In my last post about Basic On-Site SEO, I talked about what I go over before I even make a website when choosing keywords and choosing a domain name, and I went over the bare minimum you should have between the <head></head> tags of your website, which includes the title and meta tags.
In this post I’m going to continue talking about the basic things I do when it comes to the bare necessities between the <body></body> tags (in other words the actual content!) So I’ll be going over four big things in this post: heading tags, a general overview of what your content should be, internal links, and images.
The Barebones of the Body
1. Heading Tags
There’s three major heading tags: h1, h2, and h3. Your page should have your main keyword in h1 tags and you should have one or two h1 tags on your page. Your h2 tags should be phrases that relate to your keyword, as should your h3 tags be.
Borrowing from the “million dollar bills” example, “million dollar bills” would be in h1 tags somewhere at the top of your page once. “Some of the wackiest million dollar bills online!” might be in an h2 tag further down your page and “You won’t find funnier million dollar bills anywhere else.” might be in an h3 tag later.
I follow this methodology because I have read and come to the conclusion that search engines place emphasis on heading tags, with h1 having the msot importance and h6 having the least importance over heading tags with h2 to h5 in-between h1 and h6.
2. Page Content
Your page’s actual content should have your keyword in it at least a few times and you should have some length of content.
I know that both keyword density and the length of your content is up to debate, but I generally just write while trying to be sensible and coherent while keeping a word count of at least 400 and around 1200 to 2000 words maximum. I then go back, check for keyword density and then try to tweak it so that it’s anywhere between 2% to 9%.
3. Internal Links
Internal links are more important, in my own opinion, than backlinks from other websites when it comes to SEO.
When I write content, I make sure to have at least 1-3 links to other pages using keywords for that content as the anchor text in my paragraphs. I’ve always abided by this because I know from experimentation that search engines tend to value anchor text in paragraphs over anchor text that is just sitting about by itself like in a menu.
4. Images and alt text
There are two things I specifically worry about when it comes to images: (a) I make sure images have a relevant filename (“wacky-obama-million-dollar-bill.jpg”) and (b) I make sure that the alt text is relevant (“Wacky Obama Million Dollar Bill – On Sale for $4.99”).
From my experience, both of these things add to the relevancy of your page’s content in the eyes of search engines. Plus, it helps draw visitors from image search engines! :)
And there it is. Those are all the basic things I worry about. I tried to give just a general overview and checklist, as there are a lot of specific things to worry about depending on if you are trying to rank an actual webpage that you made from scratch, a WordPress blog, or even a forum for a certain keyword.
I hope you’ve been able to make some use of what I do personally!
And as always, comments, questions, and discussion is highly encouraged. :-)