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  On-Page SEO
  On-page SEO or on-page optimization is one of the most important parts of SEO that has been over shadowed recently by the merits of link-building. On-page optimization is especially important for Yahoo and MSN since they give more weight in their algorithms to a well SEO'ed page.

But, on-page optimization is also important for Google as well. Even though Google may give more weight to the anchor text in the back links, it still needs to understand what a webpage is all about and rank it accordingly. All things being equal, a well optimized webpage will consistently out rank and poorly optimized one in Google.

The main components of on-page SEO are optimization of the title tag, the headline tag, the body text and the meta tags.

Title Tag

The most component in on-page SEO is optimization of the title tag. The search engine give more weight to the title tag than any other component on the page. Recently, I came upon a third party shopping cart vendor whose software was supposed to be SEO-friendly. Hard-coded into their software, however, were commands to put the category name and product name into the title tag automatically with no way to over-ride this. This is very SEO-unfriendly behavior! Your title tag, headline tag, body text and meta tags all need to be optimized for the same keyword phrase and you need complete control over all of these elements for on-page optimization to be optimal.

Headline Tag

The headline tag (<H1> tag) is the second most important component for on-page SEO. The headline tag, which is usually the biggest text on a webpage is given more weight by the search engines because the big text is deemed as more important than the smaller text. Headlines are thought to be more important than subheads or body text. On every optimized page of your website, your headline tag needs to contain your main keyword phrase for that page.

Body Text

The body text (paragraph text) is the third most important component for on-page optimization. Repetition of your main keyword phrase is important as is having more repetitions near the top of the page. Text at the top of the page is assumed by the search engines to be more important than text near the bottom of the page. It is important to note, however, that the search engines have become more contextually-based in the past few years, so it is important to integrate your main keyword phrase into the context and meaning of your sentences and paragraphs so they your readers see your prose and sensible and relevant. Don't write just for the search engines! Write for your visitors first. Remember, the search engines are getting so smart, they are almost like visitors and can detect when sentences, grammar and logic don't make any sense on a page.

Meta Tags

Meta tags are perhaps the last important component when it comes to on-page SEO. Some search engines use them, some don't and some partially use them. The meta tags have been devalued over the years because of abuse, but it is still good operating procedure to optimize the meta tags, since this will help you clarify what your web page is all about and some search engines still use them. With Google constituting about 40-percent of the searches, you want to consider the other search engines while optimizing a page and optimizing the meta tags is one way to do this.

These are the four main areas of on-page SEO that most web pages can benefit from. If you have an image-intensive website such as a photography site, you may with to optimize the names of the images, and the image alt tags as well. As with any webpage it is also good standard practice to name your links and the sub-pages with keyword-rich names. Remember, any method you can use that will help your visitors and the search engine robots know exactly what the theme of your webpage is, will be helping when it comes time to rank a page. Clarity counts when it comes to the search engine rankings!


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