Steps for Search Engine Optimization – Placing Keywords

Apr 12 17:32 2006 Partha Bhattacharya Print This Article

Since search engines tend to value your webpage content in a certain manner, it is thus important to have clear idea about where in webpage you must include your chosen keywords. This is necessary so as to convey to search engines the overall importance of your webpage with regard to those keywords.

Experts who deal in SEO (search engine optimization) are of the opinion that in order to rank well in SERPs’ (search engine result pages),Guest Posting each webpage of your site must include 2 to 3 keywords (rather keyphrases) spread ‘evenly’ over the page. This will enable search engines to understand the importance of those keywords vis-à-vis your webpage and list accordingly in SERPs’ when queried for those keywords.

The trick here is how you can ‘evenly’ spread your keywords within your page content without making it too obvious. After all, the purpose of your webpage must usually be to retain your visitor long enough by imparting certain information or knowledge instead of  typical hard-selling of your product or service right away. It is to be acknowledged that viewers who come from search engines are more than likely looking for information rather than deciding on an immediate purchase. The focus therefore will be to ensure that your visitor stays back awhile, so that a sale may result soon.

That being so, it follows that your webpage should be easily readable, yet contain subtle ways to serve your ultimate aim of selling your product or service. This calls for expertise in writing content suitable for your webpage such that a viewer finds sufficient interest to stay tuned to your website, and as a follow-up action, contemplates acquiring your product or service that would serve his need.

Since search engines tend to value your webpage content in a certain manner, it is thus important to have clear idea about where in webpage you must include your chosen keywords. This is necessary so as to convey to search engines the overall importance of your webpage with regard to those keywords.

What search engines want to see?

Well, I am not about to explain complex algorithms of search engines. That, in any case, is beyond the scope of this article. However, from my experience, I have often felt that search engines look at your webpage just as examiners do while correcting an examination paper. Just as examiners expect that the content of your paper must be relevant, to-the-point and well-narrated, so do search engines.

Let us proceed with an example. Let us assume that you are to write an essay on ‘Hurricane Katrina’ to be assimilated in a webpage. For simplicity, let us further assume that ‘Hurricane Katrina’ is a keyphrase you have chosen for your webpage. We will now go step-by-step on how to proceed in order to make your page-content ‘optimized’ for search engines.

The title

Considering that ‘Hurricane Katrina’ is the main topic of your webpage content (and incidentally your keyphrase too), you may select to have the title (that is, the 'title' tag) as ‘Hurricane Katrina creates havoc’, or perhaps ‘Hurricane Katrina brings life to halt’. You may like to be a little more specific with the title ‘Hurricane Katrina rips through New Orleans’. Note that in all these cases, the title is concise and makes the subject of your essay clear at the outset. The second point to note is that the keyphrase is positioned right at the beginning of the title.

Description or synopsis

The meta-description (that is, description meta-tag) of your webpage ought to come right after the title tag. In reality the meta-description is more like a brief statement about the content of your webpage, just as you would write a brief outline or a synopsis if you are to write an essay on the subject. Let the sentence ‘Hurricane Katrina takes everyone by surprise and leaves thousands homeless.’ be our meta-description for the webpage.

There are a few points to take note here. First, the meta-description conveys an intent similar to the title above. Second, we have broadened the subject of discussion. That is to say, the content of the webpage will now deal not only on the surprise-factor of the hurricane as it hit the coastlines, but also the damage it did in its wake. This is necessary because search engines are known to quote from description meta-tag sometimes, and so a little elaboration is always a help.

Third, the keyphrase ‘Hurricane Katrina’ is once again located in the beginning, so that search engines begin to recognize that this keyphrase is indeed important for the page-content. And lastly, it is better that the description ends in a full stop.

At this point, let us ponder awhile. One may argue that the meta-description may not necessarily be one grammatically correct complete sentence. For example, what about ‘Hurricane Katrina taking everyone by surprise, leaving thousands homeless.’, or for that matter, ‘Hurricane Katrina takes everyone by surprise. Thousands left homeless.’. I am inclined to believe that variations such as these are equally feasible, and should not come in the way of search engines’ taking due cognition of page-content.

Body content starts

We now formally enter that part of page-content which is actually seen by your viewers. From now on, the effort will be to make the content eminently readable, which means it should be informative and interesting to read as well. All the while, an unobtrusive focus will remain on ways to include your keyphrase to the extent feasible.

To repeat, the main content must not be simply stitching together some information and throwing in keyphrase here and there. Doing so may hoodwink search engines and who knows you may even manage to get good ranks in search results. But, in the end you gain very little. For the undeniable fact is unless viewers find interest to read your page-content, you may kiss goodbye to your sales.

There are views that the body content must start with an image and an 'alt' tag, to be as close to the 'body' tag as possible. The image could be your logo, or one related to your subject. It may help, but placing an image upfront should be commensurate with the overall get-up of your page-content, and must not appear out of place. In case you place an image, consider using the keyphrase in the beginning of the 'alt' tag.

