SEO hints and tips can inform you how to optimize a web page, and if you can understand how to carry out your own search engine optimization then you can get yourself a whole heap of free traffic to your website. Not only your website, but free traffic to selected pages on your website: pages selected by you!
You no doubt understand all the basic stuff, but in case you are new to this, let's first have look at these basic SEO hints and tips, since many seem to omit them from their web pages. The most important are the essential HTML tags needed to convince the search engines of the theme of your web page.
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Note the term 'web page', because many people don't realize that Google, along with most other search engines, doesn't list websites, but individual web pages. It is essential that you understand how search engines work if you want to learn how to optimize a web page.
I am going to refer to Google, not only because it is the biggest of the search engines, but also to save the bother of referring to search engines all the time. I will refer to Google, but what applies to Google also applies to the rest. Here are the main SEO basics:
a) The TITLE tag. This appears in the HEAD portion of your html, and is not actually seen by your visitors but is the most important tag on your web page because the spiders place very high weight on it. Use your main keywords here, and also any other text that will inform Google of the theme of your web page.
b) Heading (H) tags. Your page title should be placed within H1 tags, and should contain the same major keyword as you used in the TITLE tag. Any subheadings should be contained within H2 tags. I don't use any of the lower tags, from H3 down, except perhaps H3 very occasionally. Google will regard any text with H tags as being important, with most weight given to the lower numbers. However, if you place everything in H1 tags, that will dilute its importance on your page and defeat the object.
c) Text enhancements: Use bold, italic and underline enhancements sparingly, and where you once again want to stress the importance of certain keywords.
d) Use your keywords mainly in the first third of your page. Don't use too many: I get good results with under 1% overall keyword density, by using the main keyword in the first 100 characters, once in the last paragraph and once more each 300 words but concentrated in the first third of the page. Thus, an 800 word page will have the keyword three times in the first 250 words and once in the last paragraph.
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e) Meta tags: The only meta tag worth using is the description tag, which is used by most search engines in the description of your web page in their listings. Google mainly uses it exactly as you write it. The keyword tag can also be used, but few search engines are thought to use it: Google does not. Any other meta tags are a waste of your space. Anybody that claims differently is wanting to sell you something.
These are the basic hints on SEO, now here are some of the more advanced SEO hints and tips that will teach you not only how to optimize a web page, but to understand the way that search engines work. These are less obvious, and generally not used by beginners to search engine marketing.
f) Use text links to other pages on your website. Search engine spiders love text, and fancy graphics or java links might look great, but don't get you kudos from the spiders. Stick to text if you want a good listing: there's no point in fancy graphical links if you have no visitors to use them.
g) Try to use as much text as possible, and as little code as possible. Your code to text ratio should be minimized as much as possible because ... yes, you've got it! Spiders love text!
h) Another good SEO tip is to focus on your off-page linking. It is possible to get a #1 spot on Google with no content: just loads of links coming into your web page from other websites. Not just any websites, but authority sites, so reciprocal links to and from web pages not directly related to your niche are a waste of time, and can even harm you. Link farms can positively damage you.
i) Use anchor text for your links where at all possible. Google shouldn't have to work out what your web page is about: tell them. Hyperlink your keyword to your website, but don't use the same form of keyword from every webpage linking to yours. Mix them about so as to keep the links fresh.
j) And lastly: Keep adding pages to your website. You have more chance of a high listing from one website of 60 pages than from two of 30 pages each. Keep refreshing your content with new pages, and take time to revise some of your older pages now and again. Google detests stagnation.
These are just a few SEO hints and tips that can teach you how to optimize a web page. There are many, many more. Some quite basic, others very much more advanced than the above. However, you can't get everything free!