Many thanks to our friends at Knightrate for providing us with this guide in which you'll learn how to write content around a specific keyword phrase.
There are 5 elements of a web page that search engines typically look at when they are trying to determine what your page is about:
Page title, headline, meta description, URL, and body text.
Always write the content around a keyword rather than adding a keyword into some existing content. Make it as natural as possible and never try to add a keyword in just for the sake of it.
The page title, which is visible in the browser window or tab and the blue link in the search engines is one of the primary indicators of what a page is about. It is limited to 55 characters, so anything longer than this will be cut off. It's located in the <head></head> html tag of a web page in the <title></title> tags.
When incorporating the keyword, it's important where it's placed. The closer to the beginning of the element it is, the more relevance "weight" it has.
Keyword: Healthy Diet
Bad Title: Learn how to find the best diet that is healthy and very nutritious
Notes: Keyword is disjointed, 67 characters (too long), and the key
word is not near the front
OK Title: How to eat a healthy diet and lose weight quickly
Notes: Keyword is in the middle, length is under 55 characters
Great Title: Healthy Diet Secrets: How To Eat Light For Under
Notes: Keyword is first, 55 characters, powerful &
The headline or H1 element (<h1></h1>) is also an important on-page SEO factor. There
should be no less and no more than 1 x H1 tag on each page.
There's no technical limit on length, but it's best to keep it concise.
Placement of the keyword is also important in the headline as well - The closer to the beginning of the element it is, the more relevance "weight" it has.
THE META DESCRIPTION
The meta description only appears in the search results (or social media) as the text underneath the title. It's found in the <head </head> section of a web page inside the following html tag:
<meta name="description" content="description text of 155 characters or less goes here"/>
The meta description has no direct effect on SEO performance, however, its purpose is to get searchers to click on the link, so it must be persuasive and relevant. The more clicks and traffic your page gets through this result, the better it will rank, because traffic is a signal to Google that this content may be relevant.
It is limited to 155 characters, so anything longer than this will be cut off.
When incorporating the keyword, it's also important where it's placed. People scan search results and keywords are usually bolded, so the closer to the beginning of the element it is, the more relevant it looks, even if just subconsciously.
Keyword: Healthy Diet
Bad Meta Description: In this post, you will learn what kinds of fruits and vegetables to eat to get healthy. The best vegetables in a diet are green vegetables that are high in chlorophy.
Notes: Full keyword is missing, 176 characters (too long), and the key word is not near the front
OK Meta Description: Discover how you can get more healthy by eating a healthy diet rich with nutrients that support the optimal functioning of your body.
Notes: Keyword is in the middle, length is under 155 characters, copy is weak
Great Meta Description: A healthy diet
can transform your health, give you energy, improve your sleep and prevent life threatening illnesses. Learn the 4 secrets here...
Notes: Keyword is first, 155 characters, powerful & compelling meta description
The url not only gives clues about the structure of the website to the search engines, but also the content on the page. The part of the URL that is not the root domain is called the "slug": http://yourdomain.com/this-is-the-slug
The URL slug needs to contain the keyword for the page to be more relevant to the search engines. Again, the closer to the beginning of the element it is, the more relevance "weight" it has.
The slug shouldn't be too long, rather shorter as Google prefers this.
Keyword: Healthy Diet
Bad URL: http://yourdomain.com/vegetables-and-fruits-to-eat-for-health
Notes: Full keyword is missing, slug is too long, & the key word is not near the front of the slug
OK URL: http://yourdomain.com/tips-about-a-healthy-diet
Notes: Keyword is near the end, length is OK
Great URL: http://yourdomain.com/healthy-diet-secrets
Notes: Keyword is first, short and concise
THE BODY TEXT
The body text part is the main content of the page or blog article. Usually, as rule of thumb, it's important to have the keyword in the first sentence, once or twice in the middle of the copy, and once in the last paragraph.
Use similar supporting keywords or synonyms for context and to make it flow naturally. Never force keywords into your copy, as search engines will know and possibly penalise your site.
It's important to have a minimum of 300 words of content per page. A good amount is between 500 and 1000 words, however, it's been proven that longer content usually ranks better because search engines have more context to work with and more value is usually given.
