The importance of your text pages in SEO

This article was originally published in our ifp3 Forum

Website pages are one of the most important elements of our websites when it comes to SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and they should never be overlooked. Meta data, especially meta keywords and meta description (code behind the scenes of our websites) seem to get a lot of attention, but the content of our pages, is equally, if not more important in the world of SEO. Search engines such as Google seem to especially like two things; relevant content and inbound links. Relevant content means that our page text, content of our website, and meta data matches what a potential customer is searching for. Inbound links are links on other websites that lead to our website. The number of inbound links can signify popularity or relevance of our site. RedFrame can’t help with inbound links, but rest assured, RedFrame provides us with all the SEO tools we need to be successful.

Before we get into the details, let me use a portion of a previous post of mine in the topic “What online marketing has worked for you?” to put SEO and search engine rankings in perspective:

Please note that the numbers below were arrived at in 2011 and are probably much higher now

“Let’s start at the top with an example of how hard it is to break into a mid sized market. Use Google and do a search for “Denver Wedding Photographers.” At the time of this post there were 505,000 results. That is over a HALF MILLION!!! (At the same time Google says there are 598,000 residents of Denver, maybe everyone in Denver is a photographer? Not!)

A lot of people new to owning a website and entering the online marketplace expect that by having a new website they will be in the first page of Google which by default has ONLY 10 results. Placing 1-10 out of a half million is definitely a tall order even if you have had a website for years.

OK, let’s try a smaller town in Colorado, say Englewood. Results for “Englewood Wedding Photographers”… 101,000. Still, looking for a 1-10 placement out of 101,000 is a bit problematic.”

Today I did another search for Denver Wedding Photographers and the results now show 1.1 million, double what it was last June. My point is that the competition is there for all of us and is steadily increasing.

Let’s use the example phrase from that last post “Denver Weddings in the Mountains” as the phrase that will describe our fictitious business. I highly recommend that you limit your meta keywords/phrases to 2-3 (“Denver Weddings in the Mountains” is our example meta phrase) so that the search engines can clearly understand what your site is about. More often than not, I see website owners throwing in every keyword they can think of (destructive keywording) into their meta data and this is the quickest way to eliminate your website from appearing in search results. An example of destructive keywording would be keywords such as- photographer, Colorado, Denver, portraits, wedding photography, mountains, family portraits, etc.

With destructive keywording shown above, you can see that we have gone into competition with tens of millions of generalized results and the search engines have no idea what our “Relevant Content” is or how to categorize our website.

A better example of main meta keywords/phrases for our fictitious business would be:
Denver Weddings in the mountains, Mountain Wedding Photography, Photography by Bob Smith

and our meta description might be something like:
Capture your Denver Wedding in the mountains with the stunning photography of Bob Smith

Now we have clearly defined what our site is about, who we are, and what we think potential customers will be searching for. We have focused our terms and have not engaged in destructive keywording.

OK, with all that out of the way, here is the order of importance of elements in your website that pertain to SEO:
1). Enter page or Home page content and SEO (the first page of your site)
2). Secondary page content, title, and SEO
3). Gallery names and gallery SEO
4). Image names and image captioning/keywording

Enter page or Home page
On these pages we need to be sure to use our keywords/phrases in our background meta data as well as a number of times in the content of the page. Be sure to use the keywords/phrases in a way that makes sense to the reader and adds value. We are not trying to trick the search engines here, we are trying to show them that our website is a good source of information relative to our keywords/phrases.

Page content, title, and SEO
RedFrame enables us to create as many pages as we want and this is a huge benefit to us for SEO. Additional pages can support our top level theme with page titles such as; Mountain wedding information, Mountain wedding packages, Description of Denver mountains.

Our site can also have many sub themes that we can promote through our pages and page titles. For example, we might also shoot studio portraits and offer stock nature photos of the magnificent scenery around Denver.

As with the enter page and home page, content should also support the meta data.

Gallery names and gallery SEO
These elements of our site can help improve our SEO in two ways:
1. With RedFrame, gallery names are included in the page source information of all website pages. Our customers can’t see it, but the search engines do.
2: When the search engines index a gallery they see the SEO information about the gallery, which provides more details than the gallery name alone can accomplish.

Image names and image captioning/keywording
Image SEO seems to carry the least importance to search engines, but I think it is still beneficial to spend some time on it. If you search for “frogs” on Google images (not the regular Google search) you will see that most of the top results have the word frog in the image name and/or description of the image. Using our example business, we might create a gallery called “Denver Mountain Weddings” and then name our images like:
Denver Mountain Weddings1.jpg
Denver Mountain Weddings2.jpg
Denver Mountain Weddings3.jpg
Denver Mountain Weddings4.jpg

Of course, this is just an example business idea but I hope it helps clarify some things and get you thinking about how you are utilizing SEO on your website and if there are any improvements you can make. Do remember that SEO is only one part of a marketing plan and alone, will not be enough to support a business. All the traditional methods of marketing your business still apply.

To summarize:
you need to be specific about the market you are targeting
pick a few keywords/phrases that best describe what you are about
use these keywords/phrases in your meta data, page content, and image names where possible

What to do now?
Are you being specific with your SEO and not using destructive keywording?
Do you have page content that supports your main keywords/phrases?
How intense is the competition for your keywords/phrases, is a high search ranking realistic?

I hope this information helps some of you out there and please fire away with questions if you have any.

Thanks for taking the time to read this!