Entries tagged with “meta tags”.

by Wendy Montes de Oca

Don’t let your site get lost in Internet obscurity. Here’s the fourth of five simple ways to help boost your website’s traffic and optimization.

4. Website pages should be keyword rich and related to your business.

Make a list of your top 20 keywords and variations of those words, and incorporate them into the copy on your site (avoiding the obvious repetition of words). Search engine “spiders” crawl Web pages from top to bottom, so your strongest keywords should be in that order on your home page and sub-pages (the most relevant on the top, the least relevant on the bottom).

You’ll want to do the same for your tagging. Make sure your title tags (the descriptions at the top of each page) and meta tags are unique and chock full of keywords. And your alt tags (images) should have relevant descriptions as well.

If your site has been published to a server and attached to a URL (your domain name), it will automatically be picked up by the search engines like Google, Yahoo!, MSN Live Search, Ask.com, dogpile, and Alta Vista, also known as web crawlers, spiders, or web bots. The real questions is “What can I do to help someone looking for me, find me?” With the literally billions of websites out there, realistically, you can’t always be number one.

Early search engines ranked pages based on page content and formatting and based on the content of metadata tags. Webmasters attempting to increase visibility packed their pages with hidden words to try to trick the search engines. This practice, while still used by some, unfortunately, can get your website banned from search results.

Thus the advent of the paid inclusion system, companies charging set fees or “pay-per-click” advertising to buy your way to better position on search results. Such programs usually guarantee inclusion in the database, but do not guarantee specific ranking within the search results.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO), the process of improving the volume and quality of traffic to your website, is not necessarily an appropriate strategy for every website. At a minimum, a website should be optimized to create content for users, not for search engines, and then making that content easily accessible to the spiders, rather than attempting to “trick” the search engine algorithm from its intended purpose.

The best practice is to basically build high quality web pages to engage and persuade, while addressing any technical issues that may prevent search engines from crawling and indexing those sites. With that, set up of site analytics programs enable site owners to measure their successes and make any modifications to improve the the site’s effectiveness as another tool to market their wares.