Several factors influence the position of a site in the search results. They can be divided into external and internal ranking factors. Internal ranking factors are those that are controlled by seo aware website owners (text, layout, etc.) and will be described next.
2.1 Web page layout factors relevant to seo
2.1.1 Amount of text on a page
A page consisting of just a few sentences is less likely to get to the top of a search engine list. Search engines favor sites that have a high information content. Generally, you should try to increase the text content of your site in the interest of seo. The optimum page size is 500-3000 words (or 2000 to 20,000 characters).
Search engine visibility is increased as the amount of page text increases due to the increased likelihood of occasional and accidental search queries causing it to be listed. This factor sometimes results in a large number of visitors.
2.1.2 Number of keywords on a page
Keywords must be used at least three to four times in the page text. The upper limit depends on the overall page size – the larger the page, the more keyword repetitions can be made. Keyword phrases (word combinations consisting of several keywords) are worth a separate mention. The best seo results are observed when a keyword phrase is used several times in the text with all keywords in the phrase arranged in exactly the same order. In addition, all of the words from the phrase should be used separately several times in the remaining text. There should also be some difference (dispersion) in the number of entries for each of these repeated words.
Let us take an example. Suppose we optimize a page for the phrase “seo software” (one of our seo keywords for this site) It would be good to use the phrase “seo software” in the text 10 times, the word “seo” 7 times elsewhere in the text and the word “software” 5 times. The numbers here are for illustration only, but they show the general seo idea quite well.
2.1.3 Keyword density and seo
Keyword page density is a measure of the relative frequency of the word in the text expressed as a percentage. For example, if a specific word is used 5 times on a page containing 100 words, the keyword density is 5%. If the density of a keyword is too low, the search engine will not pay much attention to it. If the density is too high, the search engine may activate its spam filter. If this happens, the page will be penalized and its position in search listings will be deliberately lowered.
The optimum value for keyword density is 5-7%. In the case of keyword phrases, you should calculate the total density of each of the individual keywords comprising the phrases to make sure it is within the specified limits. In practice, a keyword density of more than 7-8% does not seem to have any negative seo consequences. However, it is not necessary and can reduce the legibility of the content from a user’s viewpoint.
2.1.4 Location of keywords on a page
A very short rule for seo experts – the closer a keyword or keyword phrase is to the beginning of a document, the more significant it becomes for the search engine.
2.1.5 Text format and seo
Search engines pay special attention to page text that is highlighted or given special formatting. We recommend:
– use keywords in headings. Headings are text highlighted with the «H» HTML tags. The «h1» and «h2» tags are most effective. Currently, the use of CSS allows you to redefine the appearance of text highlighted with these tags. This means that «H» tags are used less than nowadays, but are still very important in seo work.;
– Highlight keywords with bold fonts. Do not highlight the entire text! Just highlight each keyword two or three times on the page. Use the «strong» tag for highlighting instead of the more traditional «B» bold tag.
2.1.6 «TITLE» tag
This is one of the most important tags for search engines. Make use of this fact in your seo work. Keywords must be used in the TITLE tag. The link to your site that is normally displayed in search results will contain text derived from the TITLE tag. It functions as a sort of virtual business card for your pages. Often, the TITLE tag text is the first information about your website that the user sees. This is why it should not only contain keywords, but also be informative and attractive. You want the searcher to be tempted to click on your listed link and navigate to your website. As a rule, 50-80 characters from the TITLE tag are displayed in search results and so you should limit the size of the title to this length.
2.1.7 Keywords in links
A simple seo rule – use keywords in the text of page links that refer to other pages on your site and to any external Internet resources. Keywords in such links can slightly enhance page rank.
2.1.8 «ALT» attributes in images
Any page image has a special optional attribute known as “alternative text.” It is specified using the HTML «ALT» tag. This text will be displayed if the browser fails to download the image or if the browser image display is disabled. Search engines save the value of image ALT attributes when they parse (index) pages, but do not use it to rank search results.
Currently, the Google search engine takes into account text in the ALT attributes of those images that are links to other pages. The ALT attributes of other images are ignored. There is no information regarding other search engines, but we can assume that the situation is similar. We consider that keywords can and should be used in ALT attributes, but this practice is not vital for seo purposes.
2.1.9 Description Meta tag
This is used to specify page descriptions. It does not influence the seo ranking process but it is very important. A lot of search engines (including the largest one – Google) display information from this tag in their search results if this tag is present on a page and if its content matches the content of the page and the search query.
Experience has shown that a high position in search results does not always guarantee large numbers of visitors. For example, if your competitors’ search result description is more attractive than the one for your site then search engine users may choose their resource instead of yours. That is why it is important that your Description Meta tag text be brief, but informative and attractive. It must also contain keywords appropriate to the page.
2.1.10 Keywords Meta tag
This Meta tag was initially used to specify keywords for pages but it is hardly ever used by search engines now. It is often ignored in seo projects. However, it would be advisable to specify this tag just in case there is a revival in its use. The following rule must be observed for this tag: only keywords actually used in the page text must be added to it.