Monday, July 19, 2010

Website Optimization 3

Happy Monday to all!

Here's the next lesson in website optimization!

Last time we talked about how to code your on page content with keywords you selected from the Google Keyword Tool. If you haven't read the earlier posts, please do as they work off one another.

So, today I want to get a bit more technical and show you how you can add keywords to the meta data of your site. Before you ask, meta data involves various different tags that exist in the coding of your site and they tell the search engines what your site is about. Those tags are called the title tag, keywords tag and description tag.

Now, a little info on each of these tags. The keyword tag is the most unimportant of all three. Basically people spammed this tag way back when so Google doesn't really pay any attention to it anymore. Some other search engines will, though, so I think it's still good practice to use it.

The title tag is extremely important as it tells the search engine what each page of your site is about. For example, you might have a contact title page that tells the engines that particular page has something to do with contacting the website operator. You might have a bio page which would tell the engine they are now on a page about the author, etc. It's crucial to make sure that every page of your site has a unique title tag.

Now, the description tag is probably my favorite because it allows you to tell what each page is about in a sentence or two. The title tag is more of a phrase and the description tag allows you to be more lengthy in your description. It's also an important tag because many times the search engines will use this tag in the results pages so it's important to make sure it really summarizes your page nicely because this could be the deciding factor for someone on whether or not they are going to click and come to your site.

So, first step, lets look at the coding of a site. Let's use my site as an example. Go to www.urbanfantasynovels.com and once there, go up to the navigation at the top of your screen and click "View" then click "Page Source". You should see something that looks like a page with a ton of words all over it. Don't worry, you want to see that!

Now, if you look a little bit closer, you'll see the meta data I've created for my home page:

Title tag looks like this:
Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance Author HP Mallory

Keywords tag looks like this:
Urban fantasy, paranormal romance, vampire books, witch books, warlocks, werewolves, fairies, netherworld, underworld, fire burn and cauldron bubble, to kill a warlock, vampire romance, vampire book series, vampire book, sensual paranormal romance stories, demons, ghosts, ghost stories, werewolf

Description tag looks like this:
H.P. Mallory is the author of paranormal romance and urban fantasy books including witches, warlocks, vampires, werewolves and fairies.

So, basically, the idea is to use your keywords and to feature them into these
three tags.

For each page, you should be focusing on no more than 3 keywords and if those
keywords show up in your meta data, so too should they show up in your page
content. So, let's say you have a page about witch books, your keywords on the
page should also reference witch books and so should your meta data.
It creates themes for each page this way.

So, how do you add your meta data? Well, that depends on which platform you are
using to create your website. I used dreamweaver and as such, I'm able to go
into the code and cut and paste these tags. Many other website software packages
will specify areas where you can create your meta data without having to touch the
code of the site. If you have this type of site, consider yourself lucky!

If you are working with the code of the site, it's easiest just to cut and paste
my example above but, of course, change your keywords and sentence structure and
make sure you include the proper formatting (carrots and name of tag, etc.--to get this code, just go to any website and view source, then find the three tags and copy the html code and then just paste it into the coding of your site, making sure to change the wording for your own).

If you are working with a program that allows you to specify what each tag will
be without going into the code, leave off the html code (such as the carrots and the name of each tag) as this will look ugly and confuse people.

When creating your tags, just go by the following:

Title tag: short and pithy--no more than 8 words. Each page of your site needs
a unique title tag.

Description tag: complete sentence. Try to use calls to action (read, join, learn,
etc.) because calls to action will help tell the visitor what action you expect
them to take on your website. Remember that the description tag will most likely
be the first thing a searcher will read upon seeing the search results and you want
to make sure your description stands out and tells them exactly what to expect upon
visiting your site. Each page also needs a unique description tag.

Keywords tag: Try to aim for no more than 20 keywords or keyword phrases. Each page
can share the same keywords tag.

Let me know if you have questions!

3 comments:

  1. Thanks for another great post! One question: Why is it crucial that each page have a unique title? Does this improve your SEO?

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  2. Hi Daniel,
    Thanks for the comment. A unique title tag for every page will help with your SEO because you'll be able to incorporate keywords. But, it's also important from a usability perspective because multiple pages of your site can be indexed in the search engines, not just the home page. So having a relevant title tag tells visitors what they should expect to see on that page.
    Thanks!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I so need to copy and save these posts, then send them to my husband so he can work on my website. lol. Cause you know I don't know how!

    ReplyDelete