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Search Engine Optimization

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 pages.

Ideally, you want your web site to rank among the top ten results for keywords that you are targeting (keyword in 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.

  • META Description

    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 times.

  • META Keywords

    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 length.

    Use our Meta Tag Generator to quickly generate meta tags for your web page.

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