The heading(s)

As said above, if you pause to think, you will find there is an overwhelming similarity between your page-content and a real-life essay. Thus, after title (same for both) and meta-description (‘synopsis’ for essay), as you start your narration, you do so under a main heading, which for webpage is denoted by 'H1' tag.

Let us select our main heading as ‘Hurricane Katrina causes catastrophic damage’. This more or less repeats what has already been said in the title and meta-description, the only difference being your viewer actually sees this heading on your webpage. Placing keyphrase in the beginning is another opportunity to remind search engines of its importance in page-content.

Later, as you narrate your content, you will most surely need more headings. Depending on whether it is a sub-heading (one notch below main heading) or a sub-sub-heading (one notch below sub-heading) and so on, you will use heading tags like 'H2', 'H3' etc.

The opening content

Remember that meta-description is for the benefit of search engines, it is not visible to viewers on your webpage. We must therefore have some summary of your page-content now, under the main heading. Let us say we write our summary as under:

“Hurricane Katrina was the third most powerful storm of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season, which usually lasts June through November. It formed on August 23, 2005 over the Bahamas in Atlantic, and rapidly transformed into an extremely large storm while traveling over Gulf of Mexico. Hurricane Katrina ultimately hit the land on August 29, 2005 along the coastlines of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

Along with the hurricane came gigantic waves of seawater, severing in the process the levees on the banks of Lake Pontchartrain in New Orleans. This resulted into flooding of about 80% of the city and more in adjoining areas. The force of wind was such that many trees, houses and telegraphic poles were completely uprooted.

Hurricane Katrina will be remembered as the deadliest US hurricane since 1928, as more than 1400 people were killed by it. It is also the costliest storm ever in US history, having caused damages worth $75 billion.”

Now, look at the narration above. First, it briefly touches on how the hurricane started, how it caused damage, and what it left behind in terms of numbers. Second, the narration speaks some facts to stir an interest among readers who may be inclined to know more. The third point is important with regard to optimizing the page-content. Our primary keyphrase ‘Hurricane Katrina’ is mentioned three times in the summary, twice in first paragraph, once in last paragraph. What is more, the keyphrase appears as natural, and not forced at all the three places. Further, we have managed to start the summary with the keyphrase itself.

Moving away from this keyphrase adjustment for a moment, pray look at the summary again. You will notice that it is easily readable and understandable. Yet it also evokes interest. The point to note is that keyphrase consideration must not overtake the necessity of writing good, meaningful content. If in the process, the keyphrase does not find berth more than once or twice, so be it.

The sub-topics

The stage is now set for further elaboration of your webpage content. Aptly therefore, your next step will be to delve into sub-topics of your content. If you recall, we have already touched on this aspect in meta-description, which says ‘Hurricane Katrina takes everyone by surprise and leaves thousands homeless’.

So, the first sub-heading may be something like ‘Hurricane Katrina takes everyone by surprise’ or, to dramatize a little, ‘Hurricane Katrina catches everyone napping’. The narration that will follow hereunder will describe the events in the run-up to Katrina’s forceful arrival and how people reacted thereupon.

Moving on to next sub-topic, let the second sub-heading be ‘Hurricane Katrina leaves thousands homeless’, or perhaps ‘Hurricane Katrina causes widespread devastation’. As you have rightly guessed, the narration here will deal on the aftermath of the hurricane.

Each sub-heading ought to be encased within 'H2' tags. If you will remember, 'H2' tag comes next to 'H1' in terms of importance. Since both sub-headings are proposed to include your keyphrase (that too, in the beginning), this is a good way to signal to search engines the importance of the keyphrase vis-à-vis your page content.

Like in case of opening content, your sub-topic narration must also include the keyphrase, sprinkled here and there, but without appearing too obvious.


Though not always a necessity, a well-written summing-up is more than welcome. Once again, try to think through an examiner’s eye, and you will appreciate that a ‘conclusion’ is not something to be left unattended. What will you write here?

Suppose you have the sub-heading as ‘Lessons from Hurricane Katrina’. May be you choose sub-heading to be ‘Hurricane Katrina teaches lessons’, whereby you again locate your keyphrase right at the beginning. In the narration here, you may very briefly summarize what you have already written above, moving on thereafter to speak on how one may respond to similar catastrophes in future, what steps may be taken to avoid sufferings and misery, and so on.

With this, we come to end of the article. It is hoped viewers will have by now gained a fair idea on how to write keyword-enriched web content that will be liked by search engines.

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Partha Bhattacharya
Partha Bhattacharya

A freelance content writer, Partha Bhattacharya runs WebInfo, a free web marketing resource. Contact Partha at for your next content writing assignment. Get quality writing at reasonable rate.

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