September 29, 2009

Write Search Engine Optimized Web Pages


Hostway Team

By Hostway

Writing search engine friendly content for your Web site is easy when you know your goals and have a good set of keywords. All it takes is a little time and planning.

"One of the most important steps in improving your site's ranking in Google search results is to ensure that it contains plenty of rich information that includes relevant keywords, used appropriately, that indicate the subject matter of your content," says Google's Webmaster Help Center Web site.

We’ll assume you already have a list of high-quality keywords that are directly related to the content on each page of your Web site.

Let Your Keywords Lead

The first few words of your headings and paragraphs get the most weight with search engines and are the most likely to catch your reader's eye as he or she skims the page. Using your keywords at the top of the page helps search engines figure out what your page is about and signals to readers that they've reached a page relevant to their search.

Make Each Page Unique

It's so easy to copy and paste good content from one page on to another. But doing that is going to cost you. Search engines penalize duplicate pages because they don't add any value for the reader. Search engines see duplicate pages as a ploy by Web site owners to raise their rankings the easy way.

Aside from your search engine rankings, writing unique content for each Web page helps you reach your goals. Each page should have different content that leads your readers to a certain action. Writing targeted text, rich with specific keywords will help your visitors understand your message and what you're asking them to do. And search engines will reward your efforts.

How Much Is Enough?

Make each page as long as it needs to be. That means you should state your message and provide any information necessary to help visitors understand what you are trying to say and what you're asking them to do (buy now, sign up, request more information). Your pages may be just a few paragraphs, or they may be longer.

But, don't go overboard. Don't include any information that does not relate to the subject. This can cost you credibility with search engines and irritate your visitors.

Getting Started

To help you get started, follow these tips to writing some of the most common pages to any Web site:

  • Home Page—Your text on this page should tell readers what you have to offer them in general terms. Because this is the first page many visitors will see, you should sell yourself in one or two brief paragraphs and invite them to visit other pages of your Web site. This page should be optimized for your high-level keywords.
  • About Us—Tell your story. This page should answer the questions Where have you been? Where are you now? And, where are you going? Keywords may not be as important on this page, but including an About Us section will give you credibility with the search engines and potential customers.
  • Products—Even if this page contains mostly images, you can make it search engine friendly with a headline and introductory paragraph that include your product-specific keywords. Search engines don't read images, but they can read alt tags, so remember to include them whenever you use an image!

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