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Thread: Ultimate On-Page SEO Tips (by Webnauts)

  1. #1
    WebProWorld MVP Webnauts's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Ultimate On-Page SEO Tips (by Webnauts)

    I would like to share with you on-page optimization tips which if you will follow you will never regret:

    1. Title tag within the Head tag is used to define the title of a Web page. The content of the Title tag is displayed by browsers on the Title bar located at the top of the browser window. Search engines use the Title tag to provide a link to the site matching the user's query. The text in the Title tag is one of the most important factors influencing search engine ranking algorithms. By populating your most important keywords in the Title tag, you dramatically increase the search engine ranking of the page for those keywords.

    Keep your title short, roughly 10 to 64 characters including spaces, and if that length is not enough, no longer than 70. Google totally ignores every character over 100.

    Including irrelevant words (not found on the page) to your title will weaken the impact on your targeted keywords. Also can trigger some search engines spam filters. Place your most targeted keyword phrases at the beginning of the title.

    -----

    2. Description Meta tag provides a brief description of a Web page. It is important the description clearly descibes the purpose of the page. The importance of the Description tag as an element of the ranking algorithm has decreased significantly over years, but there are still search engines that support this tag. They log descriptions of the indexed pages and often display them with the Title in their results.

    The length of a displayed description varies per search engine. Therefore you should place the most important keywords at the beginning of the first sentence and this will guarantee that both searches and search engines will see the most important information about your that page. But only where possible.

    Keep your description not shorter than 50 characters, and not longer than 149 characters including spaces (Google displays 154, but other SE less). And longer is fully worthless as most search engines do not consider this tag deeply, if not at all anyway. If you really think must be longer, it will be fine, if it is not longer than 200 characters including spaces.

    Be aware that if you are adding there irrelevant words can trigger some search engines spam filters. Take care that the tag is relevant to the page theme. Avoid adding text not found in the visible text of the page.

    To recap, description meta tags are not made for search engines. They are made for humans. So write a text that sales to convert, and achieve the best "Return On Your Search Engine Marketing Campaign Investment.

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    3. Keywords Meta tag lists the words or phrases about the contents of the Web page. This tag provides some additional text for crawler-based search engines. However because of frequent attempts to abuse their system, most search engines ignore this tag. Please note that none of the major crawler-based search engines except Inktomi provide support for the Keywords Meta tag.

    Similar to the description tag, there is a limit in the number of captured characters in Keywords meta tag. Keep the tag to a minimum or 4 and maximum of 8 keywords or keyphrases and separated by comma (,).

    Make sure that the keywords appear at least once in your content (body). If not, the keyword will be considered as irrelevant spam. Avoid repetitions as some search engines can penalize your rankings. Move the most important keywords to the beginning to increase their prominence for engines that still might take this tag into consideration.

    -----

    Heading Tags (H1-H6)

    A header tag is nothing else than a headline.

    You should have a clearly defined <H1> header tag on each page saying to the reader, and to the search engines, "This is the primary subject of this page". Chose the primary search phrase of each page you are targeting.

    It is important the keyword is present in the very first heading tag on the page regardless of its type. If the keyword is also used as a first word, you will raise its prominence.

    There are standard rules for the structure of HTML pages. They are written in a document-like fashion. In a document, you start with the title, then a major heading that usually describes the main purpose of the section. Subheadings highlight the key points of each subsection. Many search engines rank the words found in headings higher than the words found in the text of the document. Some search engines incorporate keywords by looking at all the heading tags on a page.

    Don't try to stuff to stuff your heading tag with many or irrelevant to the page content keywords.

    Having multiple <h1> tags may now actually be subject to a penalty by the search engines, and is seen in the same light as "keyword stuffing".

    You can certainly have multiple headlines appearing on a page, like <h2>,<h3>, e.t.c., for instance for sub-sections. But make sure that they are following a hierarchical order.

    To be specific, the <h1> should be the first heading tag, followed by the <h2>, then the <h3>, and so on.

