HTML Development Thoughts
The following is "just my opinion", which I formed after developing a few websites and seeing how I rated in the search engines. Don't take it for gospel, but add it to your ideas on developing your own site. These notes talk about HTML Meta Tags and how to develop text content for your site so that you can, hopefully, achieve higher ranking in the search engines.
Meta Tags are information, in the "head" of your html code (that is between the <head> and </head> statements, that are usually hidden from the viewer. Some are used by the search engines to help list/rank your page. I'll talk about Title, Description and Keywords, which are used by the search engines.
In my first website for my jewelry, I used a subdirectory from my business site whose domain was digitalid.com. The Title of the site was "Custom Jewelry by Design" and was I surprised when I found that I was ranked #1 in aol.com and Lycos.com for keyword "Custom jewelry". This started me thinking.
Although I show examples below for this page, I would suggest that you see my home page for how to put these concepts in action as I've only provided this page for information purposes and don't care if anyone finds it on their own - that is, I don't care how the search engines rate this page.
This is a very important aspect of your site and many things will depend on what you come up with. So, I suggest that you define your keyword list early in development and use these words to define everything else. The viewer will not see these keywords, but they are what the search engines rank you on and should be what you think viewers will search on to find your site.
The format for this Meta Tag is:
<meta name="keywords" content="fill in a list separated by commas">
Ex: <meta name="keywords" content="html, meta tags, title, description, keywords, high ranking, search engines">
- The list should be ordered by priority - that is, your most important keyword first.
- I've heard that you should not add more than 15 keywords, but I haven't seen it to be a problem with a much longer list. But???
- Use singular and plurals. Ex: ring and rings
- Use mispellings. Ex: enlargement and enlargment. While looking at my stats, I've seen many people search on misspelled words. So try to think how someone would make a typo or just have the wrong spelling and put all of these in the list.
This is not a Meta Tag, but an important html statement. This is what is shown as the window title when viewing a web page. So it does show. Also, if you bookmark a page, it will be the note for the bookmark. Thus if you don't define it, it may default to "title" and the bookmark for that page will be meaningless.
The format for this is:
<title>fill something in here </title>
Ex: <title>HTML MetaTags and more - thoughts by Karen L. Cohen</title>
- Start with your major keyword
- Write something this is meaningful as a bookmark tag
- Keep it short
This Meta Tag is not shown on your page, but is used in your listing when found by a search engine for a particular keyword.
The format for this Meta Tag is:
<meta name="description" content="fill something in here ">
Ex: <meta name="description" content="HTML Meta Tags - title, description and keywords - some thoughts by web developer Karen L. Cohen">
- Start with your major keyword, if possible. But this is not as important as starting your title with your major keyword
- Use as many keywords in the description as possible
- Write something that will induce people to come to your site. Remember, this is what is shown by the search engines when your site is listed after a search.
I obtained the following from a friend of mine that got it from her webmaster who read it on a blurb about writing content for the web. I believe that it is good advice. Click here for a .pdf file.
KLC rules for your home page:
- Be sure to have some text on your home page. This will help viewers tell what your site is about without clicking on a link. It will also give the search engines something more to index. This text should be in the form of text, not just a graphic that looks like text. If your first entry page is just a graphic, although it might look wonderful, it will not help you, and may hinder you, with the search engines.
- Use as many keywords on your home page and as often as possible. And be sure to include some of those common misspellings.
- Up front, give a short description of what your site is about. Don't make the user read too much before deciding if they found what they were looking for.
- Keep the home page short and to point