This is from a thread I posted on www.webmasterworld.com in the Supporters section on Nov 29, 2004.
Many people talk about backlinks and anchor text and that it is the most important aspect of SEO for the Google search engine. Don’t get me wrong they are important but on-page SEO is still very important. If you do the on page stuff right you will need much less PR and anchor text.
Here is a list of important factors. I will discuss each one further down. They are not in any particular order. Some people like to order them and give the values of how important they are but I just make a list and do all of them.
- Title Tag
- H tags
- kw early in the content
- kw repetition (I don’t worry about kw density)
- kw in bold, italics, underline
- Content that supports the kw (relevance, themeing)
- Grammatically correct
- Internal linking
I cannot stress how important this tag is. If you don’t have a good title tag you will not get traffic. You want to get your kw in the tag. Some people like to stuff this tag and I can’t say if that is good or bad. I generate a lot of pages that are extremely targeted to one kw phrase so I never worry about it. I would not repeat any word more than twice.
I try to get a H1 tag to be the first thing on a page. I just put the same thing that is in the title. If you are making pages by hand it is good to put more than just the H1 tag. If you generate pages like I do that is much harder to do. It is also good to have H2 and H3 tags further down the page if your content warrants it.
KW early in the content
Try to have your kw’s early in the first sentence but try to keep it at least several words from the beginning of the first sentence. This is very important in optimizing for your Google snippet. Once you see your snippet indexed in Google try to make changes that make it read better. This is going to be part of why people click on your URL.
I would not worry about kw density unless your sites are just pure SE spam. It just does not help that much and is very ugly and hard to read. If you have an adsense sight you will get an email from them asking you to make changes if your kw density is too high. Trust me I got one. Just try to repeat the word several times. Write an article first then go back and add your kw in places where it fits. Don’t just repeat it a bunch of times trying to get 50% kw density or whatever. Don’t buy those programs that tell you use your judgment. KW density plays such a tiny tiny role in rank. Plus it can hurt your conversion. You can rank number one for your term but if everybody leaves your site without doing anything what have you gained.
KW in bold, italics, underline
This is not huge factor but hey how hard is it do this. Just look through your page and randomly add these tags to some of your kw’s.
Content that supports the kw
This is very important these days. You need to write an article then take out your kw’s and ask somebody to read it and see if they can guess what your kw is. Your content needs to match your kw’s. If you are auto generating lots of pages separate your kw’s into categories and write articles for that category. When you are auto generating you can’t be perfect but try to be on topic and not just say “learn more about kw”, “kw’s are great” , I love my “kw”. Write an article and try to keep your pages at least 15% different.
This goes along with the last point. Write a real article about your subject. There is evidence that Google is looking at grammar or will be in the near future.
This is another very important factor. It is one of the most ignored on site SEO tactics out there. It can also help with themeing. If you have one page that you want to rank well write 10 more pages about the same subject but emphasize longer kw’s. Have each of the 11 pages use the same root general kw but come up with 10 more kw phrases using programs like word tracker. On the bottom of each of those pages link to each of the other pages. You can just separate them by commas or pipes. Don’t link a page to itself. So if you have 11 pages there will be 10 links at the bottom of each. This will give you some more kw repetition and internal anchor text. You would be amazed how useful this is. Try not to have too many links. I keep it at 10.
Stemming is where an SE will consider all words that share the same “stem” or root of a word to be similar. So try to use your kw’s different ways. Singular, Plural, add ing, ed, or ly.