Onpage Optimization: What you do affects where you are!

In the last post, we talked about the title and description of your website that should be added to improve your positon in the search engines. In this post we are going to be finishing up our discussion on some on page factors that help you in the search engines. I will devote a later post to talking about factors that can hurt your site, so that this one will be fully devoted to helping.When you look at your site there are a number of things that can be done to help you. First of which is whether or not the keywords that you have selected are listed somewhere in the text. In our discussion of keywords, I suggested that the keywords that you use on your site be related to whatever your site is about. It is even more important that you actuallu USE your main keywords throughout the body of your text. This creates higher relevancy which earn high marks with the search engines. A few other things that you should look at:

Header Tags

If you aren’t familiar with header tags, they aren’t a difficult concept to grasp. When you look at the code of a website, header tags are located in “h” tags. Think of them as preprogrammed font layouts. They contain information such as font size, and weight, to make the font itself stand out. The “h” is usually followed by a number 1-5 (1 being the largest, 5 being the smallest).

The “h1” and “h2” tags I am going to focus on here because the “h1” tag can be thought of as the title for the body of your website. The “h2” tag can be thought of as the subtitle. What you can do here to immensely improve your positioning is to put your main keyword in the “h1” tag while your secondary keyword in the “h2” tag. You don’t have to have it just your main keyword, as the only thing in the tag, but it is helpful if it is solitary.

Keywords in the Text

Also, I mentioned above that is important that your keywords be similar to the content of your site. It’s actually more important that the keyword that you use be in the body of your site. Sprinkling the keywords here and there helps bring you up in the rankings because Google looks at your keywords AND the content, not just the keywords, so in order to make your page more relevant, it’s best to sprinkle away!

Make it Creative

Also, when you look at your text on your page, is there just text that is all the same size and layout, or is there some bolding, and italics? Having different styles to your text, especially the text that relates to the overall theme of the page and thus the keywords, can significantly help you.

It’s just a matter of being creative. Think about those guys that sell some of the make it rich ebooks online (you may not know these guys). These are the guys that show you a lot of reasons why you should buy their “make it rich” ebook online right now. Other than the lengthy advertisement on one very long page and the testimonials that seem to g on and on, they have one thing superior about their site. They jazz it up. You don’t just see one big block of text throughout the length of the site, you see text bolded and highlighted. You see text in all sorts of sizes and colors. Their sites are competitive on the search engines and very easy to get through (even quickly) because of these features. Seems odd enough, doesn’t it?

Alt Tags

You’re probably thinking to yourself (or not), “What is an “alt” tag?” Well , have you ever been searching the internet and you come across a page that for some reason or another the images won’t load. Depending on what browser you use, what you’ll see next to the broken image logo is some text. This text is usually enclosed in an “alt” tag in the image information. The “alt” tag actually serves two purposes. First is the one I just mentioned, the second is when (in Internet Explorer) you scroll over an image that is already loaded, a little yellow box shows up next to the mouse pointer. This text describes the picture and it’s also the same text that would show up if the image didn’t load.

This is a very good place to increase keyword relevancy within your site. Having these alt tags allows you to prove to Google that the image that you’ve placed there does relate to what your site is about. It’s good to try to include one of your keywords in the “alt” tag itself, although it’s better to make sure you don’t try to fill it up with keywords because it tends to have you sandboxed. A good example of this would be if you had an office supply store and the product you were showcasing was some sort of supply. A good “alt” tag entry would be “office supplies: notebooks”. It’s simple, it relates to your site and it includes one of your main keywords. Those are the best kind!

There’s a lot to examine when optimizing your site for the best performance, but if you think about it, optimizing the actual site is a very small part. Optimizing everything that is not on the site is what helps you the most.

In our next lesson, we’ll discuss directory submissions versus search engine submissions. And later, we’ll talk about page ranking and how swapping links with someone can be the biggest help you can get.

Stay tuned and good luck!

John