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10 day SEO Guide to Supercharge your Online Business - Content Optimization

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Written on 12:06 AM by Mrudula

Content Optimization is most important aspect of ranking your website highly on the search enginesThere are aspects of the optimization process that gain and lose importance. Content optimization is no exception to this. Through the many algorithm changes that take place each year, the weight given to the content on your pages rises and falls. Currently incoming links appear to supply greater advantage than well-written and optimized content. So why are we taking an entire article in this series to focus on the content optimization?

The goal for anyone following this series is to build and optimize a website that will rank well on the major search engines and, more difficult and far more important, hold those rankings through changes in the search engine algorithms. While currently having a bunch of incoming links from high PageRank sites will do well for you on Google you must consider what will happen to your rankings when the weight given to incoming links drops, or how your website fares on search engines other than Google that don't place the same emphasis on incoming links.

Special Text

"Special text" (as it is used here) special is any content on your page that is set to stand out from the rest. This includes bold, underlined, colored, highlighted, sizing and italic. This text is given weight higher than standard content and rightfully so. Bold text, for example, is generally used to define sub-headings (see above), or to pull content out on a page to insure the visitor reads it. The same can be said for the other "special text" definitions.

Search engines have thus been programmed to read this as more important than the rest of the content and will give it increased weight. For example, on our homepage we begin the content with "Beanstalk Search Engine Optimization …" and have chosen to bold this text. This serves two purposes. The first is to draw the eye to these words and further reinforce the "brand". The second purpose (and it should always be the second) is to add weight to the "Search Engine Positioning" portion of the name. It effectively does both.

Reread your content and, if appropriate for BOTH visitors and search engines, use special text when it will help draw the eye to important information and also add weight to your keywords. This does not mean that you should bold every instance of your targeted keywords nor does it mean that you should avoid using special text when it does not involve your keywords. Common sense and a reasonable grasp of sales and marketing techniques should be your guide in establishing what should and should not be drawn out with "special text".

Inline Text Links


Inline text links are links added right into text in the verbiage of your content. For example, in this article series I may make reference to past articles in the series. Were I to refer to the article on keyword selection, rather than simply making a reference to it as I just have it might be better to write it as, "Were I to refer to the article on keyword selection rather …"

Like special text this serves two purposes. The first is to give the reader a quick and easy way to find the information you are referring to. The second purpose of this technique is to give added weight to this phrase for the page on which the link is located and also to give weight to the target page.

While this point is debatable, there is a relatively commonly held belief that inline text links are given more weight that a text link which stands alone. If we were to think like a search engine this makes sense. If the link occurs within the content area then chances are it is highly relevant to the content itself and the link should be counted with more strength than a link placed in a footer simply to get a spider through the site.

Like "special text" this should only be employed if it helps the visitor navigate your site. An additional benefit to inline text links is that you can help direct your visitors to the pages you want them on. Rather than simply relying on visitors to use your navigation bar as you are hoping they will, with inline text links you can link to the internal pages you are hoping they will get to such as your services page, or product details.

Keyword Density

For those of you who have never heard the term "keyword density" before, it is the percentage of your total content that is made up of your targeted keywords. There is much debate in forums, SEO chat rooms and the like as to what the "optimal" keyword density might be. Estimates seem to range from 3% to 10%.

While I would be the first to admit that logic dictates that indeed there is an optimal keyword density. Knowing that search engines operate on mathematical formulas implies that this aspect of your website must have some magic number associated with it that will give your content the greatest chance of success.

With this in mind there are three points that you should consider:

   1. You do not work for Google or Yahoo! or any of the other major search engines (and if you do you're not the target audience of this article). You will never know 100% what this "magic number" is.
   2. Even if you did know what the optimal keyword density was today, would you still know it after the next update? Like other aspects of the search engine algorithm, optimal keyword densities change. You will be chasing smoke if you try to constantly have the optimal density and chances are you will hinder your efforts more than help by constantly changing the densities of your site.
   3. The optimal keyword density for one search engine is not the same as it is for another. Chasing the density of one may very well ruin your efforts on another.

So what can you do? Your best bet is to simply place your targeted keyword phrase in your content as often as possible while keeping the content easily readable by a live visitor. Your goal here is not to sell to search engines, it is to sell to people. I have seen sites that have gone so overboard in increasing their keyword density that the content itself reads horribly. If you are simply aware of the phrase that you are targeting while you write your content then chances are you will attain a keyword density somewhere between 3 and 5%. Stay in this range and, provided that the other aspects of the optimization process are in place, you will rank well across many of the search engines.

Also remember when you're looking over your page that when you're reading it the targeted phrase may seem to stand out as it's used more than any other phrase on the page and may even seem like it's a bit too much. Unless you've obviously overdone it (approached the 10% rather than 5% end of the spectrum) it's alright for this phrase to stand out. This is the phrase that the searcher was searching for. When they see it on the page it will be a reminder to them what they are looking for and seeing it a few times will reinforce that you can help them find the information they need to make the right decision.

Lastly 4 things to recheck

1. Include keywords in text
2. Consider 5-20% density of the keywords in text
3. Mind the formatting of the text
4. Add regularly relevant content to site

- Munnu

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1 Comment

  1. Dave Davies, CEO |

    First stealing content is bad.

    Second, leaving the companies name in the stolen article is just stupid.

    The article was written by Dave Davies of Beanstalk Search Engine Optimization, Inc. but I guess there's no question about that. ;)

     

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