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How to Make Search Optimization a HABIT

August 24, 2009

In search, there are technical people and there are marketing people. My roots are in marketing, and one thing I know about us “Jack of All Trades” marketing-types, is that we aren’t too good when it comes to technical stuff.

Many marketing people, whose primary role is not search marketing, often see search as black magic. HTML and GIF is about as technical as we get. Laugh as you may, but very often, these are the people who own and write the web content within companies. This is why it’s important for content owners and writers to understand, and apply, the basics of search engine optimization (SEO). This way, everyone is a winner. The key is making optimization a habit so it becomes incorporated into people’s everyday way of working.

Help is at hand. Time to pull out the HABIT checklist – A simple checklist that applies basic on-page optimization to help content owners optimize content, without having to get too bogged down in some of the technical aspects that we, the search marketers, can more easily influence. So without further ado, here’s to making HABIT a habit.

The HABIT Checklist:

Make sure your keyword is included in your Headline. This is obvious, but you’d be amazed how many times I’ve had to pull people up about this.

The Anchor Text is the label given to a link; essentially it’s the link name. Make sure that when there are links pointing to your page content, that it matches the keyword you are optimizing your page for.

Make sure that your keyword appears in the first sentence of the Body Copy, as close to the beginning as possible.

Make sure that there are links coming into your page from…

  • Easy: Important pages within your site (EG: Your homepage and popular hubpages)
  • Less easy: Prominent industry sites and sources (EG: .edu and .gov sites)

…and make sure these Inbound Links use the keyword in the Anchor Text. The more links into your page from prominent sources, the more important the search engine perceives your page to be, and so will rank it higher.

The Title Tag of your page also needs to include the keyword. The format that I’ve found works well is – [Company name] : [Keyword]

And finally, here’s a bonus tip for the marketing people who want an extra power-up:

The Meta Description is the copy that appears when your listing shows up in organic search. Again, try to include the keyword as close to the beginning as possible, and try not to exceed 155 characters, making sure to include correct punctuation.

HABIT provides a really basic checklist that is easy to follow and apply. It does, however, assume that you know what keyword you are optimizing your page for. So in the next blog post, I will be providing some tips for keyword research.

From → Search Marketing

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