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Monday, February 20, 2006

How To Optimize Your Website: Keyword Placement

Optimizing your website content so it is found easily by Google, Yahoo and MSN doesn't have to cost you anything. In Part 1, I listed some free tools to do keyword research. Now I'm going to show you how to make those keywords work for you. Search engines search text and rely on metatags to come up with the titles and descriptions they list in their search results. Metatags can be seen when you select 'View, Source' in your browser menu. They are found in the head section of the page.

What are the most important metatags?

The main ones are:
title This comes up at the top of your browser and is the first line of your entry on a Google search. This should be short, or the most important aspects should be at the start
description: This comes up as the second part of your Google, Yahoo or MSN listing. Your description should be relevant to the site content
keywords: this is where you put the keywords that you found in Part 1. It is usually best to put a few, relevant keywords, rather than cram in as many as you can type. Search engines usually downgrade you if they perceive that your keywords are not relevant. When I researched my own site, I found that people searching for freelance writers also search for ‘write articles’; those searching for ghostwriters also searched for ‘write your life story’, so I've included those in my metatags.

Where else can I put keywords?

You can also put keywords into
author: put your name and company name here; people will use these to search for you.
alt tags: these are used to give additional information about images. When you hover your mouse over an image the text you sometimes see is contained in the alt tags. You can put keywords in these as well. They are also indexed by search engines.

Example: hover your mouse over the picture on any WritingUp blog. The text you see is in an alt tag.

How do I put keywords into my website content?

So far, so good. Now you need to make those same keywords part of your content (again, avoiding putting too many in an obvious way). Make a list of the keywords you want to use, then start to write your page content, using the most important keywords a couple of times each.

Tip: One of the ways you can make search engines take more notice of these keywords is by using emphasis. Heading tags (h1, h2, h3), strong or b (to make text bold) highlight the parts of the page you think are worth paying attention to and Google, Yahoo and MSN will take notice of them too.

Now you know how to find relevant keywords for SEO and what to do with them once you've got them. In part three, I'll look at another technique for on-page search engine optimisation.

Related posts:

How I Put My Site On Steroids
How To Optimize Your Website: Keyword Research

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