It's the Little ... by ... for the search engines doesn't have to be a tough job.But you need to pay ... to detail. It is often the ... that you do to your pages
It's the Little Things.... by windsong
Optimizing for the search engines doesn't have to be a tough job. But you need to pay attention to detail. It is often the little things that you do to your pages that will improve your ranking in the search engines. Sometimes, it's also the little things that can get you banned from the same search engines. Pay close attention. First we will cover some things you can do to improve your ranking. Then we will get into what not to do.
* Did you know that some search engines read the alt tags in your images? You don't have alt tags? Better include them in all your images. These tags were originally meant for browers that don't support images. This way, people with older browsers would have an idea of what the image is about. However, you can place keywords in these tags. Use 2 or 3 word keyword phrases, as this is what most people search for. If your site does not have images, Don't despair. You can use a 1x1 pixel clear image, (which doesn't show up on your page) just to give yourself a place to include the alt tag. Use these images as spacers.
* Your pages are probably peppered with headlines here and there. Instead of just using a larger font size for these headlines, use header tags instead. ( H1, H2, etc.) Search engines think that the most important information is in the header tags. Be sure to place your most important keywords here. If you don't have headlines on your site, start using them. This is better than meta keywords!
* The most important meta tag is the title tag. Your title tag is within the head tag. It is what shows up on your search engine listing and in the title bar at the top of your browser window. It is a must that you place your very best keywords here. Don't just put keywords in the title tag. It must make sense. Most search engines put a very stong emphasis on the title tag. Get it right and get listed.
* Use comment tags throughout you pages, especially near the top. The search engines like to read these, and by having keywords, keyword phrases, and other pertinent data here you will boost your ranking. Comment tags do not show up on your page. They only appear in the code. A comment tag begins with < !--- and ends with --- > Be sure to leave a space between the tags and the text.
* Probably the best boost in ranking that you can give yourself is a domain name. Some search engines won't index your site if you don't have a domain name, and they put a lot of weight on your domain name. Do you know what your domain name should be? *Your very top keyword or phrase.* Preferably something short and memorable. Don't get cute with domain names by using numbers and letters for words (u for you, 4 for for, 2 for to). Keep it simple so it makes sense to the search engines.
Now lets consider some things that can get you banned from the search engines, so pay close attention. These could be more important than the things you should do.
* DO NOT use text that is the same color as the background. Now this can get tricky. Some people have inadvertently broken this rule and don't know why they were banned. Lets say your site has a white background. So obviously you won't use white text. But what if you have a table on a page that has a black background and you use white text in this table? The search engines don't know the table has a different background. They only know that the page background is white, and suddenly here is white text. Oops! So make the text the palest gray you can. It will still look white to the viewer, but the search engines will know that its a different color from the background.
* DO NOT hide teeny tiny text somewhere on you page. The search engines know the viewer can't see it, and that you are trying to trick the search engines.
* DO NOT use keywords in your meta tags that are irrelevant. some people try to use 'the most searched for words' in their meta tags.... such as, sex, MP3, etc. You get the picture. Just stick to keywords that are related to your product or service. Remember that the search engines read the content of the page, so if you have keywords that do NOT show up in the content, you are likely to be ignored by the search engines. It doesn't make the viewers happy either, if they land on an irrelevant site.
Sometimes it is the little things that will make or break your listing in the search engines. Just use common sense. And always remember the number one thing your site must have to get a good listing on the search engines: CONTENT! Without this, all the optimization in the world just won't do you any good.