What's the difference between the two? The <a1t> tag provides an alternative description of the image. In case it doesn't load properly, your reader will be able to see a text in its place. You can the text appearing there to be a meaningful description of the image. The <title> tag provides the image title that appears when you hover your cursor over it. By right, the <alt> tag should not
show image title, however web browsers such as Internet Explorer is fashioned to show the text of <alt>. The right image title tag is <title>. Within each image, place both the <alt> and <title> tags.
Arrange Your Page
Make sure your important keywords and <h1> tag appear as far to the top of your page as possible. Do not bury your <h1> right down to the bottom of the page. The closer it is to the top, the more weight Google gives to it. If you use a table to format your page, make sure your main header is located right at the top, like this:
By taking the steps as listed above, you will give your page an edge over those built by people without a clue of how to optimize their pages for the search engines. Of course, there are times when those people get lucky out of nothing they did. For example, if their page is on an important subject and they happen to get another page of a high PageRank linked to them, they will still be able to have a better ranking than yours, even though they hardly do any onpage optimization of their website. As I have mentioned, offpage optimization gets more weight with Google than onpage optmization, but still you should not disregard onpage optimization all together. The main thing is, do what you can to get links to your website, and at the same time, ensure you follow all the rules of onpage optimization to make your website the best that you can deliver.
In our next article, we will look at keyword density. That is about how often you can repeat the keywords on your page without going overboard. All lessons are provided free with no password protection.
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