SEO Basics – Create SEO-Friendly Pages
One of the most basic yet important aspects of effective search-engine optimization (also referred to as “Onsite SEO” is creating SEO-optimized pages.
Here is a simply tip to keep in mind as you build SEO-friendly pages – Google does not rank websites – Google ranks Web pages. In other words – when you are thinking about how to build a website that ranks for lots of keywords that drive traffic and sales to your business – you’ll need to SEO optimize each and every page of your website. As a general rule – the more pages you build and optimize – the more keywords you are likely to rank for – and the more traffic and sales that will flow to your business.
LSEO put this page together so that if you choose to “do it yourself” you do it right.
Of course if you need help you can always check out LSEO’s professional SEO services.
Importance of SEO Mobile Friendliness
Before we dive into the process of creating SEO-friendly web pages it is important to note that your website must be mobile-friendly. Most WordPress templates are either free or inexpensive and offer responsive design / mobile friendliness by default. However, mobile friendliness is not an area you can avoid. If you aren’t sure if your website is mobile-friendly you can check out this easy-to-use Google tool to find out.
Just like nearly everything else in regards to SEO, building pages that will be friendly to search engine spiders begins with intense keyword research. Web pages are formatted using text editors, the ever-popular WordPress, or other web development programs.
Choose a File Name
If using a text editor, the name you save the text as is referred to as the filename and is relevant, because it appears in search engine results and can affect ranking. Optimized file names should be relevant, searchable terms that summarize the content. Hyphens, rather than spaces or underscores, are viewed as spaces by the major search engines, which is important to the readability of filenames. However, overuse of hyphens will be viewed as spam and can be detrimental.
For example, a file about European stock exchanges should be titled Europeanstockexchanges.html or European-stock-exchanges.html rather than European_stock_exchange.html.
Optimize Title Tags
SEO-friendly title tags are vital to search engine ranking. The text that appears in the address bar of a web browser of any single page as well as the clickable text links that appear when a search is run are the title tags. For fully optimized title tags, each webpage should have a different descriptive title that includes 50-60 characters with one to two keywords. The optimal length is as many characters will fit in a 512-pixel display, so shoot for 55 characters.
Placement of the keywords as close to the front of the text as possible is best. Keep in mind that while formatting is important for searchability, the title tags have to be appealing to human readers.
To create a Title Tag in the text editor, create a title by typing <TITLE>, writing your chosen title, and finishing with </TITLE> within the <HEAD></HEAD> tags portion. The text of a page linked from another page should have similar text to the title tag of the page it is linked from for increased optimization. WordPress plugins like Yoast make this much easier; you simply fill in your Title that is the title tag. Remember that in WordPress, this Title Tag automatically becomes
Optimize Internal Links
Internal links connect one page to another within a website. They are made by creating hyperlinks that target a page on the same domain as the source page. In the text editor, begin with <A HREF= “, the URL of the page that is to be linked to, and finish with ”>.
To add descriptive text, such as the name of the link, write out the text and follow it with </A>. It is best to use absolute URLs, rather than URLs relative to the page the link is directed from, as it will stay consistent if any other directory changes occur. [URL optimization is discussed further].
Optimize Meta Descriptions
Meta descriptions are the approximately 160 characters of text that appear under the title tag in SEPRs. It is primarily used for additional information to entice perspective visitors and distinguish the website from the others. It is not as important to search engine optimizing as the title tag is, but it is beneficial to include one or two keywords.
To create one, write your description within the confines of <META NAME= “description” CONTENT=”, description tag, then ”> within the <HEAD></HEAD> section.
Create Meta Robot Tags
Meta robots tags are used to tell search engines which pages not to show. These can be used to increase privacy or restrict pages that require special access by preventing search engines from indexing that page (“noindex”) as well as any links from that page (“nofollow”). To restrict a given web page, open that page in the text editor and type <META NAME= “robots” CONTENT= “noindex, nofollow”> within the <HEAD><HEAD/> tags. Typing <META NAME= “robots” CONTENT= “none”> creates the same directive.
Create and Optimize Header Tags
Using header tags, significance can be added to important keywords which emphasize the main topic or topics of a page by emphasizing the text to the readers as well as to search-engine spiders. After locating the text you want emphasized in your text editor, preface it with <H1> and follow it with </H1> (remember Titles in WordPress and other Content Management Systems automatically become H1 tags). Subheaders can be emphasized using <H2></H2> tags. The chosen text should now appear bold when viewed in a web page.
For greater control on the appearance, the header text can be further modified by suing CSS, which is coded as:
Font-size: 12 px;
Font-family: Gill Sans Extrabold, sans-serif;
Color: green; }
This code would make any header text within the <H2></H2> tag be green and have a font size of 12 in the Gill Sans Extrabold font.
Use Text Modifiers
Text modifying tags are used within the body of text to accentuate important keywords and phrases, which helps them to stand out to human readers and search-engine spiders alike. These tags include:
<STRONG> which strongly emphasizes text by making it bold, but also semantically, which differs from <U>, <B>, and <I> which underlines, bolds and italicizes the font, respectively, but are merely presentational. Use of the <STRONG> tag adds only a mild search-engine boost, but helps improve the cumulative optimization.
Images are not innately search-engine friendly. However, as they are important for visitors, there are methods of optimizing visuals that should be considered. Descriptive alt image tags can help spiders navigate the visuals on your page. After the <IMG> tag in the text editor, type ALT=“, the image description, then follow with a closing quotation mark, ”>.
This additional text increases optimization and appears if the image does not load or when the cursor is left over an image, so it is important to take the time to create unique and descriptive alt image tags using important keywords and phrases for each image.
HTML is a computer language, so much like English, it’s difficult to understand when used improperly. Browser incompatibilities, poor structures, and an inability of search-engine spiders to read the content are all possible consequences of misused HTML. The free tool at http://validator.w3.org/ will check webpages and provide suggestions to fix errors.
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