HTML Head Tags:
· Title - the most important of on-page keyword elements, the page title should preferably employ the keyword term/phrase as the first word(s). Clearly, using the keyword term/phrase as the very first words in the page title has the highest correlation with high rankings, and subsequent positions correlate nearly flawlessly to lower rankings.
· Meta Description - although not used for "rankings" by any of the major engines, the meta description is an important place to use the target term/phrase due to the "bolding" that occurs in the visual snippet of the search results. Usage has also been shown to help boost click-through rate, thus increasing the traffic derived from any ranking position.
· Meta Keywords - Yahoo! is unique among the search engines in recording and utilizing the Meta keyword tag for discovery, though not technically for rankings. However, with Microsoft's Bing set to take over Yahoo! Search, the last remaining reason to employ the tag is now gone
· Length - Shorter URLs appear to perform better in the search results and are more likely to be copied/pasted by other sites, shared and linked-to.
· Keyword Location - The closer the targeted keyword(s) are to the domain name, the better. Thus, site.com/keyword outperforms site.com/folder/subfolder/keyword and is the most recommended method of optimization (though this is certainly not a massive rankings benefit)
· Sub domains vs. Pages - As we've talked about previously on the blog, despite the slight URL benefit that sub domains keyword usage has over subfolders or pages, the engines' link popularity assignment algorithms tilt the balance in favor of subfolders/pages rather than sub domains.
· Word Separators - Hyphens are still the king of keyword separators in URLs, and despite promises that underscores will be given equal credit, the inconsistency with other methods make the hyphen a clear choice.