Fundamentals of Search Engine Optimization- Stick To Fundamentals
How do search engines find your website, and how does your website find its way into search engines? Think of it this way, every page in your website is an opportunity to tell the search engines what your web site is about. Even the savviest web developers sometimes overlook this simple rule when constructing a new website.
Here are the five most important rules to consider:
1) Title meta tag
2) Description meta tag
3) Keywords meta tag
4) Visible HTML page content
5) Descriptive Links
Keep in mind that these are the A, B, C’s of Search Engine Optimization. There are many other factors which figure in the ranking algorithms of Google, Yahoo, MSN, AOL and Ask.com, such as traffic, amount of competing websites, and OBL and IBL (Outbound links and Inbound links). However, any good Search Engine Optimization plan begins with the basics.
Here’s what you need to know to build a solid Search Engine Optimization foundation.
Title Meta Tag
Take a look at the first one, the ‘Title Meta Tag.
<TITLE>Rudy red ballet slippers with diamonds</TITLE>
A highly descriptive title tag helps to increase the likelihood that a search for any combination of these words — Ruby Red Slippers. diamond — will return a result for this website.
The title tag should be different for every page of your website. It should be short, descriptive and relevant to your web page content. Try not to exceed 68 to 70 characters for your title tag length.
But it does not stop there. The major search engines will look at the next line in your Meta tags, the ‘Description meta tag.
Description Meta Tag
Take another look at the HTML code and look at its description tag –
<meta name=”description” content=”Providing systems integration for voice, video and data solutions from initial planning, consultation, design, integration and implementation.”>
The description tag is giving more descriptive information to the search engines as to what this page is about.
The description tag should also be different for every page of your website. It should be short, descriptive and relevant to your web page content. One or two short, highly descriptive sentences work well.
So does this all work? Is it worth the effort?
Try the following real time test and see for yourself.
Go to Google and search ‘video conferencing virginia’ or ‘video conferencing virginia beach’. Vicom should appear in the top 5 search results provided by Google.
Keyword Meta Tag
This tag has a different function regarding Search Engine Optimization. There was a time in what I refer to as the ‘Days of the Wild West’ when webmasters stuffed website pages with thousands of keywords. In today’s search engines, keywords work more as a search map for large article directories. This tag helps your website get found within a directory website such as Verizon Super Pages, so it’s a good idea to keep this tag in your website.
Keep your keyword Meta tag short and try to limit it to 15 words or phrases separated by commas.
Visible HTML page content
HTML is the text on your page. Your text should be informative and to the point. Try to bold or bold-underline important words in your copy. Good grammar and well formed sentences count too. If you have a tough time writing great text you should hire a professional copywriter. Your website is your 24/7 advertisement to the world and needs to be clear, creative and persuasive.
You should have descriptive links within the copy of your website and as part of your website navigation. For example, if you were selling oversized shoes and your target audience was males the United States, a good link to have in your copy or navigation would be:
Oversized Shoes for Men
Men’s Oversized Shoes
Men’s Shoes Large Sizes 12 – 20
Men’s Shoes in size 12 to 20
Now, let’s say your target audience was more regional — for the Hampton Roads area of Virginia:
Oversized Shoes for Men – Hampton Roads Virginia
Men’s Oversized Shoes – Portsmouth, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Virginia Beach
Further optimize your links by having a descriptive navigation link or link contained within the copy of your web page which links to a relevant page or topic. For example; Oversized Shoes for Men links to a page having a title tag, description tag, keywords and content about oversized shoes for men. Some webmasters refer to this an interior website Search Engine Optimization.
Sticking to solid fundamentals for Search Engine Optimization will make your website climb in the search engines and expose your product, service, issue or cause to far greater audiences.
About the Author
Ricardo Vidallon is owner and creative director for https://www.visionefx.net