Every search engine optimisation specialist knows that there are certain areas of a web page that are more important than the others, and if you want to be a specialist your going to have to understand the structure of a typical html document and how you use it to implement optimisation techniques.
The first thing you need to be aware of is that any html on your sites needs to comply with the strictest standard known as xhtml. By following this standard you are ensuring that your site is easily readable by search engines, as they do not see you page as you see it in a browser.
Visit http://www.w3.org/MarkUp/ as this is the official resource.
Every page that complies with the xhtml standards has two main sections head the area and the body. If you want to see these areas simply right click on this page and select view source. This will open up the page as a html document and in exactly the same way search spiders see it.
The head section starts at the very top and is closed by the /head tag. The content in this section is usually invisible when looking at it in a standard web browser and consists of the title tag and maybe meta tags. The title tag displays text in the caption bar on the top of your browser screen. As you can see for this site it is “search engine optimisation”. The meta tags usually contain description keywords and help the search engines index your site using the correct phrases and words, however meta tags have no bearing on ranking.
After the area of the document you will find the body and this consists of everything you see in your internet browser. In the area you will see the heading tags, these are important for search engine optimisation with h1 being the most important and h6 being the least, as far as keyword relevance is concerned.
You may also see the links tag which is delimited be and mark up and also image tags which appear as so, img . Simply right click and select “view source” for a full view of a xhtml page.
Ok, time to look at the most important aspects of a page and how a specialist would begin to optimise them for search engines;
The title tag is important for 2 primary reasons:-
a) Search engines will put weight on the keywords in it when analysing the relevancy of your page.
b) It will be the first thing searchers see in the serps (search engine results pages) therefore it will need to be compelling, as to attract a click.
In my opinion the keywords in your title text are as important to search engine optimisation, as your visible text and link text pointing to your page. There are also a few things you need to know in order to make your title tag better for seo purposes:-
- Do not create more than 1 title tag
- Use your primary keywords
- Do not put multiple phrases in the title tag
- Make sure your title tag is the first tag under the header as this adds to relevance
- If you can create a unique title for each web page using different keyword variations
- Try to make your title tags longer and always between 3 – 7 words and up to 75 characters
- Make sure any keywords you implement are geographically connected to your client base
The title, put simply, should reveal the main theme of your visible text and therefore increase your chances of being indexed for your selected keywords.
The Meta Tags
First of all there are 2 types of meta tag that search spiders appear to use;
- Meta Keywords
- Meta Description
The meta keywords were originally a means of spiders finding out what your page was about and therefore it helped to boost your rankings, however once the spammers caught on it was quickly changed and now the main search engines such as Google give very little weight to the meta keywords tag. Simply use it for your top 3 main keywords and a few synonyms, only target the keywords that are relevant to the body text on that page.
The meta description tag is the description that the search engines will show for your site in the serps. Meta descriptions are not going to help you with regards to increasing relevancy however if you don’t have a meta description the search engines will simply make one up using the first few lines of your page, this may not do your content justice.
HTML Heading h1 – h6
The headings are the best means of organising your page and making it easier for visitors to view. As well as this they play a big role in determining the relevancy of your web page and the search spiders will give a lot of weight to any keywords within them.
Use your main keywords in the headings towards the top of the page as this will give them greater relevancy.
h1 – h6 headings are a great way to structure your page but always remember to keep the basic quality guidelines and not over use them.
This is something that is not something that is mentioned a lot by seo specialists but does add relevancy to your pages content and raises the profile. When you refer to other sources else where on the net be sure to anchor the text with keywords that describe your site. Don’t over do this and keep links like this down to 3 a page and this will help your site establish itself as an authority page.
These tags are used to give alternative wording for images that for some reason cannot be displayed in a browser. The reason search engine optimisers bang on about them is simply because search spiders cannot read images but can however read the alt attribute, therefore adding relevancy to your page.
If you looking to become a search engine optimisation specialist these are the very basics you should be aware of concerning html elements and should take time to ensure they are optimised correctly.Line Break
Author: Tim (292 Articles)
Tim Grice is the owner and editor of SEO wizz and has been involved in the search engine marketing industry for over 7 years. He has worked with multiple businesses across many verticals, creating and implementing search marketing strategies for companies in the UK, US and across Europe. Tim is also the Head of Search at Branded3, an SEO agency in Leeds.