SEO and Webdesign: HTML HEAD Content

Every search engine has it’s own rules to process the html tags inside the head tag. Following next are some some general rules.

The <Title> Tag

First, the title of the html page should be relatively short and describe the page content accurately. Wherever possible, try to include keywords but without distorting the true purpose of the title.

It is one of the most important elements of SEO when it is used properly. A website can increase organic search traffic for each page by using an appropriate keyword within this tag, but this is only effective though when the actual content of a page is about that specific keyword. Search engines are indexing the content of the page as the meta tags and they can easily figure out whether or not the title tag is appropriate for the content contained on a specific page. In order to get full benefit of this tag, the keyword used within it should appear in its exact form within the content of the page. This is the best way to relay to the search engines exactly what a page is about and what keywords it should rank for within the search engine result pages.

The domain name shouldn’t be repeated in the title, it is often considered as spam. Also, it should not be used the same filename as the title tag or the same filename as the domain name, it is often considered as spam.

The title should not be any longer than 70-100 characters including spaces. (Google – DMOZ)

The title should bot be any longer than 60 characters. (scrubtheweb.com)

The title should not begin with the domain name, it is often considered as spam.

The <Meta Keywords> Tag

The meta keywords tag is the least important metatags because the majority of current search engines no longer support these tags and they place little to no importance on them, but it is good to have them filled in on each page. Use the description and keywords metatags in the head of each web page and make these tags different on each web page. The search engines does not like duplicate metatags.

First of all, keep the keywords as descriptive as posibile. It should not used words that are not present in the body of the page (for example: do not enter movies in the keywords tag when the page is only about books). Redundant characters will not hurt overall results, however words after the first 300 characters rarely help in any way.

The first keyword should be the main keyword that the content is based around, this keyword generally appears within the title of the article or page content. The second keyword should be the second most important keyword that the content is based around. Then you should list the next four important keywords or variants of the main two keywords. This has the potential to help a search bot to understand what the content of each page is about.

The tag should not be any longer than 378 characters (searchenginewatch.com referring to Google).

The tag should not be any longer than 268 characters (AltaVista).

Start all keywords with capital letters. (Relevant only on alphabetical listings)

Separate keywords with the “, ” (comma, space) character combination. (Most search engines use either character as the separator ).

You may use phrases as well, but it should not be used any word, not even within phrases, more than 3 times. It is often considered as spam.

The <Meta Description> Tag

This is a very important element of SEO, it allow a unique opportunity for websites to convince searchers to visit their sites and a particular page on the site. First of all, keep the description as descriptive as posibile, but the descriptions on some web pages are often a snippets of content that appear below the clickable titles of a search listing. Creating high quality meta descriptions can improve click through rates in the search results, also creating a poor description can be one of the quickest ways to get passed over by searchers within the search results.

It should not be any longer than 100 characters (Google).

It should not be any longer than 25-30 words (DMOZ).

It should not be any longer than 150 characters (scrubtheweb.com).

It should not be any longer than 200 characters (searchenginewatch.com referring to Google).

 

The source is here.

SEO basics

The purpose of search engine optimization is to make a website as search engine friendly as possible… so it can be easily said that basic SEO is all about common sense and keeping the web page very simple. It’s really not difficult, you only need to understand how search engines work. The problem with a lot of web developers is they does not consider the search engine optimization as a part of designing a site so they just ignore this part… I have some examples to give, what I’ve met in the last years, but they were improved in time or became offline.

Well, the exclusion of seo from web designing is wrong: why creating a great looking web site if nobody will find it? Of course, the word about it’s existence will spread and you’ll have some visitors in time, but usually the most visits come from the search engines. That’s why, from my point of view as a web designer, seo is one of the main things to think about when creating the structure of the website.

In the beginning there are two aspects of search engines to consider: the first is how spiders work, the second is how search engines figure out what pages relate to which keywords and phrases.

The electronic spiders (known also as bots) are the tools used by the search engines to collect data about a website, they copy its content which is stored in the search engine’s database. They are designed to follow links from one page to the next, to record these links, to assimilate the content of the web pages and to send other bots to gather data from the linked pages. The process goes on forever, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every week. By now the databases of the search engines measure their size in thousands of billions records.

It can easily be assumed that the spiders will find your site on their own if there are links on the web targeting it, so it is not need to submit the site to the major search engines manually or electronically. Search engines have the ability to judge the topical relationship between pages that are linked together, so the most valuable incoming links of the web come from the sites that share topical themes.

What you have to prioritize about seo is the ways to help the spiders to find your websites and to traverse it from A to Z. So you have provide easy to follow text links directed to the most important pages on the site in the navigation menu on each page, one of the links should lead to a text-based sitemap containing a text link to every page on the site. The sitemap can be the most basic page in the site (with no decorations and interactive parts for the visitors) as its purpose is more to direct spiders than help lost site visitors. As a designer you should also keep in mind that Google also accepts more advanced XML based sitemaps which can be read about in their Webmaster Help Center.

There might be parts of your site you don’t want to be visited by the spiders, in this case you can restrict the free access using “robots.txt” files. The spiders will not add in the search engines databases the files you will add in the robots.txt files, but they will have to be organized in a specific format.

There are two very important parts of search engine optimization: offering the spiders access to the site and the content of the site. Having an optimized page depends of both of them, there can not be one without other. You can be the best writer in the world, but if nobody reads your work you are nobody, but if you write nonsense and everybody is able to read you but nobody is really interested you are still nobody. On the internet the search engines are supposed to provide their users with lists of pages that relate to the search terms people enter in their search box. So these search engines need to determine which thousand of billions of pages is relevant to a small number of specific words… in order to do this, they needs to know your site relates to those words and they assimilate the content of the site.

When examining a page the search engines are looking for a few elements: the url of the site, the site tile, the description meta tag (the last two elements are found in the head section of the source code), then if follows the content of the site (the spiders read the pages just the same way the Europeans read the papers: from the left to right and from top to bottom, following the columns). Every part is important and they will be treated separately later on the site.

Finally, for this article anyway, the search engines operate by funds as well: the funds are collected from selling advertisement placement, selling listings or both. They sell out the area above or in the right of the search results as advertisement space and displays only relevant results based on what the users were looking (the search is applied to the advertisements database as well). Their logic is that most people will be mislead by the placement of such links and will choose them instead of the actual results.

That search engines that operate by selling listings will not show your website within the results regardless of its relevance unless you sign up for their service.

There is always the option to index your site on the directories the search engine company buys information from. However, such directories like Yahoo.com, DMOZ.org, Business.com, Best of the Web and others are moderated based on relevance and content, thus getting listed there may take some time and efforts.

Most search engines rank your website by relevance which is measured by the threshold of keywords. Some search engines, such as Google as well, will sort even relevant sites by their popularity, measuring the page rank by the actual links leading to the site. Also, the text or ALT TAG text accompanied with these links will influence the keywords the website is shown in the listings for.

Some search engines will consider a website more and more popular when they are clicked on the results page. These include AltaVista.com .

What you must remember if you start working in this field is that there are a lots of way you can do things in seo (they vary a lot) and the possibilities and combinations are infinite. You may experiment with any campaign freely, but only with a relative knowledge of the DONTs (what you MUST NOT DO) you will be able to maintain a sustainable development plan for your website.

 

The source is here.