Optimizing HTML Pages
You’ll want to make sure your post is optimized for search engines like Google, so it will show up in search results when people key in search queries that include your keywords and phrases.
Although numerous factors influence how search engines rank pages, on-page optimization is a crucial initial step.
Although it may seem self-evident, the first rule of optimizing a web page for a specific keyword is to use that keyword at least once on the page. It’s quite rare for a page to rank for a term if it doesn’t include the search terms. The general consensus on HTML page optimization is that you should include your keyword in specified areas of the page:
- TITLE tag
- META description tag
- H1 title tag
- H2, H3 tags
- ALT text of at least one IMG tag on the page
The TITLE tag is undoubtedly the most essential tag in SEO, and it can only be 60 characters long, including spaces. It’s a good idea to put your keywords at the start of this tag. One of the reasons it’s a good idea to dedicate a post or page to each term you wish to target, rather than trying to rank a single page for a list of keywords, is the restricted space in the TITLE tag.
This tag’s content isn’t visible on your site’s pages, but it serves as the text for the navigator’s tab and, more significantly for SEO, the link to your page in search engine results.
A post is an HTML page too. Let’s go through the creation of a post, making sure that all the necessary tags and the URL are optimized in the HTML page it produces.
The title of a post will be used to generate your URL (via the permalink) and, by default, your TITLE tag.
The H1 tag in Page Designer should match the Name you gave the post.
The title doesn’t need to correspond exactly to your keyword,. For example, the title for this post could be “Optimizing HTML Pages for Better Google Results.”
As mentioned above you should use your keywords at least once in the text of the post. You can highlight the keyword by setting it to bold, which also makes it easier for people to see as they scan your page for relevant content.
How many words should you write for SEO?
Unfortunately, there is no exact number of words. We suggest a minimum of 300 words, but more important, is the content. Here are a few questions you can ask yourself when writing posts:
- Have you clearly and completely addressed the topic?
- Is your post focused on one key idea? If not, think about separating the key ideas into different posts, so you can really target them.
- If your content concise, or des it contain a lot of filler fluff to increase the word count?
- Have you included your keywords in the text in a way that is natural?
Text that repeats any words or phrases too often may be deemed low quality. What you want to avoid, is “Keyword Stuffing,” using a particular word or phrase too often in a text. Doing so reduces the overall quality of the page.
Keyword stuffing is when you stuff (or are stuffing) a keyword or keywords into text about keyword stuffing just to illustrate keyword stuffing. Stuffing keywords, just to keyword stuff is bad.
H2s, H3s, and so on...
The title of your post will normally become the single H1 (H for Heading) tag of your page. When optimizing pages and posts, it is a good idea to add your keywords to H2 and H3 titles too. You can add those easily in Page Designer. When you drag or click on a Heading widget, you can change the HTML tag in the drop down menu of the left panel.
Titles can be defined as H1, H2, H3, H4, H5 and H6. Typically, these are titles of larger to smaller text size, but they actually represent a structure of titles, sub-titles, sub-sub-titles, etc. You should use a H2 after a H1, a H3 after a H2.
Increasing the font size of non-header text does not have the same effect. You must use headers.
Image ALT text
The ALT text of images is an “alternative text” used instead of images in browsers that can’t or don’t show them – they will show the text in the space where the image should be. Many HTML based emails are loaded without the images, but with the alternative text. Visually impaired users have browsers that read the content of pages and need the ALT text to understand the content of images.
ALT text is also used by Google to understand the content of images. It is therefore good SEO practice to use your keywords in at least one image on your page. Ideally an image that describes the subject of your article.
You can edit the ALT text in the media library. The ALT text will automatically used whenever you use a particular image.
SEO Title and Meta Description
After you have written and saved your article, and preferably before publishing it and making it public, you can check your SEO, and make changes based on the content analysis. To do this, choose your page or post and then click on Edit.
Scroll down to the section titled SEO.
You will see areas for Title, Meta Description, and a Google Snippet Preview.
You can set these fields to automatic values, but it may be worth optimizing them manually at this stage.
Make sure that TITLE tags are under 60 characters and contain your keywords. It is a good idea to add the name of your site to the end of each TITLE tag, but if you have a very long site name, this may be reducing the space for keywords.
You can re-write a Meta Description to include your keywords, but the most important thing about this text is to accurately summarize the page’s contents and make users want to read more. Meta descriptions are shown in the search results after your links. Whereas there is no official limit to the length of the Meta Description text, Google only currently shows the first 160 characters.
Avoid repeating the same Meta Description on all your pages!
Once you have finished the post and your SEO Title and Meta Description tags, you may want to review the content using the Content Analysis feature. Enter your target keywords (separate with commas if you have more than one) and click “Refresh Analysis”.
Red and orange lights will show you points that need attention.
Green lights are things that you are doing well!