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"Many a small thing
  has been made large
by the right kind
of advertising."
- Mark Twain

Keyword Rich Pages For The Search Engines

Be sure to also read about Meta Tags and try our Automatic Meta TagGenerator

Once you have established the keywords for which you should optimize your site for the search engines, it is time to figure out how you can get a high ranking in the search engines for those keywords. Should you create those everybody-hates-it-but- everybody-does-it doorway pages?

Doorway pages are great in theory but can be an administrative nightmare. Since each search engine uses a different algorithm to rank pages, you will need to create doorway pages for each keyword and for each search engine. Since the search engines frequently change their rankings, you'll need to constantly change those doorway pages in order to ensure that they continue to obtain top rankings. Furthermore, if you are targeting a reasonably high number of keywords, you can easily bank on creating hundreds of such doorway pages. Can you imagine the sheer administrative difficulty in keeping track of all these pages? You'll soon be spending more time on search engine optimization than on carrying on your normal business activities!

The method that we recommend is two-fold. Initially, don't worry about the differences in the algorithms between the search engines. Just assume that all the search engines use the same algorithm while determining the ranking of pages. At this stage, you should create what we prefer to call "Keyword Rich Pages" (KRPs). Each of these KRPs are optimized for one keyword and are intended to rank highly in all the search engines. Once you have created these KRPs, and once the search engines have spidered these pages, find out which (if any) of the search engines have not given a high rank to these KRPs. If you have created the KRPs properly, there shouldn't be too many such search engines. Once you have determined the search engines which have not ranked the KRPs properly, create doorway pages which are optimized for these individual search engines. This method allows you to get top rankings in all the search engines by minimizing the number of pages that you have to create.

This assumes you have a working knowledge of the different HTML tags like the Title tag, the Meta Description tag, the Meta Keywords tag, the Heading tags, the Alt Tag etc. If you don't, just go to the following web site for a good introduction to such HTML tags.

Now, let us assume that your company sells packaged tours to Australia, and that you are targeting the keyword: "travel to australia". Here's how you create the KRPs:

The Title Tag:

The first and most important tag to consider is the Title tag. You should always begin the Title tag with the keyword that you are targeting and should weave in the keyword one more time in the middle or the end of the Title tag. However, don't repeat the keyword more than two times in the Title tag and don't repeat the keywords together either - the search engines can penalize you for spamming if you do so. Also remember that the search engines are going to display the Title tag while they are displaying the results of a search. Hence, you need to make the Title tag attractive to humans as well.

Here is one Title tag that we may have used: "Travel to Australia - Discover how you can travel to Australia for only $x per day" where "x" is of course the money that a traveler would need to spend per day if they used your services. Have a look at the Title tag - it uses the keyword right at the beginning and also repeats it in the middle. Furthermore, it uses the word "Discover" - a word, which, according to most copy-writing experts, is enough to attract people to your site. Also, note how we mentioned the price that the person needs to pay. Assuming that you are selling a very reasonably priced item, it will create even more interest in your site. (Of course, if you are selling a premium product or service, then mentioning the price isn't too bright an idea).

Another point to note is how we used different cases for the word "travel". The first instance uses "T" in upper case while the second instance uses "t" in lower case. Now, when an user searches using all letters in lower case, the search engines generally become case-insensitive. However, if the user capitalizes even one letter, most search engines will become case sensitive. Hence, in the way we formed the Title tag, it takes care of three of the most likely ways in which someone can search - "travel to australia", "Travel to Australia" and "travel to Australia".

Of course, all Titles need not be like the one we used. The Title that you use depends on the subject matter of your site. For instance, you may not always want to mention the price if you feel that it will drive visitors off your site. Instead of mentioning the price, you can mention a key benefit that your product or service has. However, you should follow all the general rules that we have outlined here.

Meta Description Tag:

The Meta Description tag is used by many search engines to provide a short description of the page that is listed in the search results. Hence, like the Title tag, it is important that the Meta Description tag be keyword rich as well as attractive to humans.

The rules for the Meta Description is more or less the same as those for the Title tag. However, the contents of this tag will generally be longer than that of the Title. Here's what we may have had in the Meta Description tag:

"Travel to Australia - We take care of all the details of your trip so that you can travel to Australia with complete peace of mind."

Note how this description repeats the keywords and also the benefit that it stresses - it says that the customer will be able to travel without having to worry about the intricate details of the trip.

