On-page optimization is the easiest, most learnable aspect of search engine optimization. But like all "easy" things, we sometimes forget that you can still do them wrong. Easy doesn't always mean simple. Yet, many complex tasks can be made easy with a good process.
Below I've outlined a solid on-page optimization process that you can apply to any web page on your site. Working through this process checklist will make SEO easier but not necessarily simpler; you still have to do the dirty work.
With that information, you need to decide which page to optimize "next." I like to prioritize each of my core terms based on a few factors:
With some sites, certain pages and core terms might be interchangeable. For example the phrases "web marketing" and "internet marketing" could easily be a good fit for the same page. What you want to be sure is that each core term is the best possible fit for any given page. You can do this by analyzing the existing content, looking to see if one fits more naturally than the other. Don't recreate the wheel if you don't have to; find the best fit and move forward.
Not every phrase in this research will be a good one and you'll have to spend some time sorting through what is viable and what isn't. Ultimately, you want to select only a handful of phrases that can be worked into the content. Be careful here. If you don't select phrases that are very tightly tied together, you'll end up pushing your content into too many directions, diluting its focus.
But with any written document, the first draft is rarely the last. After the copywriter is finished, you want to analyze the page from a slightly more technical perspective, touching on several key points:
This is also a good opportunity to review the page for coding issues as well, ensuring there are no potential spidering issues caused from malformed HTML. Streamline the code as much as possible to facilitate faster download times, and ensure the most relevant information loads first.
The SEO is free to tweak whatever is needed to give the page the best chance of moving up in the search engine rankings. They must be careful, however, not to undo the efforts of all the reviews above above.
Each process mentioned above can (and does) have a checklist of its own. Virtually all of the details for actual SEO work has been left out as the purpose here is to focus on the overall process of optimizing a page. I am a firm believer that the process is just as important as the work being done. While it's the details that bring success, the process ensures that no details get overlooked. In this business, overlooking any detail can result in less-than-stellar performance.
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Stoney deGeyter is the President of Pole Position Marketing, a leading search engine optimization and marketing firm helping businesses grow since 1998. Stoney is a frequent speaker at website marketing conferences and has published hundreds of helpful SEO, SEM and small business articles.
If you'd like Stoney deGeyter to speak at your conference, seminar, workshop or provide in-house training to your team, contact him via his site or by phone at 866-685-3374.
Stoney pioneered the concept of Destination Search Engine Marketing which is the driving philosophy of how Pole Position Marketing helps clients expand their online presence and grow their businesses. Stoney is Associate Editor at Search Engine Guide and has written several SEO and SEM e-books including E-Marketing Performance; The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!; Keyword Research and Selection, Destination Search Engine Marketing, and more.
Stoney has five wonderful children and spends his free time reviewing restaurants and other things to do in Canton, Ohio.
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