    -----

    Alt Attributes

    Many webmasters and inexperienced or unethical SEOs abuse the use of this attribute, trying to stuff it with keywords, hoping to achieve a certain keyword density, which is not as relevant for rankings now as it once was.

    Read my tutorial for howto: Alt Attribute & Image Search Engine Optimization - SEO Workers

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    Phrase Elements


    Use the semantical tags <strong> and <em> tags for targeted keywords within the visible content of your pages. But do not overdo it.

    Those tags are alternatives to the <b> and <i> tags which you can use too, but I don't, since they are for visual presentation purposes only.

    ------

    Pages Visible Content

    Content is the food of search engines.

    Try to have a minimum of 200 and no more than 700 words in the visible content area of your pages. Pages with too less content are generally treated as second hand pages, and they go into the unlabeled supplemental results, which cause a PageRank (not ranking) dilute. If you have pages longer than 700 words, it would be better to split into more pages.

    -----

    Broken Links & Correct HTML


    Check for broken links and correct HTML.
    Sure not all errors are critical or can choke the spiders, but if you cannot make the difference, it is an issue to be taken into consideration.

    Free tool to find broken links: Find broken links on your site with Xenu's Link Sleuth (TM)
    Free tool to check your HTML: CSE HTML Validator Lite - FREE HTML Editor and Syntax Checker for Windows

    -----

    URL Canonicalization

    Canonicalization is the process of picking the best url when there are different choices, and it usually refers to the homepage. For example, many people would consider these urls as same:

    Code:
    example.com
    example.com/
    example.com/index.htm
    example.com/index.htm
    example.com/index.asp
    example.com/index.php
    e.t.c
    You can solve the problem with redirects. If you are hosting on Apache you can check here howto: .htaccess files - Ultimate .htaccess Tutorial

    If not, here are some server side scripting solutions: Search Engine Friendly Permanent Redirects - SEO Workers

    ---

    PageRank Sculpting (Siloin) & Robots.txt

    If you did all above, before you start building links you can control the flow of PageRank to boost your most important pages and keep them out of the Supplemental Index. You must take care that the most important web pages like i.e the most lucrative products or services have not been been moved to Google’s supplemental index. Why?

    The pages that show up first for any searches are the ones in the main index. The only time you will see pages from the supplemental index, is if there are not many, or any results for that term in the main index.

    You can achieve that creating and upload a robots.txt file in your root /main) directory.

    Here is an example a robots.txt I created recently for a customer: http://www.gameshop.gr/robots.txt

    ATTENTION!

    Please be careful and do not use that robots.txt for your site. It is just a sample. Every site needs a robots.txt tailored for its own needs.

    Here is a basic robots.txt tutorial provided by Google: Creating a robots.txt file - Webmasters/Site owners Help

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    Secure Pages

    Prevent Search Engines Index your Secure Pages (https). If you are hosting on Apache you can check here howto: Preventing Search Engine Indexing of Secure Pages - SEO Workers

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    Spell Check

    Checking the spelling of the text on your web site is very important; to ensure good content accessibility and readability for your readers, and better crawlability and indexing for search engines.

    -----

    If you follow all the above tips, I hardly believe that you will need an SEO Expert or a so called Guru to do your on-page SEO work.

    If I missed anything, please feel free and add it to this thread.

    Thanks in advance for your contribution and good luck!

    John
    Hidden Content Forensic SEO & Social Semantic Web Consultant | My personal blog Hidden Content

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  3. #2
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    Re: Ultimate On-Page SEO Tips (by Webnauts)

    Hi Webnauts,

    I am sure everyone enjoys your posts which appear time from time and this is not exclusion. I love your professional and scientific approach to the SEO issue. Being an amateur and implementing various technical SEO methods (which I think also is a way to go) I came to the conclusion that it is not so clear and "scientific" when you meet a site number one in Google with one page (practically no info there) and PR=0. On the same page place 2 or 3 another site with huge quality and quantity of info and pr=2. It is a still a question for me also how I was number one in Google with absolutely primitive SEO and after some professional advices my site is on number 3?

