Simple Steps on Optimizing Web Pages for Search Engines
Posted by Elmer in Randoms on September 02, 2009
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I couldn't think of simpler way of introducing what this blog is about than what you saw in the title. There are many SEO tips around and sometimes, you have to figure out which one is correct, which one is obsolete, which one is works and which one is discouraged by search engines. The more you read, the more you learn but sometimes you get confused too. I hope these tips are self-explanatory and simple enough to understand. Let's use a fictional company name Elmer's Pet Food Supplies as an example. Let's say I sell pet food supply for pet dogs, cats. I also sell vitamins, supplies and accessories.

META TAGS: Title and Meta Description tags
* Page Title: Dog & Cat Food and Pet Vitamin and Supplement Supplies | Elmer's Pet Food Supplies
* Meta Description: Sells pet food, vitamins, accessories and supplies at wholesale prices. Offers free delivery for purchases above HK$250.

Observations:
* Page title and meta description values are filled with keywords that are related to my business.
* Presentation of title and description text is in readable format and not a series of keywords that make it look spammy
* I did not repeat the name of business in Meta description because it's already mentioned in the title; on search engine results it makes good sense.

PAGE URL: Use keyword rich URL formats
* URL for Alpo Chop House Originals Rib Eye Flavor Canned Dog Food product page: www.elmerspetfood.com/products/alpo-chop-house-ribeye-canned-dog-food-32...

Observations:
* I used the keywords found in product name in the URL.
* This is easier to understand and recognize than a URL such as /product.php?id=16544 or even /product.php?id=dog-food
* 3259 is used to create a unique product URL in cases when there are different variations of the product.

HEADER TEXT: Use H1 tag
* <h1>Alpo Chop House Originals Rib Eye Flavor Canned Dog Food</h1>

Observations:
* I want to put emphasis on product name by enclosing text with <h1> tag.
* I don't put extra </h1> <h1>tags within the page to preserve the hierarchical importance of the text enclosed by the tag (product name).

PRODUCT IMAGE: Surround with relevant text
* Use relevant filename such as alpo-ribeye-canned-food-3259.jpg (quite longer than usual but I hope you get what I mean)
* Use caption to describe the image. A safe bet here is the product name as caption
* Use alternate text. Again, a safe bet is the product name

Observations:
 * Search engines can't describe images so we try to do it for them through placement of alt text, surrounding with relevant text, etc.
* A properly optimized image easily appears on results of Google Images or even conventional search engine results page.

BODY TEXT: Mention target keywords

* In the body of the page, I make sure I elaborate about the product, "Alpo Chop House Originals Rib Eye Flavor Canned Dog Food"
* Includes details on price, serving suggestions, nutritional value, free delivery offer and more.
* I place the important keywords towards the beginning of the page content.

Observation:
* It is important to establish the theme of page. In this case we want search engines to recognize it as a desired destination page for pet owners who are looking for product details about this type of Alpo dog food. Hopefully these are simple steps you can easily understand and apply on to your websites. The more we practice them, the more we understand how search engines value content and evaluate pages for search engine ranking.

Photo credit: Unit Gain

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