High search engine ranking - general rules of writing the body copy to achieve high ranking in all the search engines.

Optimizing the body copy

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Now it's time to write the actual body of the page that provides valuable information for human readers and is optimized for high search engine ranking.

Here are strategic places in the page that should include your keywords...

Title tag, Description Meta tag, Keywords Meta tag

For information about optimizing these tags for high search engine ranking, see Meta Tags.

H1 and other header tags

The headlines are more important than the regular body copy for both your human readers and for the search engines. Always include your keywords in the heading tags, preferably as the first words of the heading.

The regular text of the page

Plan to put not less than two hundred words on the page. Don't make the page too long. Sprinkle the keywords throughout the copy more often than your high school teacher would have liked. But your human visitors must not feel that you have deliberately repeated a particular word or phrase throughout the page. Make sure the copy is coherent and compelling. Don't simply repeat your keywords over and over.

Use your keywords at the start, middle, and end of your content. This will emphasize an overall theme on your Web page and will give you a better search engine ranking. Use your keywords more frequently in the opening two paragraphs, and also in the closing paragraph. The first sentence must contain the keyword.

And also sprinkle one or two your most important general keywords, and a common synonyms and variations that has nearly same meaning as your specific keyword. If someone searches with one of these general keywords AND part or all of the specific keyword or its synonym, you'll have a good chance of being found.

In addition to high search engine ranking, make sure that your site is presented attractively in the search results. Some engines don't use the META Description tag in their search results. They will usually use the first few lines of text in the body of your page and display them as the description, so make sure these lines are attractive to humans.

Image ALT tag and name of image

The Alt tags are used as a convenience for those who surf the Web with graphics turned off. The Alt tag text should contain the specific keyword or phrase. Use complete sentences and a different sentence for each tag.

And include your keyword in the image name. For example...
high-search-engine-ranking.gif

Link tags

The page should contain not less than two or three links to other places. A page with one link will trigger the spam penalty in some search engines. Include your keywords in the visible text under the link.

If possible, include your keywords in the text of incoming links (links to your page from other pages). This can lead to a higher search engine ranking for your page. Try to link to other pages which have the keyword in the file names. This can again lead to a higher ranking for your page.

File name

Include your specific keyword in the file name of your html page. Separate the individual words of the keyword by hyphens. This will get you a higher relevancy in some search engines. For example...
high-search-engine-ranking.shtml

The only exception to this, of course, would be your home page. It must be named "index.html," and its specific keyword should be included in the domain name.

Comment tags

While most major search engines will ignore the text within the Comment Tags, some will index the text present within them. This is an opportunity to use the keyword or phrase thereby increasing the density and relevance. As with the alt tags, use complete sentences and a different sentence in each comment.


Here are some general rules of writing the body of the page...

  • Include content on each page, not just graphics and links. Search engines index by content and desperately need words. Pages that are less graphical and more text oriented have better search engine rankings.
  • Avoid items that do not add content to be indexed. These items include banners, counters, cgi, Java or JavaScript.
  • Keep your content focused to a single theme per page. Focus on one specific keyword. Blend in common synonyms for your keyword and some general keywords to cover multi-word searches. Not too much, though, or you'll dilute your most important keyword.
  • Never place the same keywords directly beside each other. A search engine will think you're trying to spam it and you'll get a lower ranking.
  • Try to position your keywords near the beginning of every piece of your HTML... headline, body copy, Alt tags, etc.

See also...

Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization of the entire website.

Meta Tags
Optimizing meta tags for high search engine ranking.

Controlling Web crawlers
How to instruct Web crawlers (search engine spiders) what to do when they visit your site.

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