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Search Engine Optimization – Which Parts of Your Web Pages Are the Most Important to Search Engines?

Posted on: 23/09/2010

  • In: SEO Tips
  • Comments Off on Search Engine Optimization – Which Parts of Your Web Pages Are the Most Important to Search Engines?

We’re in the third part of our series on the fundamentals of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – that is, the craft of building and populating your website in order to increase the likelihood of appearing prominently in the search results for search keywords that your target audience oftentimes uses in their searches. In our first article, we looked at common SEO myths. In our second article, we looked at the main criteria that search engine evaluate when ranking your website pages in their indexes. Now this month, we’ll learn about some of the most important parts of your website pages’ content.

Not all parts of your web page are created equal

When search engines scan the content of your website, they actually assign different levels of importance to the different pieces of content. For instance, headline text is given more weight than the text in your last paragraph of body text at the bottom of the page. Now while the exact ranking algorithms that the search engines use to scan your site are secret (and constantly changing), there is general agreement that the following pieces of a web page are given high importance by the search engines:

  1. The page title
  2. The page URL
  3. The page’s main headline

 

The page title

The next time you’re looking at a web page, look at the top left of your web browser window (above the website address box, and in the same bar as the minimize/maximize/close buttons). You’ll notice that it contains a very short description of the web page that you’re on This is the page title. A well-optimized web page will contain 2-3 well-chosen keyword phrases in this area.

The page URL

The word “URL” is really just a fancy term for the page’s address on the internet. It will typically look something like yourdomain.com/webpage . Like the page title, it is best to have a few keywords in this area as well. For instance, if you run a real estate company, make sure your page URLs don’t have content like this – index.php?id=273& but rather, look more like this: yourdomain.com/denver-real-estate.

The page’s main headline

Headlines on your web page work very similar to headlines in newspapers: there’s typically one main headline – which is usually the biggest – followed by a few smaller sub-headlines interspersed with your paragraphs of text. Your main headline, quite understandably, carries more weight than your smaller headlines, which in turn carry more weight than your regular paragraphs of text. So make sure your headline text contains one or two well-chosen keyword phrases, just like your page title.

Trying to work on your entire website to improve your chances of ranking well in your targeted search terms can seem like an overwhelming task. But by focusing on the three parts of your web pages discussed here – page titles, page URLs, and on-page headlines – you can ensure that you’re working on some of the parts of your website’s pages that will have the most effectiveness in improving your site’s optimization.

We’ll be back next month with another article on search engine optimization. In the meantime, if you have any additional questions about this subject, or any other web design topic, feel free to contact us.

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