Basic Web Page SEO
Note: This tip is for people who already have a Web site thought of, made up or designed. It may be a little confusing for those of you who aren’t much into making your own Web site.
If you have a Web site, I’m guessing you’d like someone to visit it. It may seem kind of tricky trying to figure out how to get traffic to come to your Web site and in truth, it is. You may see ads online with offers to buy hits to your Web site, or surf for traffic or even buying links and advertisement on other Web sites. While all those methods can work to an extent, nothing is more crucial to your Web site than search engine optimization (SEO).
SEO will provide you with the most steady stream of targeted traffic to your Web site. But , in order to get that, you’ll need to tweak your Web page just a bit to make sure you get proper placement in search engines, such as Google and Yahoo! That’s what SEO is all about; making sure your Web page is filled with food for the search engine spiders.
If you’re not familiar with the term spider, think of it as a robot that each search engine has. Their job is to gather and categorize Web pages in a search engine. They also rank each Web page within a category. Of course, you want to be the highest ranked, because that gives you the best chance of getting the most traffic on your site.
Follow these steps to help you gain proper SEO.
Step 1: Categorize Your Site
The first step is quite simple. Just answer these questions: what category does your Web site fit into? What audience do you want to appeal to? You’ll want to choose a set of 10 to 15 keywords that best describe your site. Say your Web page is about cars. Well, cars is such a broad category, so it’s not recommend that you try to compete with that keyword. Be more specific. Are there certain cars that you talk a lot about on your site? Are there certain topics about cars that your page has a lot of information on?
You can use the Overture Tool (also known as a reverse search engine) to help expand your keywords. This gives you an idea of exactly what people are searching for on the pay per click search engine, Overture. Check it out here: http://www.inventory.overture.com.
When you get to Overture’s site, type in a rather broad keyword (say one or two words), hit enter and the list that comes up will give you options of related keywords to use. The numbers on the left hand side indicate how many searches were done using that word/phrase in one month on Overture.
List your keywords when you’ve found a few that reflect your site. For example, Car care tips, compact cars, convertible cars, etc.
These keywords will now become vital to your Web site. The point is to use them over and over, as often as you can, to give more food to the spiders.
Step 2: Create Your Meta Tags
Meta tags are a description of your site that is embedded in your page that tell the search engines about your page. Here’s how the finished product will look, as a part of your HTML:
You should include these on every page of your Web site. Lets break down a few of the fields, what they mean and how they will affect your page.
Description – This is just a basic, short and sweet, overview of your Web site. Some search engines will display this with your Web page listing, like the descriptions you find on Google.
Keywords – This is where you will want to insert the keywords you chose earlier. The less you have, the more weight they will have for your site. In other words, more isn’t necessarily better. Copy and paste your keywords into this field and be sure to separate each word/phrase with a comma.
Audience – If your Web site is geared to an adult audience, you will want to state it in this field.
Page Type – This is where you will choose one broad category for your Web page.
Page Topic – This is just being more specific than the page type.
Copyright – If you have copyrighted your Web page, this is where you will enter the years it will be covered by the copyright.
Creation Date – Enter the date that you created your Web page.
Below is the code for you to copy and paste into your Web site, below the <TITLE> tag and before the <BODY> tag, as shown in the image above. The other fields shouldn’t be edited.
<meta name=”description” content=”**description here”>
<meta name=”keywords” content=”**keywords here”>
<meta name=”allow-search” content=”yes”>
<META NAME=”copyright” CONTENT=”**date here”>
<META NAME=”audience” CONTENT=”All”>
<META NAME=”page-type” CONTENT=”**type here”>
<META NAME=”page-topic” CONTENT=”**topic here”>
<META NAME=”creation_Date” CONTENT=”">
<META NAME=”expires” CONTENT=”">
<META NAME=”revisit-after” CONTENT=”7 days”>
<meta name=”robots” content=”index,follow”>
<meta name=”googlebot” content=”index,follow”>
<meta name=”Language” content=”en”>
<meta name=”mssmarttagspreventparsing” content=”true”>
<meta http-equiv=”Content-Type” content=”text/html; charset=iso-8859-1″><style type=”text/css”>
Step 3: Fine Tuning Your Page
This second to last step will involve things that you and your visitors will be able to see on your Web page. This is a checklist to make sure your site has all the following elements:
- Your <TITLE> tags should include the name of your site and a short description with several of your main keywords in it.
- Just like your site’s title, the first words on your page should also be in your site’s description, along with the keywords. Many search engines will use this as the description of your site’s listing.
- Your site’s name and keywords should be included in < h2 > at the top of your Web page (and every page, if possible).
- Each of your pages should be keyword rich. Try to sprinkle the main keywords you chose for your site throughout every page. Writing is extremely important when it comes to a Web site. If your page is based around pictures or a product, it will be extremely open to ad articles or rather lengthy descriptions of your product, which isn’t maybe necessarily what you want.
- Your keywords should be included in the links and in the alt tags of your images.
- Make sure to bold your keywords a few times on your pages.
- Try to include keywords in the actual names of your HTML files. For instance, car-care tips.html (or whichever extension you are using).
Step 4: From Here On Out
Most SEOs are a one time thing, but it is advised that you keep your content fresh. Adding new articles, new pages and changing the text on your page at least a few times a month will keep your rank in the search engines higher. Whenever you update your site, the spiders are alerted and crawl through your page once again.
It is also suggested that you exchange links with other Web masters, especially those who run sites in the same category as yours. These are called reciprocal links. Reciprocal links are not favored as highly as one way links to your site, but they are still important. The more links you have pointing to your Web site, the higher search engines, such as Google, will rank you.
Implement these steps into your Web site and you should see a steady increase in traffic over the next few weeks!
~ Kimberly Lawson