|A Guide to Search Engine Optimisation|
Search Engine Optimisation Tips
2. Site Design Considerations
3. Carefully choose your keywords
Unfortunately simply submitting your web site to search engines will not drive traffic to your site. Although submission is an integral part of any effective search engine optimising strategy, you must achieve good search positions for anyone to find your listing. Hopefully our useful hints and tips will help you optimise your site and achieve that top ten position.
As any search engine optimisation company will tell you, getting you site listed in the first ten results for a specific keyword is as much art as a science. Anyone can get to number 1 on a unique word or trade name, but on a generic key phrase, it’s much more tricky. Search engine optimising can be difficult and confusing, but once you are aware of the key optimisation techniques, time and persistence can yield a hugely gratifying reward if you get it right.
As Search Engine Optimiser’s (SEO’s), we ensure that the relevant words and phrases appear in the best positions on the pages. There are many other considerations, complicated by the engines modifying their preferences on a monthly basis. We pay for access to a the Wordtracker keyword database, which holds 301 million entries over the last 60 days. Using this information, we make sure that we are optimising the page in such a way that people will find it.
One of the biggest potential pitfalls for Webmasters is search engines that do not index the text within frames. A frame is an HTML page that “frames” other HTML pages. If your site uses frames you homepage is actually a frameset with no real content. Several major engines (including Excite, WebCrawler and HotBot) do not support frames, others do not index framed sites very well. If you site uses frames we recommend redesigning your site without them if you want to get good listings in the search engines.
If you must use frames, include text in the <NOFRAMES> tag. Another solution is to create pages (without frames) to act as doorways or alternate entrances to your site for the purpose of giving these engines something they can see and index.
Most search engine cannot list dynamic URL’s which are commonly listed on database driven sites using scripting languages such as VBScript within Active Server Pages (ASP). An example of a dynamic URL is shown below.
Search engines cannot index pages made entirely with FLASH. When you submit a page to a search engine a spider will follow the links on the page and listing the rest of the site. The best way to remedy this is to create a site map that uses normal html links to every page on your site. Also add a standard HTML link on each page of you site that links to the site map.
Search engines cannot index the code that makes up image maps. You can use image maps in your site but you should also include standard html links. As with a Flash site, create a site map that uses normal html links to every page on your site. Also add a standard HTML link on each page of you site that links to the site map.
Target the wrong keywords and all your efforts will be in vain. Choose the right keywords and you’ll see your traffic dramatically increase. Therefore, think long and hard about what keywords people are most likely to use when search for your site. Make lists of single keywords and then combine them into phrases.
For more information on choosing and the optimisation keywords for particular search engines have a look at our keywords section.
The title tag of your page is an extremely important factor to consider during the optimisation of a web page for search engines. This is because many engines and directories place a high level of importance on keywords that are found in your title tag. The title tag is also what the search engines usually use for the title of your listing in the search results.
What it looks like:
Where it belongs:
Tips for optimising your Meta Tags:
Your page content is another very important factor in achieving better search engine listings. Your page content is the information that a visitor would read from the page. Search engines look through Did you know that just like a visitor to your site would read the copy on your page to figure out what you have to offer, the search engines do too? And what do you think the search engines are looking for when they ‘read’ your page copy? Keyword phrases, of course!
Page content tips:
The head element contains general information (meta-information) about a document. HTML also includes a meta element that goes inside the head element. The purpose of the meta element is to provide meta-information about the document.
Most often the meta element is used to provide information that is relevant to browsers or search engines like describing the content of your document. Some search engines will use the name and content attributes of the meta tag to index your pages.
This meta element defines a description of your page:
This meta element defines keywords for your page:
The intention of the name and content attributes is to describe the content of a page. However, since too many webmasters have used meta tags for spamming, like repeating keywords to give pages a higher ranking, many major search engines have stopped using them entirely.
Where they belong: The correct placement for both meta tags is between the <HEAD> and </HEAD> tags within the HTML the makes up your page. Their order does not really matter, but most people usually place the description first then the keywords meta. Tag limits:
Meta description tips:
Meta keywords tips:
The alt attribute is used to define an “alternate text” for an image. The value of the alt attribute is an author-defined text:
<img src=”optimised.gif” alt=”Search Engine Optimisation”>
The “alt” attribute tells the reader what he or she is missing on a page if the browser can’t load images. The browser will then display the alternate text instead of the image. It is a good practice to include the “alt” attribute for each image on a page, to improve the display and usefulness of your document for people who have text-only browsers.
Although not all search engines use the Alt tab it can help your listings on some of them. We recommend on using 2-3 words for each image and using it where ever possible.
A text based hyperlink is a standard HTML example optimising search (this is an example link that does not go anywhere).
Search engines use complex algorithms to see if what you are linking to is something closely related to the content of your page. Some of the engines look for keywords in hyperlinks and in the surrounding text of the hyperlinks. We recommend including your most important keyword phrases in the link itself and possibly the surrounding text.
Headings are defined with the <h1> to <h6> tags. <h1> defines the largest heading. <h6> defines the smallest heading.
<h1>This is a heading</h1>
HTML automatically adds an extra blank line before and after a heading.
Although they are used less frequently due to new technologies, HTML heading tags can help improve your listings in the search engines also. You should include you most important keyword phrases in the heading tags on your page. Some search engines use them in the analysis of your page content.
You should not try to trick a search engine in any way because you risk being blacklisted by them.
Good Luck with your Optimisation!
The Search Engine Optimising (SEO) Team