On Page SEO Factors
– There are several directives that you can place into your html that provide information about the web page. ‘Description’ and ‘keywords’ meta tags are commonly used to describe a Web page’s content. Most search engines use this data when adding pages to their search index.
Increasingly, the only meaningful meta tags used are the description tag and the robots tag. The description tag is used to display information about your web page in search results and should be considered a marketing tool since it’s the first thing that potential visitors will see about your website.
Keywords tags bare mention here only because they used to be considered important. Currently, the tags are mostly ignored and have little to no impact on search engine placement etc.
The robots tag tells spiders whether a page should be indexed or not. Be careful setting robots tags to no-follow, many sites have been mistakenly de-indexed by misusing this tag. When in doubt, leave it out.
Meta tags are formatted in the <HEAD> section of your web page like this:
<meta name=”description” content=”Professional web design and management for small and mid-sized business.” />
<META NAME=”ROBOTS” CONTENT=”INDEX, FOLLOW”>
Keywords that are relevant to your website should be carefully selected and used in your website content to help search engines index your web pages properly. These keywords are also used in other page elements described below: Title tags, Header tags, Image alt text.
The Title tag is also defined in the <HEAD> section of your html document. Basically it tells visitors and search engines what the web page is about. The title tag is usually under 50 characters and should be considered a short description of the page.
<TITLE> Some Title </TITLE>
Header tags are used throughout the page <BODY> to emphasize the topic for a particular section or paragraph of content.
‘<H1>’, ‘<H2>’ are the most commonly used header tags and highlight the importance of the text between the tags for search engines and visitors.
Header tags are formatted like this:
<H1> Some text </H1>. Note that the more significant tag is the H1, then H2, H3 and so on.
This is an H1 Tag
This is an H2 Tag
Image alt text
is an important tag for a couple of reasons. If a visitor is viewing your page with images turned off the alt image tag indicates what the image on the page was. It also indicates what the image is about for search engines. Once again, keywords should be used in this tag where possible.
Alt=”some text” used in an <img src> tag.
Anchor text using your keywords should be used throughout the web page when links to internal and external pages are present.
<a href=”http://waterfordmedia.com “ >My anchor Text </a>
It’s also helpful to use the href title attribute to indicate what the page is about to visitors:
<a href=http://waterfordmedia.com “ title=”My title”>My anchor Text </a>
We will finish up this article with a discussion on content. The content of your web page is the most important factor related to search engine ranking, more importantly, content is what your visitors are looking for. Unique and substantial content is the only real way to ensure the success of your website. If your website is primarily for the purpose of selling products, either find a way to infuse some keywords into your product descriptions or start a blog that discusses the general aspects of the products you offer.
Thanks for reading. The next article will introduce the reader to off page SEO activities such as link building, article writing and syndication.