Search Engine Optimization - On page factors

Published in Web Development on Wednesday, May 19th, 2004

Search engine optimization, looking at on page factors and how to keep your page sharp and current.

Getting started

There is a lot of quality information on the web dealing with Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

While serious full time SEO is something that requires a lot of hard work and research, there are basics that we can all adhere to in order to help our sites do better in the Googles and Yahoo!s of the world.

Thankfully, many of these basics are methods that standards based, user focussed web developers apply everyday. Applying the methods outlined in the following list of links is a great start:

On page factors

The methods outlined in the examples above, for the most part, optimize what are known as 'on page factors'. For non-competitive areas on the internet, simply optimizing on page factors can be enough to get decent traffic for your topic.

So you've started, now what?

Follow the advice given by those links and you should be off to a good start. Once you have your page set up and optimized, what can you do to further improve its on page factors?


No doubt you did some basic research when first building your page. Research is at the heart of good SEO. Lots of research. But here we're talking basics, so we'll do some basic research to help take your optimized page to the next level.

Once your page has been spidered and is generating traffic, you are going to notice some patterns within the keywords and keyphrases that are bringing traffic to your website, and some of them will surprise you.

It is in these new and unexpected terms where opportunities lie; unoptimized relevant terms can be improved upon.

By carefully examining your logs, perhaps using an analyser like relax, you can pick out these new words or word combinations and easily see where your page ranks in various search engines. You will likely discover that many users come to your site from the second, third or even fourth page of the results.

Build up a list of your original terms and the new ones. Go as far as finding out where your page ranks for these terms and write that info down!


Once you have your list of new words and phrases it is time to capitalize.

First, you need to make a decision: should you re-optimize your page for your original and new keywords and phrases, or can you build another page to add to the old one? Perhaps you could extend the current one across two pages, breaking it up by topic. This has an added bonus of adding new content to your website. For some sites this could even qualify as news, if you could add some new information along with the update.

Either way, the objective of this second pass will be to re-build and re-optimize with your new set of keywords.

How often?

Do this to your pages once in a while to keep them sharp and current. Remember that not only can you re-optimize, but by re-visiting older topics you can add newer content, rejuvenate dated ideas and add any newer terms that may come into existence.

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