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Creating Keyword Rich Pages For The Search Engines

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?

Well, yes and no. 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 I 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 I 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 article is focused on how you should create these KRPs. I am assuming 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:

http://www.utoronto.ca/webdocs/HTMLdocs/NewHTML/htmlindex.html

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 I 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 I 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 I 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 I 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 I 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 I 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 I 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 I may have had in the Meta Keywords tag:

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

Note how I 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, I 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, i.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, i.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 higher 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.

What you should do is to create a small image which has the same background color as the home page. Then, name this image with the same file name as the name of the KRP you have created. Hence, in this case, you should name the image travel-to-australia.gif. Then, add this image to the end of the home page and have it link to the KRP. Also, in the Alt tag of this image, add the keyword that you are targeting once. Furthermore, you should explicitly set the border of the image to 0 (add border = "0" to the img tag of the image). Otherwise, when you get the image to link to the KRP, a border may be visible. In case you don't want to create your own image, I have created a sample image for you with a white background - you can get it from http://www.1stSearchRanking.com/download.htm

That's it! When you want to target another keyword, create another KRP for it, make a copy of the image that you created for the first keyword, rename it to the file name of the new KRP, add the image to the home page and then link it to the new KRP. Repeat this process for every keyword that you are targeting. Once you have created all the KRPs and once you have got the home page to link to each of them, submit your site to the search engines. Don't submit any of the individual pages in your site - submit only the URL for the home page of your site. While the search engines may take a long time to spider all the internal pages if you don't submit them individually, I would still recommend not submitting them individually as this may get your KRPs a higher ranking in the search engines.

Follow all the rules that I have outlined in this article and you can soon see your search engine blues disappear for ever!


About the author:
Article by Sumantra Roy. Sumantra is a search engine positioning specialist. For free articles on search engine placement, subscribe to his 1st Search Ranking Newsletter by going to... http://www.1stSearchRanking.com/newsletter.htm


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