Meta Keywords Tag:

The Meta Keywords tag has become less and less important as far as search engine optimization is concerned. In fact, you can get top rankings without having anything in the Meta Keywords tag at all. However, just to be on the safe side, you would want to include some keywords in the Meta Keywords tag. You should also include some of the common upper/lower case variations of the keyword. The rules for the Meta Keywords tag are pretty simple - don't repeat any keyword in the Meta Keywords tag more than three times and don't repeat any keyword one after the other. Here's what we may have had in the Meta Keywords tag:

"Travel to Australia, tourism, travel to Australia, Down Under, TRAVEL TO AUSTRALIA"

Note how we have introduced "tourism" and "Down Under" just to separate the different instances of the keyword.

Body of the page:

Now we come to the actual body of the page. Begin by getting hold of a nice (but not too large) picture which is applicable for the page that you are creating. In the present case, we might include a picture of the lotus shaped Sydney Opera House. Place this picture at the top of the page. In the Alt tag for the picture, just mention your target keyword once, we .e. the Alt tag would be "Travel to Australia". You can include other words in the Alt tag, but it should start with the keyword you are targeting.

Once you've put up the picture, it is time to create a Heading for your page. Use the H1 tag to do so. Again, in the H1 tag, mention your target keyword once, we .e. like the Alt tag for the picture, the H1 tag could be "Travel to Australia". Again, like the Alt tag, you can include other words in the heading, but the heading should start with the keyword you are targeting.

Now it's time to create the actual text of the page. The way you create the text of your page would depend largely on what you want the visitor to do after reading this page. In some cases, you may simply want the visitor to go to a home page or another specific page in your site after reading this page. In this case, you should write the text in such a way that the visitor is attracted to the page that you are targeting. You would also want to provide links to the home page or the specific page that you are targeting at strategic places in the KRP. Or, you may want the visitor to click on the link to an affiliate program that you are a member of. In this case, you would stress the benefits that the visitor gets by purchasing the product or service that the affiliate program is selling. You would also want to provide links to the affiliate program at strategic places in the page and/or at the end of the page. Whatever it is that you want your page to do, there are some general rules to follow:

1) The first thing to remember is that some search engines don't recognize the Meta Description tag. These search engines will often simply take the first few lines of text in the body of your page and display that as the description. Hence, you must ensure that the first few lines of text in your page are attractive to human beings.

2) Ensure that each sentence or every other sentence that you use contains your target keyword once. The keyword shouldn't just be placed on an ad hoc basis - the way the keyword is placed in every sentence should actually make grammatical sense. This is not only important from the point of view of ensuring that your readers don't get a bad impression of your site, but also from the point of view of search engine optimization - the search engines may penalize your page for spamming if they find that you have randomly repeated the keyword throughout the page.

3) Make sure that your paragraphs are not too long - each paragraph should be no more than 3 or 4 sentences long. This is because people on the web simply don't have the time or the inclination to read long paragraphs.

4) Try to ensure that the page contains links to other pages with the keyword being present in the text under the link. This can often lead to a higher ranking for your page.

5) If possible, link to other pages which have the keyword in the file names. This can again lead to a higher ranking for your page.

6) There is no hard and fast rule regarding the total number of words that should be present in the KRPs. As a rule of thumb, try to ensure that there are between 500-600 words. However, if the number of words falls short of or exceeds this limit, don't worry too much - it's not that important.

Once you have created the page, ensure that the name of the file in which it is saved contains the keyword and that the individual words of the keyword are separated by hyphens. In this case, the name of the file would be travel-to- australia.html. This will get you a higher ranking in the few search engines (like Northern Light) which give a lot of emphasis on the keyword being present in the URL.

Now that you have created the KRPs, how do you ensure that they are spidered by the search engines? Do you simply upload the KRPs to your server and then submit each of the individual KRPs to the search engines? You can do that, but you may get a highe ranking if you allow the search engines to spider your pages by following links to them, rather than by submitting them manually. Furthermore, the search engines also take a rather dim view of pages which only contain outgoing links to other pages but do not contain any incoming links from other pages. The search engines will often recognize these pages as doorway pages and may penalize such pages.

What you should do is to provide a link to these KRPs from the home page of your site. Now, you don't want people who are seeing the home page to actually follow these links to the KRPs - you only want the search engines to follow these links. However, you can't create links with hidden text (i.e. text with the same color as the background color) in your page since the search engines will almost certainly penalize or even ban you for doing this.

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