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Utilizing On-Page SEO to Increase Traffic

Oct 15, 2007
The concept of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has been around since 1997 with the rapid adoption of the Internet and its most popular search engines. In the early days of SEO, webmasters inserted keywords in the meta-tags of each HTML page they authored for Internet search engines to index and rank.

Over time, webmasters discovered they could artificially increase a page's rank by inserting irrelevant yet popular keywords into the meta-tags. This abuse forced the search engine companies to adopt new ways to index and rank web pages and to reduce the dependency on the meta-tags inserted into the web pages. Most modern search engines now scan, index, and rank web pages automatically using automated crawlers with sophisticated algorithms.

The search engine companies do not disclose their algorithms in an attempt to curb artificially high page rankings. In order to rank highly in most popular search engines today, webmasters must develop content that incorporates certain SEO techniques to take advantage of these new methods of page rankings.

Keywords are the single most important aspect of on-page SEO for the Internet. Therefore, before writing a single word of content, it is extremely important to develop a list of keywords that potential readers will be use to find the web page. Keyword lists on a variety of topics are easily found online. However, brainstorming keywords based on the subject of the written content can be just as effective.

The importance of picking the right keywords is paramount to producing high-ranking web pages and should not be overlooked. The prominence, order, and density of keywords on the web page are vitally important in how search engines ultimately index and rank web pages. The title of the web page is the most important attribute of the web page and therefore should include one or more keywords.

Next in importance for the use of keywords are any headers or bolded words in the content. Finally, keyword density within the body text should generally be roughly between five to twenty percent depending on the subject matter. Pages that contain keywords that are located close to each other also tend to rank higher.

The next most important factor affecting page rank is the usage of hyper-links within a web page. Links should be relevant to the content and care should be taken to choose relevant keywords to describe the links. The actual length of the hyper-link and filename can also affect the relevancy of the link to the web page.

It is obvious that dead links should not be used, but often overlooked is the need to return to web pages after a certain time has passed to ensure the links still point to their original location.

As essential as the use of keywords and links are, there are penalties for use of "bad" keywords and links. Any vile language or ethnic slurs will definitely have a negative effect on page ranking. The practice of "keyword stuffing" should be avoided as most search engines can detect when keyword density has exceeded a certain threshold for a particular topic. Any links to inappropriate content and excessive use of cross-linking will also severely downgrade page ranking.

When attempting to maximize the amount of traffic to a web page, the importance of a web page's rank within the Internet's top search engines cannot be over-emphasized. While there are many SEO techniques to improve a page ranking, on-page content is certainly the easiest to control.

Through the careful choice and placement of keywords and hyper-links when developing content, a Webmaster can create consistently high-ranking web pages. Care must also be taken to avoid the pitfalls of keyword and hyper-link usage to minimize penalties assessed by most modern complex Internet search engine algorithms.
About the Author
Steve Renner is a well known author and Internet Marketing Expert. Get your FREE Million Dollar Secrets Report at: http://www.steverenner.com
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