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The 5 Elements of a Search Engine Optimized Page in 2007

One my favorite attributes of the Internet is that, if you know where to look, you can find tips, a 'how-to' or advice on just about any subject. This is certainly a valuable resource for anyone with...

One my favorite attributes of the Internet is that, if you know where to look, you can find tips, a 'how-to' or advice on just about any subject. This is certainly a valuable resource for anyone with an internet connection, and can work out very well for fairly static subjects like lawn care.

After all, the properties of Kentucky Blue are fairly constant. But what if you walked out your front door one summer morning to a yard full of dead grass, and upon questioning your neighbor about why it died he told you, "You didnít hear? Grass started drinking olive oil yesterday instead of water without telling anyone. Ainít that a stinker?" Now, what if this happened every six months or so?

Such is the landscape of search engine optimization, where the search engines are constantly changing the game, and the advice you find online, dating all the way back to 2005, may no longer be relevant. With that in mind, it is important to update your knowledge base. So here are 2007ís most important elements for a Search Engine Optimized Page:

1.) The Title Tag: An oldie but goodie, the title tag is not only what ultimately gets the user to your site from the SERPs (because it is what the search engines use when linking to your page), but its one of the most important pieces of every search engineís ranking algorithm.

Remember to place only a few closely related keywords inside this tag, and to put your keyword before your company name. Search users are impatient and looking for fast information. Theyíre not looking to be branded. A search user may never even get past your company name in the title if the listing below it catches their eye first.

2.) Keyword Density: Believe it or not, keyword density is still important. You may hear some SEOs tell you that keyword density is dead and they can get your site ranked using links alone. The latter half of this statement is true, the former is not. Think of it this way: Dieting alone can make you lose your gut, but dieting and exercise will get you there twice as quick. The right keyword density will give your pages the same positive result that exercise has on dieting.

Many Search Engine Optimizers will tell you that optimum keyword density is between 3-6%. Thatís true, but difficult to measure (for example: are we taking into account navigational, header and footer text or just the main content?). As a rule of thumb, I try to use the keyword once every other paragraph. That is by no means a hard science, but it works for me.

3.) Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI): Hereís one that wasnít around last year. For those unfamiliar with LSI, it is a way for Google to better determine the relevancy of a page. By using LSI, Google can automatically calculate which terms are used most often along with any given keyword and score pages based upon whether or not those complimentary keywords appear on a page.

By deploying LSI into their algorithm, Google is now able to tell the difference between the animal and the automobile "Jaguar" by identifying words and phrases like "ferocious cat" or "moon roof" on the page with it.

Google can also thwart spammers who are using phrases like "Keyword is the best solution on the market to meet your needs and for more information on keyword, look no further." Spammers could previously mass produce pages with optimum keyword density but without any actual relevance by using templated phrases like these.

4.) Link Text: Onsite and off, the text which appears in a hyperlink pointing to your page is of great importance. Link text or anchor text should contain your keyword or some variation of it for best results.

Obviously, you wonít have control over your link text in every situation. You canít control the way a blogger who finds your site will link to you. However, you can use suggestive language in your press releases or on your pages pointing others in the right direction. If you state on your page that " is a Dog Health Site dedicated toÖ" your linker may use the same "dog health" lingo in their link.

5.) Page Focus: One of the biggest mistakes that SEOs make when optimizing a web page (especially the homepage) is trying to optimize for too much at once. My rule of thumb here is unless the words are all closely related, not only in meaning but in spelling too (like web design company and web designer companies), break them up into separate pages. I try to, at most, use three non-directly related keywords per page.

People are often drawn into optimizing one page, which they have noticed has considerable ranking power, for too many phrases. The draw is obvious, and the intent is to rank for as many keywords as possible. Unfortunately, by attempting to get to number one for too many key phrases, youíll end up getting there for none. In the eyes of the search engines, the focus of your page will be diluted, and a more laser targeted competitor will prevail.

There you have it. These are the most important elements to optimizing a page. The rest is mostly up to original content and link building. If you successfully follow these 5 tips, you will find yourself racing up the SERPs, acquiring more visitors and more impressions, clicks, salesArticle Search, sign-ups or whatever it is that youíre after.

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This article was written by Mike Bradbury. Mike is an SEO Analyst for Objectware Inc, an Atlanta Web Development, Atlanta Search Engine Optimization, and Washington DC Web Design Company.

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