    Webnauts, I am sure every one (particularly the newbies as myself) would appreciate if you could explain a bit more how to canonize URL as I've heard it is desirable to have one main page. Please explain a term "If you are hosting on Apache" and how to check it? Also what we should put in .htaccess file in each case?

    Please also clarify more about security of the sites and the steps that we should take for it? If you could but also a code would be wonderful?

    Thanks for your professionalism and good will towards IT community.

    Warmly.

    Michael.

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  5. #3
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    Re: Ultimate On-Page SEO Tips (by Webnauts)

    Oh nice article and me following 50% on ur article .. but regarding robot.txt m not using bcz i thing its telling G not crawl the sites...if left without rob...m eans all pages will crawled m right?

    Also except meta description .. meta tag is usefull.. many says no SE especially G not considering it.. Also my self aded some keyword only in metat tag.. but not come in SERP.. after i put in content then came...

  6. #4
    WebProWorld MVP dharrison's Avatar
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    Re: Ultimate On-Page SEO Tips (by Webnauts)

    Nice one John. Although is meta keywords tag regarded by Google anymore? I would like to hear your views on this.
    Deb Harrison
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    WebProWorld MVP ctabuk's Avatar
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    Re: Ultimate On-Page SEO Tips (by Webnauts)

    There is a theory that indicates that Google is looking at tags - as part of Universal.

    Great post John - Stickied

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    Re: Ultimate On-Page SEO Tips (by Webnauts)

    Those are all of the basics that I learned and your right, I do not regret implementing these guidelines at all.

    I have never heard that a page that has more than 700 words of content should be split into more pages.

    Can someone explain the reasoning for this?

    I usually find it difficult to split an article into two pages because of the keyword phrases that I am focusing on are all interconnected with the article.

    If I split the page, I end up with keyword phrases bleeding into the other posts.

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  10. #7
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    Re: Ultimate On-Page SEO Tips (by Webnauts)

    As always, right on.

    My only suggestion is to maybe give some examples of what constitutes what. How should the keywords appear, commas between the words of course, but do I need spaces? "Body, Jewelry, non piercing" or "body,jewelry,non piercing,rings" for example, or does it really matter? Do the spaces count against the total number of characters?

    Great as usual from a leader in the industry.

    Best always,

    Michael
    Hidden Content - All the pleasure and none of the pain! - Hidden Content

  11. #8
    WebProWorld MVP Webnauts's Avatar
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    Re: Ultimate On-Page SEO Tips (by Webnauts)

    First let me explain about the keywords meta tag. I am certain that for Yahoo there was some value associated with this tag up to a year ago. I did not run any tests to see if that is still valid. But I saw this tutorial of Yahoo Adding META Tags to Store Editor pages - Yahoo! Small Business Help and seems like it was published in January 2008 Internet Archive Wayback Machine

    If you want to be sure, try to test that out yourself.

    My next question is: How about other small search engines beside the big three? In case they weight that tag, why shouldn't I use it?

    What about the web sites internal search scripts? There are many scripts out there that you can use for a site search function, which are supported by that tag.

    Now Google: I know that they will only look to see if words you searched appear in the body area of a document. But won't they look in the meta keywords tag for matching words? To check if you are potential spammer? Can anyone tell for sure that Google does not look at the meta keywords with their PhraseRank Algorithm?

    As I mentioned in my original post:

    Quote Originally Posted by Webnauts
    Make sure that the keywords appear at least once in your content (body). If not, the keyword will be considered as irrelevant spam. Avoid repetitions as some search engines can penalize your rankings. Move the most important keywords to the beginning to increase their prominence for engines that still might take this tag into consideration.
    Therefore, even if the only thing they are good for are internal search relevance, I do not suggest not using them at all, if you can do them right. Otherwise it is better to avoid implementing them.

