Content Strategies for Top Search Engine Rankings

If you’re able to capture good-quality, targeted search engine traffic, you’re well on your way to reaching your branding and other marketing objectives. And if you follow the recommendations below, you will likely increase your web-site position in the engines. You may even make it into the top 10 of search result pages.

Today, I’m going to talk about optimizing the content of your pages as part of your search engine optimization strategy.

Distinguish and provide a different “title” for each web page. My two-part series on finding and choosing your best keywords will help you identify exactly which keywords and/or key phrases your target audience might look for on a search engine. Use one keyword or key phrase to write a title for each page. Each title should contain no more than five to seven words total and should begin with one keyword or key phrase.

Example: Say your web site is Office.com, and you deliver dynamic pages. You’ve submitted the site to be spidered, and you’ve identified 40 subpages determined to be indexable by robot search engines. You would have 40 key phrases, one phrase for each subpage. The title tag on each of the 40 pages will be different and will contain one specific key phrase in the title.

The objective is to use each indexable page on your web site as a separate potential page-one listing in an engine. Visitors who find and click on this link will be happy because the page is relevant to their search. You now have 40 opportunities to place 40 different key phrase search results at a higher rank. This gives you increased opportunity to attract the exact audience you want to your web site.

Most IT professionals and web-design staff will make the search engine optimization (SEO) mistake of placing the business name in the title tag or cutting and pasting the same title tag content throughout the entire web site on each subpage. Don’t fall into this trap.

Include the keyword/key phrase in the meta name “description” content tag. The keyword or key phrase used in the title tag should also be included in the description tag. Write a clear description of each subpage in 25 words or fewer, and make it compelling so that whoever reads it will want to visit the page. Do not repeat your key phrase several times; instead, use it with perhaps two other key phrases not included in that subpage’s title tag.

Use your best key phrase for the page in the meta name “keywords” content tag. That is, write one meta name “keywords” content tag for each of the subpages. Although you’re allowed up to 1,000 characters including spaces and commas for your keywords, it’s best to use only one key phrase in this tag, the one you’ve determined to be the best for the page.

Include your key phrase in the first sentence of content on the page. The first sentence a robot search engine identifies when it crawls the page should be the same content as your meta name description. The robot could be looking for a match, and if so, the robot criteria might rank the page higher. This can be the case for one engine but not another.

Often, when it comes to positioning pages, you must send one type of content to one engine and another type of content to another. It’s rare to be able to position one web page high in all engines with the same meta name description because all the engines determine relevancy differently.

What Do You Think About Paid Links?

On many robot engines now, links that have been paid for show up above the fold. This practice allows advertisers to get high rankings and engines to draw in some revenue. Most search engines these days contain both advertorial pages displayed in sections such as “Featured Listings” and “Sponsored Listings” and nonadvertorial pages that aren’t paid for and get listed from spidering.

I’d like to know what readers think about the new advertorial pages that are paid for and whether links to them should be listed above the fold. Please write and tell me if you, as a searcher of information, like having paid advertising dominating your search. Thanks.

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