IMAGES & ALT TAGS
It's important to include at least 1-2 images in your content to engage your users and also add more context to the content as to leave Google and the search engines in no doubt what the content is about.
At this stage it's important to point out how to optimise the images for SEO. There are several things to consider:
IMAGE FILE NAME
Before you upload your image to your website or server, it's important to name it effectively. Instead of an ambiguous and meaningless name like 74823bn82.jpg it's important to include the keyword instead.
Remember: In place of spaces, use the "-" hyphens instead of "_" underscores. Hyphens separate words while underscores connect words as one.
Keyword: Healthy Diet
Bad Image File Name: 423984_bg_w-324.jpg
Notes: Meaningless codes and numbers, humans or search engines don't know what it means.
OK Image File Name: apples-and-oranges-health-and-diet-352.jpg
Notes: Keyword is disjoined, not exact, has random numbers in it
Great Image File Name:
Notes: Keyword is first, short and concise, clear about what the image is about
Before you upload your image, make sure you check the image dimensions. Also ask yourself, where are you going to use this image? Will it be large, or small on the page?
It's important to resize the image to the appropriate size so that you save space and your page loads quickly (important factor for user experience and SEO).
For example: If you have an image that is 1920 x 1200 pixels but it's only going to be displayed as 600 x 360 pixels, then resize it.
IMAGE FILE SIZE
Once you've resized the image, check how large the file size is. If it's PNG, then the file size is usually larger. You may want to consider saving as JPG if you don't need any transparency.
When you've finalised the format, the next step is to compress your image.
There's a free tool online called Optimizilla.com where you can upload your
image and compress it with minimal loss in quality. Often 50% or more file size can be saved.
Aim for under 100-150kb maximum for large images, the smaller the better.
IMAGE ALT ATTRIBUTE
Once you've uploaded your image, take a look at the HTML tag for it. Make sure the alt attribute is present and filled out. The purpose of the alt attribute is two-fold:
1) To enable visually impaired internet users to understand what the image is about, and
2) To allow search engines
to understand what the image is about.
Including the keyword in here is important as well to get it to rank and be found in the Google Image Search and add context to the content.
<img src="http://yourdomain.com/images/healthy-diet-for-women.jpg" height="360px" width="600px" alt="Healthy Diet For Women" />
Image Title Attribute
Image title attributes are optional and are more for the user experience and to add a bit more supplementary information about the image. The image title attribute text usually shows up as a tooltip when a user hovers over an image.
<img src="http://yourdomain.com/images/healthy-diet-for-women.jpg" height="360px" width="600px" alt="Healthy Diet For Women" title="Two healthy women playing in the field happily" />
INTERNAL & EXTERNAL LINKS
In the final stage before the page goes live, it's important to provide "bridges" or links between content that search engines can easily travel across to index and categorise.
Anchor text (the highlighted text) of a link is very important and acts as a "signpost" that essentially tells the search engine what the page it's going to land on is about.
It's also important to include a high quality external link on your page to create context for search engines. Think of it as a "reference".
Here's an example that will pull all this together:
Let's say you have "Page A" which you're going to publish about healthy diet and "Page B" which is about green leafy vegetables.
On Page A, you may mention something about green leafy vegetables. Instead of having a sentence like "click here to learn more about this", the anchor text
"click here" doesn't say anything meaningful about "Page B". It would be best if something
like the following is implemented: "Getting lots of minerals and vitamins in your diet can be done by eating leafy green vegetables". Now, the anchor text is basically saying that Page B is about leafy green vegetables.
One important point to make is NEVER overuse the same anchor text as it can be see as spam. Rather sprinkle in the exact match keyword only a few times and then use variations or synonyms. This makes it natural and keeps you safe from being suspected of SEO manipulation.
For an external link, the same principle applies. Make sure to link to a relevant, trusted, high authority (well known) source using the appropriate anchor text. This will give search engines a reference point.
For example, if you're writing about an Apple (the fruit), and you link to a website dedicated
to the health benefits of apples, search engines will know that your content is about the fruit and not about the computer company.
Great!You made it through the cheat sheet.If you have any questions or need clarification on anything in thisdocument, let us know and we'll do our best to answer it.
Best of luck!