    Now about how to implement the meta tags keywords, like with or without commas, etc, I use comma and space.

    Here is an article you might should read and make up your mind yourself: Meta Keywords Tag 101: How To “Legally” Hide Words On Your Pages For Search Engines
    Hidden Content Forensic SEO & Social Semantic Web Consultant | My personal blog Hidden Content

  12. #9
    WebProWorld MVP Webnauts's Avatar
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    Re: Ultimate On-Page SEO Tips (by Webnauts)

    Quote Originally Posted by jordy3738 View Post
    I have never heard that a page that has more than 700 words of content should be split into more pages.
    Please go ahead and answer these questions before I go ahead:

    - Are you writing articles for users or for search engines?

    Quote Originally Posted by jordy3738 View Post
    Can someone explain the reasoning for this?

    I usually find it difficult to split an article into two pages because of the keyword phrases that I am focusing on are all interconnected with the article.

    If I split the page, I end up with keyword phrases bleeding into the other posts.
    - Do you do SEO for your entire web site, or just for single pages?
    Hidden Content Forensic SEO & Social Semantic Web Consultant | My personal blog Hidden Content

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  14. #10
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    Re: Ultimate On-Page SEO Tips (by Webnauts)

    Quote Originally Posted by mib View Post
    Hi Webnauts,

    I am sure everyone enjoys your posts which appear time from time and this is not exclusion. I love your professional and scientific approach to the SEO issue.
    Thanks for the kind words.

    Quote Originally Posted by mib View Post
    Being an amateur and implementing various technical SEO methods (which I think also is a way to go) I came to the conclusion that it is not so clear and "scientific" when you meet a site number one in Google with one page (practically no info there) and PR=0. On the same page place 2 or 3 another site with huge quality and quantity of info and pr=2. It is a still a question for me also how I was number one in Google with absolutely primitive SEO and after some professional advices my site is on number 3?
    SEO is not a one time work and then game over. It is an ongoing process!

    Now, ask yourself the following questions:

    1. Your competition is not sleeping. What are you doing to keep up with the competition?
    2. Do you add fresh content to your site?
    3. Do you work on building natural and quality backlinks to your web site?
    4. Do you follow up the algorithm changes of the search engines? Are you up-to-date?
    5. Did you play around and spoiled without knowing the work the professional SEO did for you?
    6. Could it be that the time that did your premitive SEO you did not have more than 30 visitors a month and now you have almost 10 times more?
    7. Can it be that you get almost 10 times more traffic because the professional SEO tried to get traffic for more search terms that never ranked before to help you to achieve the traffic you have now?
    8. How much money did you invest for the professional SEO?

    Quote Originally Posted by mib View Post
    Webnauts, I am sure every one (particularly the newbies as myself) would appreciate if you could explain a bit more how to canonize URL as I've heard it is desirable to have one main page. Please explain a term "If you are hosting on Apache" and how to check it? Also what we should put in .htaccess file in each case?
    I checked you site and the .htaccess rules required are implemented. And since I have no time to work for free for all web sites, I posted above some sites where you can get that info. If you have problems understanding and implementing, then you should hire a professional. Don't you think?

    Quote Originally Posted by mib View Post
    Please also clarify more about security of the sites and the steps that we should take for it? If you could but also a code would be wonderful?
    I avoid posting in the public code for sites security, since I did that once here at WPW, and someone screwed up his site with some other stuff he did and he blamed me and my code, which I use on my web site without any problems.

    If you need there help, I would advise you to hire a professional, since it is a sensitive area.

    Quote Originally Posted by mib View Post
    Thanks for your professionalism and good will towards IT community.

    Warmly.

    Michael.
    You are very welcome.

    You better watch these videos buddy:
    http://www.seowatchblog.com/search-e...ings-dead/246/
    http://www.seowatchblog.com/google-r...-hour-why/115/
    Hidden Content Forensic SEO & Social Semantic Web Consultant | My personal blog Hidden Content

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