One of the main reasons why a website appears on a search engine results page for this or that query is relevance (compliance) of the page’s text to the query. It is obvious as the key reason why a user could type this keyword is desire to find a website with the matching content. However, not all pages containing the words from the query in the text are equally interesting to users, and, therefore, are equally ranked by search engines. Further we will study on-page optimization in more detail.
2. Number of keywords on a page
For ensuring relevance of a page’s text to users’ queries it is necessary that the text match the query, i.e. to optimize the webpage text for this query. Matching each keyword with a separate page would surely be a perfect solution. If each keyword is matched with a separate page, the user will definitely find what is appealing to him, and therefore, such page is more likely to be ranked higher in search results for this query. Unfortunately, there isn’t always an opportunity to provide a separate page for each keyword. And sometimes there is no need for that.
Generally, no more than 3-4 various keywords are chosenfor each page. If the number of different-type keywords is bigger it is too difficult to provide information on each of them. However, if the keywords are similar, for example, some words of one query can be found in the other query then their total number on one page can be bigger.
there are the following keywords:
1) «real estate for sale»;
2) «real estate»;
3) «Tehran real estate »;
4) «real estate agency», etc.
These queries can be placed on one page since all of them have a uniting phrase «real estate» and people using them have the same need — they want to find a real estate agency.
3. Text optimization
The first necessary stage of on-page text optimization is placing keywords into a page body. However, one shouldn’t think that placing many keywords in the text means increasing the relevance! Excessive increase of density obstructs understanding of such text and consequently results in sanctions from search engines.
That’s why when optimizing a text for a certain keyword, it is necessary to consider a number of the factors that allow to make the text most relevant without compromising the quality of the text perception.
3.1 Keywords should be placed in the text in various forms and their number should depend on the text volume, i.e. the bigger the text volume, the bigger number of keywords it must contain to be considered relevant to the query.
(For example, we will look at 2 texts containing the keywords «buy a mobile phone»):
- In our online store you can buy a mobile phone by adding the chosen model to the cart. For your convenience you can order a call back and our expert will contact you to complete the order.
- In our online store you can buy a mobile phone by choosing a model from the mobile phones catalogue and adding it to the «Cart». If you require more detailed information on characteristics of the displayed phone models you can order a call back and our expert will contact you.
In this example the second text will be more relevant to the «buy a mobile phone» query in spite of the fact that the meaning of both texts is absolutely identical.
3.2 If the keyword consists of several words then they should be placed as closely as possible to each other. In other words, the type of the keyword in the text of the page should match the query.
Example No. 2 (there are 2 sentences):
- To buy a mobile phone with 4G you should open the items catalogue and add the chosen model to the cart.
- To buy a mobile phone you should choose a suitable model on the website, add it to the cart and pay the order in any way convenient for you.
By typing the «buy a mobile phone» query the user wants to get information specifically on how to purchase a mobile phone, he’s not interested in technical features of 4G mobile phones. So, the search engine will consider the text with the phrase most similar to the query more relevant. In this example it’s text 2.
3.3 Keywords should be placed as closely as possible to the beginning of the text and all page in general.
Example: (two sentences with the same meaning but the wording is different)
- After you’ve registered on our company’s website where we have a sale going on, you can strongbuy a mobile phone using saved bonus points.
- Buying a mobile phone using saved bonus points is available for the users who have registered on the company’s website where this sale is going on.
If we try to define the subject of the page by one sentence, then in the first case the subject of the page can be both the information about the company that sells mobile phones and a way of buying mobile phones. The second case is definitely about how to «buy a mobile phone». Thus, for a search engine the text of the second sentence will be more relevant to the «buy a mobile phone» query than the first one.
It can be explained by the fact that we usually perceive the words located at the beginning of the sentence as more significant. At the same time a lot of people aren’t aware of that but that’s the way it is. A search engine takes it into account. Therefore placing necessary keywords at the beginning of sentences will help users and search engines to understand what is more important on your page.
4. Text formatting
The second stage of optimization includes highlighting of keywords in the text. From user’s point of view text formatting is necessary for highlighting the most important words on the website page. If done properly text formatting can facilitate understanding of the page subject. First of all a search engine is all about the users that’s why it takes this factor into account. There are a lot of types of text formatting: color highlighting, underlining, using demibold and bold etc.
- keyword — visual highlighting with the bold;
- keyword — visual highlighting with the italics.
It is advisable to use tags for highlighting words in the text since these tags allow to highlight not only for users, but for search engines as well.
Keywords shouldn’t be highlighted more than 2 times on a page. It has to do with the fact that it is difficult for a user to read the text, it’s difficult to concentrate on this or that sentence, and a user-friendly search engine must take it into account. Frequent highlighting of keywords can be regarded by a search engine as «search spam».
5. Writing text headers
When writing headers of text paragraphs it is necessary to take keywords into account. These headers help the user to define the subject of the page quickly and to understand its main contents. Therefore placing query words in headers can increase relevance of the document on the query. HTML has specialized tags for highlighting headers that reflect a hierarchical structure of the document:
<h1> — the main header of the page characterizing contents of this page (most important);
<h2> — header of a section of the page (less important, than h1);
<h6> — page subsection header (less important, than h5).
Example: (hierarchical structure of the page with header including «buy a mobile phone» query words)
<h1>buy a mobile phone
<h2>buy Android mobile phone
<h2>buy a mobile phone in online store
<h3>buy a mobile phone online
<h3>buy a mobile phone with discount
It’s not advisable to use <h1> header several times on one page, since a text can have only one main header, and search engines take it into account.
On-page text optimization is not just placing keywords in the text of the document — it’s also providing page visitors with useful and relevant content. Both these factors should be taken into account to provide text relevance and, therefore, high rankings.