The first step to ranking in search engines is to have a webpage that is optimized with great SEO practices. Building your webpage to be SEO-friendly is an art and that is why we want to provide you with this in-depth look at the anatomy of a perfect SEO page from head to toe. You see what I did there?
The basis of this article centers around being able to rank higher in search engines, and to do that, you have to pick the correct keywords to rank. Using Google’s keyword planner, Moz, SEMrush and other tools to analyze your potential keywords, you can develop a list of long tail keywords that will potentially convert customers and you can use this list to implement into the next steps to a perfect SEO anatomy.
How to Structure Your URL
Let’s start with the “name” of your website, assuming this is a new site. Your domain name should use a variant of your target keywords or use text that is related to the category of business. With that said, a lot of successful businesses do not have keywords related to their business in their main domain name, and this is okay, too. If this is the case, work on making your domain name short and sweet; the shorter the better, as this allows more characters in your URL to show up on the SERPs (search engine results pages).
Here is an example of a URL for a clothing company: www.clothingrocks.com. This is a great URL because it contains the category of their business “clothing.”
After your main URL, the text that follows the “.com/” should be either a category name or a post name. Let’s say you are creating a category page for all different kinds of t-shirt in your clothing company. In this instance, your URL should be http://www.clothingrocks.com/tshirts. Then you want go even further and create a post to showcase a certain type of polka-dot t-shirt you carry. In this case, your URL could be http://www.clothingrocks.com/tshirts/polka-dot-t-shirt.
Next is the “head” of your page. This is where the brains of the operation are. For the true beginners, your header tag is the piece of code between the <head> and the </head> section of your page. Follow these basic suggestions to optimize your head tag, and you will be sure to wow the search engines.
Between the head section tag, you should optimize your title tag (that is the code between the <title>and the </title>).
A good title tag:
- Is between 50-59 characters in length
- Displays your subject
- Includes your keyword
- Mentions your brand name
Why should your title be so short, you ask? Google only shows about 50-60 characters in the results page of a search, and you want your whole title to display properly. This title is also what shows up on browser tabs when your page is displayed and shows up if your page is shared on a social media site, so make it relevant! Many experts say that the closer your keyword is to the front of the title, the more likely you are to rank for that keyword.
The second step in optimizing your header tag is working on your meta description, which should be displayed like this: <meta name=”description” content=”This is where your content will go” />. The meta description provides additional information about your page, a short paragraph and a snapshot to advertise what your page is about for search engines.
Each meta description should be unique, and should focus on getting the user to click on your link to learn more. These descriptions should be between 150-160 characters in length. Unlike title tags, Google has announced that meta descriptions do not determine the rankings in search engines. This description is what will show below your title on important places like search engine results pages and social sharing platforms.
What to Put in Body Tags
It is always important to take good care of your “body” and make sure you are putting all the necessary nutrients it needs in between your <body> tag and your </body> tag for the optimal chance at ranking on the SERPs. The content of your page is one of the most important parts to your ranking success. Remember when forming the content for your page, it should work to be something unique, something that people are interested in learning about and something that people want to link to. There are also various SEO superpowers you can give your body by following content guidelines and techniques.
Use phrase matches and synonyms of your keyword in your content. If your target keyword is “polka dot t-shirt,” you could add variations like:
- polka dot clothing
- polka dot shirt
- polka dot tops
- cool polka dot clothes
- funny polka dot clothes
- blouse, v-neck
- polo shirt
- golf shirt
…and the list goes on and on. Once you have a good list together, sprinkle those terms throughout your body copy along with phrase matches, synonyms and LSI keywords in your H1, H2, H3 tags and image alt tags.
Your page content should target a single searcher’s intent. Keywords throughout your post should be bold or highlighted once per keyword, in your header tags (H1, H2, H3 tags) and your primary keyword should appear in the body of your text naturally and not too often (remember not to keyword stuff).
When placing links in your text, you should link text containing your keywords to relevant pages within your site. Some experts say that the use of keyword anchor text is a risky strategy. That is definitely the case with links between separate sites. However, with inner-page links, keyword-rich anchor text works like a charm. For images within your page, another good practice many experts use is to name their image with very targeted text, preferably something to do with your primary keyword.
Caution! Placing too many keywords within your text will look like spam to readers and search engines. The key is to give your audience valuable information that is organic and contains strategic placing of your primary keywords. Make sure to stay healthy and stay away from unhealthy search marketing techniques.
How to Format Your Footer
Many web experts believe that the footer (the content between the <footer> and the </footer> tags) provides valuable links for search engine optimization, but some of the more prominent SEO experts like Rand Fishkin say otherwise. Links in the footer are devalued, and may devalue your site, so the best possible thing you can do is to avoid many links in your footer and keep it simple. If you are putting links in your footer, make sure they are extremely relevant and useful and that they are not stuffed with keywords.
For those of you who are new to formatting your page for SEO, I hope this guide provided you with the beginning to a strategy that will help you improve your search rankings. For those of you who know the drill and this is not new information to you, I hope that it provided you with a good refresher to what a great web page is all about and what you can do to strengthen your web page.
Let’s all keep our websites strong and healthy and build an online community that strengthens our overall credibility online! Do you have other useful tips? Please provide your comments!