The most important piece of the search engine puzzle is to submit search engine friendly web pages. This takes you back to basics as you check the health of your current HTML program language. Start with your home page and then follow up with all your second-level subpages.
You may think it’s redundant when I emphasize the importance of making these pages search engine friendly. But currently 99 percent of all the client pages I review are NOT search engine friendly.
Most web site designers are creative people; many of them are programmers as well. They have so many tasks and responsibilities in the planning and designing of a web site that they can’t be expected to also become search engine specialists. As mentioned on ClickZ before, site designers often make the mistake of building the web site first, then hiring a search engine specialist later to make the site search engine friendly.
I guess it’s a fact that site owners don’t realize the importance of calling the search engine person early, as I find that most web sites need HTML attention before I can register them with search engines and get good results. Following is list of errors I find on most sites, along with an example of correct usage.
- Title Head Tag Improperly Created
Example: illycaffh the planet of espresso
Make it brief (five to seven words)
Put a keyword in the title (espresso)
Mention the company name (illycaffe)
Use the proper HTML tag with description and keywords.
- Improper Use of Comment Tags
- No Keywords in ALT Image Tags
Example: ALT= “italian espresso coffee”
All images have an ALT image tag: Type in a keyword vs. the image name, i.e., cof.gif
Some HTML editors insert the image file name, but using a keyword is better.
- No Keywords or Description in Tag
Example: illy sets the quality standard for coffee throughout the world.
Made since 1933 by the Illy family, world renowned for perfecting authentic, Italian espresso coffee.
In this site you’ll find information on:
illy, illycaffe, illy caffe, illy caffh, illycaffh, espresso, caffe, caffh, cafe espresso, coffee, cafi, capuccino, cappuccino, italian cafe, italian coffee, italian espresso coffee, kaffee, gourmet coffee, beverage, beverages, cup sets, coffee cup, coffee cups, Coppola, Francis Ford Coppola, Coppola spot, test, drink coffee.
This site requires a frames-enabled browser.
Search engines have problems with Frames sites. One solution for increasing the visibility of your Frames site on search engines is to use the NOFRAMES tag. This allows the engine to see the NOFRAMES content as an HTML web page.
- No Text Link Back-up for Java Script or Image Maps
Search engines do not see Java links. Therefore, unless you provide text links, the engine will not know you have other pages or content to index.
- Improperly Addressed Issues re Dynamic Pages and Search Engines
Example: .asp, .php, .cfm, and other dynamically generated web site designs cannot be indexed by search engines. You must provide static HTML web pages, such as doorway ads, under a separate domain name. Register these static pages with the search engines to lead your traffic into your dynamic site.
When installed on a web page, the lines of programming code described above are invisible to viewers using browsers such as Netscape or Explorer, yet are visible to the search engines indexing the page.
Rumors going back to 1995 have brainwashed people into believing that the meta tags’ hidden code will provide you an advantage in the shape of a better ranking or position in search engines, which is partially true. The hype is that if you put your keywords into the title, description and keyword meta tags on a page, your web page will appear very high in the search results when someone searches those same keywords. This is inaccurate.
All of the various code tags mentioned in this article, including meta tags, are helpful in creating search engine friendly pages. Doing such is known as optimization. Depending on the market pressures and the popularity of your industry, optimization can yield several high-ranking pages when submitted properly.
The following URLs are excellent for obtaining more information about meta and other HTML tags.
Most dot-coms cannot afford to rely on optimization and registration alone. They want to dominate their market and be found via several keywords and phrases in the most popular engines. This requires additional resources, to be discussed in the weeks to come. Next week, I’ll share where to submit your search engine friendly page(s), and in the following weeks, how to ensure they become registered in the most popular engines.