Get Found in Google (Part II): How To Optimize Your Website

Part two of our Get Found in Google series is all about what to do with those keywords you assembled in our last post. Now that you’ve created your keyword list, it’s time to add them to your website.  Doing that will optimize your site—in other words, it will be easy to find online.  It’s important that the keywords go in the right places.

Take a look at your keyword list and add the most relevant keyword to existing pages on your website. If you have keywords that don’t quite fit anywhere, then that’s an indicator of some content holes on your site.  Create new pages for any “homeless” keywords.

If you target one keyword per page on your website, you site becomes more Google-friendly. Google looks for individual pages that best fit a user’s search criteria and will send people directly to a page that matches their search. When you have a plan in place for new pages, follow these steps to optimize a page with 1-2 appropriate keywords. Places the keyword should appear:

1.  URL
One of the first places that search engines scan is the URL, or web address. Here’s what your URL should look like:

2.  Page title
When you are on a website, look up at the top bar – that is the page title. You should put your event name and possibly a keyword here.
<title>Event Name</title>  or   <title>Keyword Phrase | Event Name</title>

3. Page description
Also known as the Meta description, this is a short section of your website’s code where you get another opportunity to describe what searchers will find on this page. A good page description helps attract people to your listing on Google.

<meta name = “description” content = “The Run for the Hungry is a 10K in Chicago whose course is scenic and challenging, paralleling beautiful Lake Michigan and ending with a live band at the finish line festival.”/>

4. Headers
Headers are the titles within your web page. Search engines see H1 (header 1) title tags as the most important title within a web page. Your website headers should always include a keyword:
<h1>Keyword Phrase Here</h1>

5. Image file names
For any images used on your website, here’s how they should be saved:

6. Image alt tags
Since search engines can read text but not images, you need to describe images in search engine language. Whereas the file name is the image’s online address, the alt tag is just a short phrase to describe that image.  Here’s an example:
<img src=”keyword-phrase.jpg” alt=”Keyword Phrase and description” />

7. First paragraph of content
Make sure the first paragraph of your content includes the keyword. Google knows that well-written introductions should cover the main topic and therefore should include most popular phrases and words.

8. Throughout content
Mention the keyword when possible throughout all of your content. It is generally recommended to make sure your keyword phrase represents less than 5% of total content on that page. For example, don’t mention your keyword more than five times if you have 100 total words on the page.

9. On top of links
Your website menu is full of links to other pages on your site, so keywords should show up there. Rather than pasting the link directly in the content, hyperlink the keyword so that when your visitors click on that word, they are sent directly to the correct web page. Search engines factor those links and “anchor texts” into their rankings.

10. Support the main keyword with other relevant phrases
Make sure all of your content relates to the keyword and support it with relevant phrases.

Now that you have one page optimized, apply this process to your other web pages and create new ones when necessary so all of your keywords have a presence on your site. From there, you can move to part three of our Get Found in Google series: link building. Our next post will tell you all about it!