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In this course, author David Booth explains what search engine optimization (SEO) is and how you can start using it to increase your website's visibility to search engines and attract the right kind of traffic to the right kinds of pages on your site. Discover how to read a results page and find your ranking, and see how rankings affect both large and small businesses. Then find out how to implement basic optimization strategies, like conducting keyword research, building inbound links, optimizing your pages and content, and measuring your successes and progress while planning for a long-term SEO strategy. SEO for ecommerce, local search, and an international audience round out this comprehensive look at the basics of SEO.
Keyword distribution is the process of assigning keywords to specific pages on your website. This is an important step in the content creation process, and results in the content on a page being aligned and relevant to the keyword that you're targeting on that page. You can't have an optimized page unless you know what keyword you're optimizing it for. Once you've identified all your target keywords through the Keyword Research process, we found that working in Microsoft Excel, or another spreadsheet program, allows you to create this mapping of keywords to the pages in your site structure in an organized way.
And it has the added benefit of keeping a record of which pages are targeting which keywords to refer back to in the future. Of course, you'll be listing out all the current pages of your website. But keep in mind that for many of your target keywords, you won't yet have a page and you'll need to create one. By using a spreadsheet you can easily see where in your site's architecture you'll want to put it, and define some key pieces of information about it before you even start writing. Here is an example of a spreadsheet that we've created for a fictitious sample winery.
Feel free to format your spreadsheets anyway you like. But there are some common fields that you should include. Down the left-hand side, we like to use cells or tabbing to show us the hierarchy of the various sections and pages of our site. As you can see, for each page we have a column for the keyword we'll be targeting on this page, the URL of the page, the title tag, the meta description, and the h1 header. We've even used Excel's Length function to count our characters so that we can see how close we are to our general targets.
Again, our targets of 65 characters for a title and 156 characters for a description are not hard limits by any means, but they're guidelines that will avoid search engines truncating this information on the search engine results page. The first step is to populate the spreadsheet with your existing web pages. Be sure to include every page of your site, including your Homepage, About page, Location page, Contact page, and other general kinds of content pages. Remember, search engines want to see unique information for each and every page, and listing them all out here is a good way to quickly spot any duplications.
The second step is to take a look at the keywords from your keyword list and find the most appropriate pages of your site for each of the keywords. You should make sure to distribute one keyword per page and try not to force anything. Remember, search engines prefer unique and relevant content. So if you have a keyword that doesn't match any page of your site, you'll want to create a new page. When you add a new page to your spreadsheet, the good news is that you've got a blank canvas. You can define the SEO-friendly URL, title, description, and header right here in the spreadsheet.
Writing content when you know the keyword you're optimizing it for upfront allows you to really dial-in on all of the best practices of content writing for keywords that we'll be covering. Remember, the meat of each page is the body copy, and you'll probably need to go back through your existing pages to make sure that they're really optimized for the keyword you've defined as a target. Now that you've got your target keywords in mind, now is a pretty good time to head over to one of the on-page analysis tools that we'll talk about a little later in this course.
The suggestions from these tools can really help guide the changes you'll be making to your pages. Using a keyword distribution spreadsheet will help you in a number of different ways. First, it gives you one place to organize and document the content of your site that will support the keywords that you're targeting. Second, it serves as an excellent resource for your copywriters, and will help streamline workflows across all the different members of your website production team. And treating this as a living document will ensure that you can quickly adapt to the changing nature of the search landscape and keep your content strategy on track month after month and year after year.
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