If you have launched a website with the goal of making money online, you probably did some reading on the subject of search engine optimization before you got started. At its most basic level, SEO is the act of making sure search engines index your website’s content accurately by making the most important search keywords appear frequently and in prominent locations. Although focusing on keyword density in the body text of your articles is an important part of making sure your content is indexed correctly, there are several additional SEO opportunities that you might be overlooking. If used correctly, these items can help you get an edge against your competition and skyrocket your website’s ranking on search results pages.
When you create a new article using a content management system such as WordPress, the CMS automatically generates a title tag based on the text that you enter in the “Title” field when writing the article. However, you can also add a meta title to the article using the code “<meta name=”title” content=”Your Title”>.” The title tag and meta title of a page are not the same. While the title tag has greater value in terms of SEO and getting a page ranked for its primary keywords, the meta title presents an opportunity for you to get a page ranked for its alternate keywords. For example, suppose your article’s primary keyword phrase is “buy laptop computer.” A good title for this keyword phrase might be “How to Buy a Laptop Computer.” However, some people might use the word “notebook” when searching for this information. Consider adding “How to Buy a Notebook Computer” as the page’s meta title.
Headers serve an important purpose in text composition by breaking paragraphs up and allowing visitors to read content in small chunks rather than large blocks of text. Headers also make it possible to scan an article to quickly locate the information you want. However, headers also serve an important purpose in SEO. Search engines assume that any text used as a header must be important and related to the topic of an article. Therefore, increasing keyword density within an article’s headers can be more important than doing so within the body text. When composing an article, use keywords in H2 headers sparingly; instead of using the article’s main keyword phrase in every header, use it once or twice. The remaining headers can allow you to focus on long-tail versions of the keyword phrase. For example, suppose you are writing a review of a laptop computer. Some appropriate H2 headers might include “Screen Quality,” “Battery Life” and “Benchmark Results.” Content management systems generally allow you to add H2 tags to a header automatically by highlighting the text and selecting “Header 2” on a menu. If you do not have this option, add the HTML code “<h2>” and “</h2>” before and after the header text.
The HTML code for adding an image to an article allows you to add an attribute called the “alt text.” This attribute is intended for text-based descriptions of images. People who are vision-impaired and use text-based Web browsers can use alt text to get an idea of what an image looks like without having the ability to see it. Search engines are the same; a search engine cannot index image data and relies on the title and alt text of an image to determine what it is. You should never neglect to add alt text to images because it adds to your website’s keyword density, makes it possible to find the images in image search engines and makes your website more accessible to visitors with disabilities. A content management system generally gives you a field that you can add alt text to when uploading images. If you are unable to do this, use the HTML code “<img src=”picture.jpg” alt=”image description” />” when adding an image to an article.
In a hyperlink, the anchor text is the colored text – usually blue – that a visitor clicks to navigate to the linked page. The anchor text that you use to link to a page can be used to tell a search engine what the linked page is about. If you use “click here” as the anchor text when creating an internal link from one page to another on your website, you are wasting a valuable SEO opportunity. Instead, use a relevant keyword phrase as the anchor text. This trick can help an article rank higher on search engine results pages for competitive keyword phrases. Anchor text is also an important form of off-site SEO; encourage other webmasters to use your primary keyword phrases as the anchor text when linking to your website.