Internet is invaded by thousands of so called search engines' "crawlers" that act like spiders, visiting millions of web pages and delivering information back to Yahoo, Google or another system. This data is used to rank web sites, so there's no wonder why it's important to prepare your website for visit of these crawlers. Here are some simple tips that can help you to improve your SEO position.
First and most important note - crawlers see websites not like people. They scan all text that's on your web page including all coding and meta data. For you as a website owner it's vital to make sure you have a valid code without errors. The most important details here concern the following:
- Page Title. If you visit any website and look at a blue bar on browser's top, you will notice a title there. Your aim is to make unique and relevant titles for any page you have. Make sure your titles reflect the content what's on that page and are not the same for all pages.
Today even a user without coding skills can edit and manage standalone pages and whole websites using various programs known as web page editors. In case you use the one like Dreamweaver, you can easily change your page title by clicking "View" - "Toolbars" - "Document". Alternative way is "Modify" - "Page Properties" and then you will see a tiny bar where you can type in the title.
- H1 Text. H1 tag means header and your first title on web page should have it. If where are many titles on your webpage, you are free to use various preformatted or paragraph styles for all other titles excluding the first one.
Dreamweaver users can change text properties by selecting "format" box that is usually at screen's bottom. In case you don't see any, try "Window" - "Properties".
- Key Phrases/Keywords. As it has been mentioned in previous article, keywords are particularly important for all kinds of websites. These are those phrases that users type in to search engine bar in order to find information they need. Your aim is to find key phrases that tightly match those that users search and drive these people to your website.
Your strategy for determining right keywords can be roughly the following. First think of all phrases that describe your project better. For example, your website is dedicated to major league baseball hat. You can compose keywords like major league hat, baseball hat, ball cap, hat, baseball cap, major league baseball hat, MLB, MLB hat, MLB cap, baseball fan hat, pro baseball hat and so on. You can even go further and add a keyword like "Yankees hat" as this baseball team has many fans and is very popular.
The next thing to do is to select Keywords that are most important for you and you feel they should be more popular than others. Try to finish on 5 to 15 phrases. Finally, you should put these phrases to your web page. Certainly, they won't be seen by visitors, but crawlers will index them. If you use Dreamweaver, you can insert them by clicking "Insert" menu from main window, then click "Head Tags" and "Keywords".
- Description for your webpage. Make a short description, for about 15-20 words that describes your webpage content. For example, concerning our baseball caps website you can create something like "Top quality Major League Baseball hats at fair price".
You may ask why this description is so important. The answer is easy: often search engines pick this description and use it as reference to your website when it appears in search results. In this case people will see it and there's no doubt you want to show off yourself.
Dreamweaver users can edit these descriptions in "Insert" menu, submenu "Head Tags" - "Description".
- Images with "Alt" text. Some websites have it, while some don't, but adding alternative (or just alt) text for your images is a good idea. This text is not visible until you hang your mouse cursor over image. If there's alt text, you will see a description or label. Crawlers always see this text and so type keywords and phrases as alt text.
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In Dreamweaver you need to select an image and click "Properties". There you will see "Alt" window that is used to insert your text.
- Tailoring webpage content to keyword phrases. As you already know, keywords help crawlers to understand what type of content is on your page and rank your website. However, general phrases like "baseball hats" can be found in many other websites and so using keywords only you may not increase your position in search engine rating. What you should pay your attention to is content.
Your aim here is to show crawler you have relevant content that reflects keywords you've suggested. This is done easily - just make sure you have your main keyword (or two) indicated in the first block of text.