On-Site SEO : Body text and first paragraph

Mainly in case you don’t use a meta description, the first paragraph of the text of each page is very important. In all cases, your first paragraph should be descriptive and contain the target terms.

Use correct wording and a “human” text, readable, but include the target terms of your page.

Each website’s content and text can be organized into paragraphs ( like this document ) which in HTML is marked with an opening <p> and a closing </p>, each paragraph is enclosed into <p> and </p> and your web page’s first paragraph should too.

Your page’s body text

By “body” text we mean the main text of your web page. Based on various sources, the length of body text should be around three hundred words as you indeed can talk “enough” about your topic in three hundred words. In your body text you will have paragraphs, headings and sub-headings, links, maybe images, bolded words, underlined words and more.

In your body text, make sure you include your target terms in a density of two to four percent. This means that in every hundred words, each of your target terms should appear two to four times. If you have three hundred words, then each term should appear six to twelve times.

Its important not to go below 2% as the term will not be “recognized” as important and not exceed 4% as the term will be excluded as an attempt to highjack the search engine’s algorithm.

When writing your body text, you should segment a long text with the use of headings. There are headings and sub-headings or as in most major text editors, Heading 1 and Heading 2. Heading 1 should be reserved by your website’s designed for page titles or product titles, but you can use Heading 2 to mark different sections of your text. For instance, on our example page where we list our services, we would write it as such :

Criminal Law Services

< text here … >

Trade Law Services 

<Text here … >

“Criminal Law Services” and “Trade Law Services” will be marked as Heading 2. Heading 2 elements in your text should contain your target terms like above. Not all of them in one Heading 2 rather than all your target terms should be appearing in the combination of Heading 2 within your body text.

Make some important words in your body text in bold and maybe underline so they are more visible to the user.

Body text links

When writing your body text, its important to allow the visitor to read more and get more information. This can be achieved by the usage of hyperlinks or more simply, links. You can mark a word or sentence on your website and link it to an external URL, so when the user clicks it, he/she gets redirected to that page to read more information. You can have internal links ( thus hyperlinks that link to your own website’s pages and urls ) or external links ( that link to specific pages in other websites ).

When adding hyperlinks to your web page’s body text, make sure those links are around words relevant to your target terms. Its important to remember to link only to websites that are :

  • Of high quality, with good content
  • Relevant to your terms only
  • Not hacked or highjacked ( or your website will be proposing a website which can harm your visitor )

The more relevant the websites you link to the better for your website. The better the website you link to in terms of quality and “authority”, the better for your website and user.

Body text images

When adding images on your body text, its important to remember to keep those images as compressed and optimized as possible as they can have a significant impact on your website’s speed, which can be a ranking factor as it can affect user experience.

Adding an image on your website will give you access to a field called “Alternative text” or “Alt Text” which you should fill in with a sentence describing the image and which should contain the target terms for your page. Distribute the target terms in all your images’ alt text when you add them on your website.

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