Creating Optimized Web Pages
Creating search-engine-optimized Web pages is the core effort of a successful Internet marketing campaign. Taking care of technical on-site factors such as file names, title tags, meta description tags, meta keyword tags, and meta robots tags is crucial to making sure the search-engine spiders can determine the relevance of your Web site. Think of search-engine spiders as robots that read the content of your Web pages. Optimizing your content with header tags and other text modifiers allows you to stress the main ideas and topics that your content covers. Optimization of images is important for those Web browsers that do not support images, and because search-engine spiders cannot read the content of an image, optimizing images presents an extra avenue to squeeze in more content. Links provide the pathways that search-engine spiders need to find your Web pages. Creating these links with search-engine optimization in mind is necessary for optimal results. Throughout the Web page creation process, try to adhere to the standards set forth by the World Wide Web Consortium. The consortium works to create standards in Web design and development that ensure Internet-wide compatibility.
Every Web page that you create is stored in a file. Every file has a name. Using file names that are relevant to the content of your Web page is important for numerous reasons. Besides your domain name, the search-engine spiders see your file names before anything else. If your file names are not relevant to the content contained on that page, the search engines can algorithmically detect a disconnect. Taking the extra time to ensure that file names are properly designed can provide an added boost to your rankings.
Optimize Title Tags
Title tags are an extremely influential search-engine ranking factor. What you place in your Web page title tags has a substantial effect on where and for what terms your page ranks. Just as importantly, the first thing a human visitor sees when finding your page on the search-engine results is your title tag. Title tags should be descriptive of what your Web page is about and compel potential visitors to visit your site
Optimize Meta Description Tags
Meta description tags allow you to summarize what a particular Web page’s content is about. Some search engines use the meta description tags in their results pages directly underneath the Web page titles. Your rankings on these search engines are likely influenced by your meta description tags. Writing a brief yet informative description about your Web page’s content and adding it to your meta description tag is a search engine-optimization tactic that should not be skipped.
Optimize Meta Keyword Tags
Meta keyword tags allow you to indicate the relevance of a particular Web page to certain keywords and phrases. Although many search engines ignore this tag, some likely still use it in their ranking algorithms. For that reason alone, you want to implement this tag on all your Web pages. The keywords and phrases contained in your meta keywords tag work in tandem with the meta description tag to describe the content of a particular Web page.
Create a Meta Robots Tag
Sometimes you may not actually want the search engine spiders to visit certain pages within your Web site. Although this is often not the case, especially because the goals of search-engine optimization are to increase search-engine-generated traffic, there are situations where the privacy of a particular Web page or Web site is of utmost concern. The meta robots tag allows you to identify what pages the search engines are allowed to index in their results pages and whether or not they are allowed to follow links on those pages to other Web pages or Web sites. This is especially useful if certain sections of your Web site require payment to access. The last thing you want is search engines sending visitors directly to those locations.
Benefit with Header Tags
Optimizing your content includes emphasizing your main topics and ideas. A well-structured Web page has a logical hierarchal flow with headings and subheadings fortified with content. These main topics and ideas can be placed within header tags that not only alter the format of the text the Web browser displays, but also tell the search engines and human visitors that these keywords and phrases are important.
Using Text Modifiers
Beyond just optimizing your main topics and ideas, you want to emphasize appropriate keywords and phrases within your content. Your Web page content should speak to visitors, emphasizing words and phrases to express urgency or significance. Using text modifiers, you can emphasize certain blocks of text by bolding, italicizing, or underlining. The search engines also take modified text into consideration when determining your content’s relevance to that text.
Search-engine spiders are becoming more sophisticated every day, but the spiders still cannot read any images present on your pages. If images make up a large portion of your content, the search engines will have a difficult time understanding the topic of your content. Using Alt Image tags to describe your images gives the search engines a readable text description of those images and also aids in compatibility with non-graphical Web browsers.
Your internal linking structure leads the search-engine spiders and human visitors from one Web page to another on your Web site. The structure of your links tells the search engines what the linked Web page is about. Your internal linking structure is taken into consideration by the ranking algorithms that determine where your Web pages rank for target keywords and phrases. Making it simple for both the search engines and human visitors to find every page on your Web site is critical for optimal Web site structure.
Writing valid HTML is just as important as speaking proper English. Improper HTML can cause Web browser incompatibilities that result in your Web site appearing differently across different browsers. The World Wide Web Consortium has gone to great lengths to develop standards for Web development to ensure compliance across all browsers.