Every search engine marketing project starts with identifying the keywords and keyword search phrases that people are most likely to use to search for the product or services that a web site offers. If you target the wrong search phrases, your search engine marketing dollars may be wasted.
A keyword theme is a set of one to three related search phrases that potential customers are likely to use when searching for your offerings. Keyword themes form a focus for your targeted keyword phrases. The number of keyword themes that a site can contain depends upon the number of informational pages in a site. As a general rule, a page can only focus on one to three related keyword phrases. If you try to focus a page on more phrases than that, the results become diluted and less effective.
A keyword theme for the page is simply the search phrase that you target for the page that you wish to see rank well for that phrase. The most effective SEO campaigns build web sites around a list of keyword themes. The site structure, coding techniques, linking structure and all aspects of a site should ideally be built around a targeted group of keyword phrases.
There is a strong inheritance factor related to keyword themes. Because every page in a site links to the home page, the home page inherits the collective keyword themes for a site. To be effective, keyword themes need to be reinforced through the proper use of the HTML title tag, heading tags, content and internal and external (inbound) hyperlinks.
The HTML title tag is the most important position for your keyword theme. The HTML title tag appears as the title for a web page that displays in the SERPs (search engine results pages). It also displays in the blue bar at the top of a browser. Each HTML title tag in a site should ideally be unique and focused on the keyword theme for that page.
The most important words in the HTML title tag are those in the left-most positions. So unless you believe users will be searching for your company name more than your products or services, the company name (if used) should be in the right-most position with the keyword theme in the left position. Because of the importance of the HTML title tag, words should be chosen wisely and unnecessary repetition avoided. If you need to repeat a word in the HTML title tag, make sure that repetitive words do not appear in close proximity to each other and never repeat a word more than twice in the HTML title tag. The HTML title tag needs to be enticing, because it is one of the most important factors that determine whether or not a user clicks on your link in the SERPs.
As a general rule, six to ten words can be placed in the title tag, up to a maximum number of 60 to 64 characters and spaces. Once again, do not repeat a word more than twice. Shorter title tags are sometimes more effective than longer versions, especially in Google. Upper and lower case does not matter with this tag. The most common convention is to treat it as a title and capitalize the first letter of most words. It is also a good idea to avoid special characters in the title tag, such as a double quote, because that also acts as a delimiter for the title tag attributes in the HTML code. That can cause a spider to ignore everything past the quote when it parses the code. If you need to use a special character that means something special in HTML code, try using the corresponding HTML entity code. I have not seen any detrimental effects from this ( “ = " ).
A good HTML title tag serves a dual purpose. It should form the keyword theme for a page and needs to be worded so that it satisfies a user’s search and entices him or her to click on your link rather than the other nine that typically display in search results. Repetition should be avoided, which means that each HTML title tag in a site should be unique.
If the most important keyword theme that defines your business is “Hydraulic Jacks”, that should be the text used in the title tag on the home page. Choose the HTML title tag wisely. Remember that the HTML title tag is the first place a spider looks for the keyword theme. It is also the title that shows up as the title for your page in almost every search engine, so it is important that it convinces the user that they should click on your link, rather than 9 others found in a search results page. Make sure that each HTML title tag in the site is unique.
Heading tags (<h1>, <h2>, etc) are the second most important place to focus a keyword theme. Heading tags are used to set titles for paragraphs and thus search engines view them as an important source for keywords and themes. The primary theme for the page should appear in the <h1> tags, although it should differ slightly from the HTML title tag. In their native state, heading tag fonts tend to be large and crude, but they can easily be defined using CSS so that they take on almost any size, color and font characteristics that are desired.
The <h1> tag should appear as the title above the content on your pages. The <h1> tag should only be used one time per page. <h2> thorough <h6> tags can be used multiple times, but should only be used as paragraph headings.