Below is a keyword checklist to ensure that you follow the basic top tips to optimize your pages correctly including existing, main pages and secondary ones so to present them to the search engines in a acceptable manner, generally accepted search engine algorithm rules.
Before you start
Decide on your goals for your SEO effort
Brainstorm a list of potential keywords
Use keyword research tools (link to KW article) to narrow down the keyword list
Choose 1-5 keywords per page
Optimize tags and headings
Keyword in title tag
The title tag must be short (6 or 7 words at most) and the the keyword must be near the beginning.
Keyword in URL
Get your primary keyword as close to the beginning of the URL as possible.
Keyword in Meta tags
It makes sense that you should include all of your keywords in the keyword meta tag. Do not include any words that don’t appear in the body of your text.
Keyword in ALT tags
Include your keyword at least once in the Alt tag of any images. Ensure that the text is relevant to the image and gives some information.
Keyword density in document
3-7 % for major keywords is best, 1-2 for minor. Keyword density of over 10% is suspicious and looks more like keyword stuffing, than a naturally written text.
Keyword in H1 and H2 headings
More weight is given to keywords that appear within H1 tags, then H2 tags and so on.
Keyword in the beginning of document
The closer you can get your keywords to the beginning of your page content the better. Try to include your primary keyword within the first sentence or two and also within the last paragraph.
Having more content (relevant content, which is different from the content on other sites both in wording and topics) is a real boost for your site’s rankings. (300-500 words per page)
Anchor text of inbound links
It is best if you have a keyword in the anchor text but even if you don’t, it is still OK.
Origin of inbound links
Besides the anchor text, it is important if the site that links to you is a reputable one or not. Generally sites with greater Google PR are considered reputable.
Links from similar sites
Having links from similar sites is very, very useful. It indicates that the competition is voting for you and you are popular within your topical community.
Number of backlinks
Generally the more, the better. But the reputation of the sites that link to you is more important than their number. Also important is their anchor text, is there a keyword in it, how old are they, etc.
Another fundamental issue, which that is often neglected. If the site (or separate pages) is inaccessible because of broken links, 404 errors, password-protected areas and other similar reasons, then the site simply can’t be indexed.
It is great to have a complete and up-to-date sitemap, spiders love it, no matter if it is a plain old HTML sitemap or the special Google sitemap format.
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