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What is SEO (Search Engine Optimization)?
SEO is improving the volume and quality of traffic to a web site or page from the search engines using natural organic and algorithmic search results (SERPs).

SEO is actually a component of SEM (Search Engine Marketing). Which encompasses many avenues with which to promote a web site or page.
If you have come here looking for SEO help, you have found a blog that can help you. There is much information here to be held and please feel free to comment anytime...Even with a question.

July 16, 2007

Meta Title and Description Optimization

I don't know why I waited so long to write this. When I am asked to look at under performing pages for people, nearly every time they will have poorly optimized, formatted or missing title and description tags. So lets do this.

First of all clear your mind...get rid of the old school thoughts.

Keywords are like hooks that you fish with. The more you have the better you fish, but you won't catch a single thing with an empty hook. Way back when, people would sit back and say "I want to sell thingamajigs" , and they would use a keyword tag with 7000 keywords and misspelled version of keywords in an effort to "catch" every search related to "thingamajigs". That used to work.....not anymore. Now the engines spider the entire page content, not just the tags and links. So a new era is born, link baiting and organic SEO. Are you ready?

I am going to tell you this and I am quite sure many of you will dispel this and not even try it, but you will eventually have NO choice...even as we are already nearly that point with contextual search. The first thing to understand is that your title and description tags can arguably be the most important factors on your pages. They accomplish so much. The engines use them in they results the display to consumers, the contain keywords(hopefully), they tell a concise story about relevant to the text of your page. You notice I said "relevant"...tags that are not relevant to the page's text are ZERO % effective. Food for though in Search Ranking Factors V2 the Expert Contributors rated keyword use in title tag 4.9 out of 5 important, 3.4 for Relationship of Body Text Content to Keywords, and 2.0 for use of keywords in description tag. That is a hell of a lot of POP!

I think this is the best way to achieve organic keyword discovery.....

Step 1- Without stuffing, naturally write you page with a rich, abundant amount of text.

Step 2- Spell check the page.

Step 3- Crawl the page using a density scanner for the most dense words. Ideally you are looking for 10 words, so set the tool to search for 50. Uncheck include Meta, Alts, and Title. You can leave numerals in, keywords can be numbers also is its appropriate. For this application set it for 1 word combinations, we will create our own phrases.

Step 4- Now you should have a list of dense words. I usually copy this into notepad by copy and paste. Then I can eliminate common words whole lines at a time. So eliminate all the common word..if, then, the, etc.

Step 5- Now take the list you have left and weighing the words density versus the direction you are trying to go with the site choose 10. If there is a word you really wan to use that is not very dense, we will fix that in a minute.

Step 6- Pumping up the relevancy. The keyword density score we are shooting for is 10%. Now before you get back to the text, add "alt" descriptions to all your images using keywords...naturally not stuffed and stupid sounding. Then lets check the density again and see where we stand. When you scan this time set it up the same, except include "alts". If you haven't reached 10% for at least 5 and over 7% for the other 5 the get back to the text of the document and look for opportunities to use those words naturally. When I look over pages, very often I see folks have tried to use keywords but have used plural instead of singular...and that doesn't count...for example. Or they might be typing along and type box instead of the keyword tinbox. Look for these opportunities. Avoid hyphens like this (did-not) that is read as not only a misspelling but no keyword action...the hyphen is touching the words, its read by the spider as one word.

Step 7- Title Tag. 50-75 Characters of Natural text containing at least 3 keywords. Avoid commas, and stop words like if, and, or. If you need to break it use a vertical line. On you PC push start run, type in charmap....this brings up the extra Windows characters, just select the vertical line and hit copy, paste it in. Sorry Mac and Vista users, I don't know how you guys get it.

Step 8- Description Tag. Should be 25 to 30 words or less, but no more than 160 to 180 characters. In this tag depending on how long you make it you should aim for approximately 9 or 10 keywords. Again this is not a list, use natural writing.

Step 9- Keyword Tag. I use a keyword tag. Many in the industry say you don't need them anymore. I use one for 2 distinct reason, it helps me recall my keywords at a glance, and some smaller directories and engines still use them...and I like links!

Step 10- Lets check the relevancy of your new tags! This tool will score them based on relevancy. You can play around with the settings later, for now leave it default.

Title: Personally I think nothing short of 100% is appropriate here.
Description: Shoot for at least 90%.
Keywords: Shoot be 100% if you used them and you followed the directions.
It also lets you know if there are any errors in your tags!

Now You're Fishing With Bait!

As always comments are appreciated and if relevant and helpful they will result in an edited post with credit and link given for the commenter.

Peace and SEO


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