While quality content is important for retaining
visitors, search engine optimization is essential to drive traffic
to your website in the first place. Since over 80% of all web
traffic comes from search engines, it is crucial to optimize your
website so that it appears among the top results for searches on
keywords related to your site. Various factors, such as page content and
link popularity, are weighed by the search engine's algorithm to
arrive at the order in which it lists sites on the search result
Ideally, you want your web site to
rank among the top ten results for keywords that you are targeting
this article refers to both keywords and key phrases). To
improve your search placement, you may have to sacrifice some visual
aesthetics to ensure that your HTML code is search engine friendly.
This section discusses some page elements that influence your
search engine ranking.
1. The <HEAD> area
The <TITLE> Tag
The <TITLE> tag is perhaps the most important
factor influencing search engine placement. Make sure your keyword
is present once in the tag. It is advisable to use five to
eight words in the <TITLE> tag. The use of more words may be
penalized by the search engines.
Do not spam the <TITLE> tag with your keyword-- your keyword should
not appear more than twice in the tag. Some search engines
penalize you for using all CAPS. In general, choose a title
that is appealing to both the search engines and the visitors.
The META Description is not as
important as it used to be; however many search engines display it as
your page description in their results. Make sure your description is
meaningful; if it doesn't make any sense, chances are, visitors won't
click on your link.
The meta description tag should incorporate your keywords into a
meaningful sentence. Place your keywords closer to the beginning of your
description to achieve better
rankings. The length of your description should be between 150 and 250
characters. Do not repeat your keyword more than three to five
Not all search engines support META
keywords, but you should include them for those that do. Use this tag to list your keywords in descending order of
importance. Do not repeat the same keyword more than five to six times
times-- doing so may be interpreted as spam. Keep tag less than 1000 characters in