SEO Template

SEO Template

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Contents

Title tag

  • is your companyʼs name or your main web page title Near the very top of a web siteʼs source code youʼll find various meta tags — the standard ones being the Title, Description and Keyword tags. The title tag is technically not a meta tag, though it is commonly associated with them. The title tag plays such a large role in the indexing of your web site, that it is considered the most important of the three.
  • A page title is the first thing a search engine will look at when determining just what the particular page is about. It is also the first thing potential visitors will see when looking at your search engine listing.
  • Itʼs important to include a keyword or two in the title tag — but donʼt go overboard - you donʼt want to do whatʼs known as “keyword stuffing” which does nothing but make your web site look like spam. Most people will include either the company name, or title of the particular page here, as well.

Meta tags

are the description tag and the keyword tag There are two primary meta tags in terms of SEO — the description and the keyword tag. Itʼs debatable whether the search engines use the description tag as far as ranking your results. However it is one of the more important tags because it is listed in your search result — it is what users read when your link comes up and what makes them decide whether or not to click on your link. Be sure to include a few relevant keywords in this tag, but donʼt stuff it with keywords either. The description tag should read like a sentence — not a keyword list. Meta tags descriptions are more important than meta tags keywords. Due to “keyword stuffing” many search engines now completely disregard the keyword tag. It is no longer nearly as important as it was years ago, however it doesnʼt hurt to include them in your source code. When creating your keyword list, youʼll want to think of the specific terms people will type in when searching for a site like yours. Just donʼt go overboard — too many duplicates are not a good thing (as in “web designer” “web designers” “custom web designer” “html web designer” “your state here web designer” - you get the idea). Those are all basically the same, so pick one or two variations at the most and move onto the next keyword.

Heading tags

show what your web site pages are about This is a very important element to consider when writing out your site copy. Use of heading tags helps users, web browsers and search engines alike know where the major key points of your copy are. Your main page title should use the <h1> tag — this shows what your page is about. Use of additional tags, such as <h2> and <h3> are equally important by helping to break down your copy. For one, youʼll see a visual break in the text. But as far as the search engines are concerned, it will automatically know what your topics are on a page. The various heading tags give a priority to the content and help index your site properly.

Alt attributes on images

describe images on your web site Putting alt attributes on your images actually serves two purposes. In terms of SEO, putting a brief yet descriptive alt attribute along with your image, places additional relevant text to your source code that the search engines can see when indexing your site. The more relevant text on your page the better chance you have of achieving higher search engine rankings. In addition, including image alt attributes help the visually impaired who access web sites using a screen reader. They canʼt see the image, but with a descriptive alt attribute, they will be able to know what your image is.

Title attributes on links

tell the search engines what the link is and where it goes Including title attributes on links is another important step that any good web site will have. Thatʼs the little “tool tip” that pops up when you place your mouse over a link. These are especially important for image links, but equally useful for text links. As a note, you should use descriptive text for your links. “Click here” doesnʼt really tell a person - or more importantly, the search engines — what the link is. At the very least put a title tag that will explain that “Click Here” really means “Web Design Portfolio” for example. Better yet - make the main link text something like “View my web design portfolio” — this will give some value to the link showing that the resulting page is relevant to searches for portfolioʼs.

XML sitemap

is an organized list of all your web site pages XML sitemaps are used by the search engines in order to index through your site. •  This list of ALL pages / posts / etc. of your site also includes information such as the date the page was last modified, as well as a priority number of what you feel the most important pages of your sites are. All elements that help the search engines properly find and link to all content of your site.

Relevant content

is actual text content on all your web site pages Having content relevant to your main page or site topic is perhaps the most important SEO aspect of a page. You can put all the keywords you want in the meta tags and alt image tags, etc — but if the actual readable text on the page is not relevant to the target keywords, it ends up basically being a futile attempt. While it is important to include as many keywords in your page copy as possible, it is equally as important for it to read well and make sense.

Link building

is increasing the number of links pointing to your web site Weʼve probably all heard of Google Page Rank — it seems to be every web site ownerʼs dream to have as high a page rank as possible. While the algorithm for determining page rank encompasses many elements, and is constantly changing, one item is the number of links pointing to your web site. Now, youʼll want to steer clear of link farms and other spammy attempts at getting links to your site. However there are many reputable and niche directory sites that you can use to submit your web site, or specific blog articles to. With genuine content — especially if you have a blog — youʼll be able to generate links with other web sites and blogs, as well. Itʼs somewhat of a give and take, in that if you link out to other sites, youʼll find sites linking back to you — and hopefully see your page rank going up, as well!

Social media

helps you to build relationships with your customers online Although technically not SEO, social media is such a growing factor in getting your web site noticed, that itʼs an important element to include in your plan. Social media ranges from social networks like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn — to social bookmarking sites such as Delicious, Digg, StumbleUpon and many more. There is a lot of relationship building involved, but as you build your own networks and build quality content on your web site or blog, youʼll see traffic to your web site increasing, as well. If you write a great post and have built meaningful relationships with peers in your niche, youʼll often find that friends will submit your posts and give you votes on the social bookmarking sites. The more votes you receive, the more likely your post is to be noticed by others and shared around, often resulting in additional link backs from other blogs, etc.

SEO donʼts

donʼt do splash pages and full flash web sites Yes, flash is pretty! Full flash web sites can actually be amazing to look at — their own bit of interactive artwork. But unfortunately most search engines donʼt get along well with Flash yet. Although flash is actually searchable by search engines now (at least Google). All that great content that you wrote for your site will not be seen by the search engines if itʼs embedded into a Flash web site. As far as the search engines are concerned, your all flash web site might as well be invisible. And if the search engines canʼt see your site content, a good chunk of potential customers will miss out on what you have to offer, too. Equally as “pointless” are splash pages. Once very popular, the splash page should no longer be an important feature of any site. While splash pages used to serve as an introduction into a web site (often with a flash animation), it is no longer seen as helpful, and often times might actually annoy visitors. For one — itʼs an extra click to get into your content. Worse is when you donʼt give a “skip intro” option or set of links into your main site content — because youʼre essentially forcing your visitors to sit through the full animation. If youʼre lucky, this will only annoy them… if not — theyʼll just leave without giving your main web site a shot. And without an html link pointing into your site, the search engines have no way to continue either (unless you made use of a sitemap.xml file — but still…) A good alternative to both issues is to make use of a flash header. Thereʼs no problem to include a flash animation at the top of your main site, or as a feature within the content area, etc. Because this is an addition to your web site, as opposed to a full separate element.


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