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Increasing Your Local Traffic By Optimizing Pages On Your Site

By Jeff Howard

This post will go over the meat and potatoes of optimizing individual web pages for a localized keyword. In the past 7 posts we have discussed selecting keywords for a small business website, and now have mapped which keyword each page will carry.

Again, for this step I recommend using the excel document available for download here. This workbook will help keep all your optimization notes neatly organized. The take away is a list of specific changes that need completed in order to properly optimize your website. Below are a several elements of your website which can have a big impact on a pages ability to rank highly for a specific phrase.

#1 - NoIndex, NoArchive Tags: If the page you are optimizing includes a noindex tag, or noarchive tag make sure to note its removal, or if you are using a robots.txt document, or no-follow tags elsewhere on the website make sure they are no restricting access to the page. Most websites will not have to worry about these issues

#2 - Optimizing the Title Tag: Your page's title tag will play a critical role in optimization. Title tags should be kept under 65 characters, usually leaving room for only a keyword and business name. The title tag should start with your keyword and be followed by your business name, and have a dash separating the two.

#3 - Content in Images or Flash: If the page includes a majority of its text (content) embedded in flash presentation or image make sure to specify which text and how it is to look, or be positioned on the page after it is removed from the image or flash. If you would like to keep the text in a flash presentation, or an image file the next best solution is to create a summary of the content toward the bottom of the page.

#4 - Optimizing the Description Tag: Description tags play a slightly less important role in optimization relative to the title tag. Unlike title tags, description tags allow for 165 characters. Like the title tag, the keyword should be positioned first followed by a short description of the page's topic.

#5 - Adding More Content (Discussed In The Next Post): Generally, a page should have at least 3-4 paragraphs discussing it's topic. The content should include the page's keyword 2-3 times in its entirety.

# 6 - Images & Galleries: When a page includes images that add rich appeal and are not the logo (or header used across several or all pages) they can be optimized for keyword placement. Each image should incorporate the page's keyword within it's filename and alternative text.

# 7 Headings: Technically we are talking about a CSS class attribute called h1, h2 and h3 tags. Headings are simply bold and large text to title (or head) paragraphs of content. By including keywords in h1, h2, or h3 headings you can improve a page's level of optimization.

**Only If Building A New Site or Creating New Pages**

URL Names:
This element of a page will have a significant impact on keyword rankings. Including keywords in the web address will clearly signal to search engines the web page is in fact about the topic it claims to be in the title tag, description tag and content.

This step will take some time, but the end result is a near complete blueprint for a well optimized website. Your excel document will make it much easier to complete optimization changes to the website. In final two posts I will touch on how to best optimize all your website content, and how to alter site-wide elements of your website for local keyword optimization.


About the author:
Jeff Howard is a guest author on expand2web. Jeff has delivered SEO results for major consumer oriented websites all the way down to local businesses, and writes a column for Search Engine Guide.
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