Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the practice of getting your website to show up as a top result on Google and other search engines. In general, the earlier (or higher ranked on the search results page), and more frequently a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine’s users. This article provides some tips and suggestions that will help you improve your site’s interaction with both users and search engines, thus increasing traffic.
1. Page Title
Page title is indicated using the title tag. A title tag tells both users and search engines what the topic of a particular page is. The title appears as the clickable link on the search engine result, like “Awetext – Online Plain Text Editor and Manipulator” below:
Titles can be both short and informative. If the title is too long, search engine like Google will show only a portion of it in the search result. Each of your pages should ideally have a unique title tag, which helps search engine know how the page is distinct from the others on your site.
2. Description Meta Tag
Description meta tag is important because search engines might use them as a summary displayed beneath the title of a corresponding web page on the search results page. This tag always goes inside the <head> element. Write a description that would both inform and interest users.
Below is a sample of description meta tag.
<meta name="description" content="Awetext is a free online plain text editor with many useful tools for modifying and manipulating text.">
3. URLs Structure
Always keep a simple and easy to understand URL structure as URLs are displayed in search results.
Use words in URLs like http://www.example.com/products/black-hat.html. URLs with words that are relevant to your site’s content and structure are friendlier for visitors navigating your site comparing to URLs with an ID number like http://www.example.com/articles/12065/. Visitors remember them better and might be more willing to link to them.
4. Image Filename and ALT Attribute
You could use the generic filenames that your camera gave to image such as DSC_0010.jpg. However, it would be much better to name your image something like: Adidas-Pure-Boost-Shoes.jpg.
Because search engines can’t read images, you need to use alt attribute to help describe your image. If you do decide to use an image as a link, filing out its alt text helps search engine like Google understand more about the page you’re linking to.
Use brief, but descriptive filenames and alt text for your images. Below is a sample of image element with alt attribute.
<img src="Adidas-Pure-Boost-Shoes.jpg" alt="Adidas Pure Boost Shoes" width="270" height="270">
5. Heading Tags
Use heading tags to emphasize important text. There are six sizes of heading tags, beginning with <h1>, the most important, and ending with <h6>, the least important. Heading tags are an important website component for catching the user’s eye, it could help them understand something about the type of content underneath the heading text.
An XML sitemap file contains a list of the pages on a particular website. By creating and sending this list to search engines, you are able to notify the search engines of all pages on a website, including any URLs that may have been undetected by the search engine regular crawling process.
The following is an example of a simple XML sitemap that includes the location of a single URL.
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?> <urlset xmlns="http://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9"> <url> <loc>http://www.example.com/foo.html</loc> </url> </urlset>