MAKING WEB PAGES WORK FOR YOU AND YOUR CLIENTS
PART VII - 12
KNOWN TIPS TO EFFECTIVE PAGES
HAVE TEXT ON YOUR HOMEPAGE
Search engines catalog text from various home pages. Lacking descriptive text on a page leaves little chance of it appearing in the results of a search. Text needs not only be graphic, but in HTML text also. Search engines catalog ALT text, text in comment, and meta tags. A straight HTML description is recommended.
PICK MEANINGFUL KEYWORDS
Two or three keywords are crucial to your site, ensure those words are in your title and mentioned early on in your web page. People already have those words present
on their pages but may not have them in their titles.
Keep in mind the keywords you consider crucial are not exactly what users will enter. The lack of success with search engines does not mean your site isn't being found. More words are entered to find your site.
Example: Your web site is centered on "Orange County"
People go to a search engine
Enter words such as "Orange County California" or "Orange County Web."
The addition of just one word can make a site more relevant. It can be impossible to anticipate what word will be used. The best bet is focusing on chosen keywords but also have complete descriptions. The keywords should be in your text on your site and the Meta tags. You can use the same keywords when submitting your site to search engines.
HAVE LINKS TO INSIDE PAGES
No links to the inside pages from the home page means search engines will not catalog your site fully. The most descriptive, relevant pages are often the inside pages rather than your home page. Try sending the search engines directly to the lower levels if they don't ordinarily go there.
THE META TAG
How To Do it Link.
Meta tags help control a site's description in engines supporting them. This is NOT a guarantee that the site will appear first. They are now used by all but one major search engine. Adding meta tag description codes is not a magic bullet curing the site of dismal rankings, you are simply limiting your ability to get a good listing.
What is a meta tag?
Meta Tax Tutorial & Links
Meta tags give spider specific information, keywords or site summaries, about a site. Meta tags in Web lingo are defined as "information about information."
Meta tags are part of HTML code. Staying behind the scenes -- end users never sees them. Web authors may surround sentences or whole paragraphs with meta tags. Certain spiders read the information that are tagged as a way to help index a site.
META tags should be placed in the head of HTML documents between the actual <HEAD> tags and before the BODY tag. This is important with framed pages, some webmasters tend to forget to include them on individual framed pages. If you use META tags only on the frameset pages, you may be missing a number of potential visitors.
Using META description attributes let you add your own description to the pages:
Example of tags you could put in the header of an HTML document:
<META NAME="description" CONTENT="Automotive Web USA is the Automotive Industries Internet Publishing Service. Use AWUSA to find out who's who in the Automotive Industry! See how easy and lucrative it is to advertise your auto products and services on the Information Superhighway.">
<META NAME="keywords" CONTENT= "autos, cars, for sale, services, web hosting, webdesign, classifieds, dealerships, manufacturers.">
<META NAME="description" CONTENT="This page is about
friendship, love, sharing, and achieving balance in your life.">
Use 60 to 130 characters, make sure that several of your keywords are included in the description.
Keywords are important since it is through them that users find your site.
<META NAME="keywords" CONTENT="life, friendship,
relationships, love, sharing, balance, happiness, harmony">
Use up to 800 characters and put the important keywords close to the top of your page. Don't think of spiking the keywords by repeating the same word over and over. Most search engine spiders have been refined to ignore such spam. Use each keyword only once including both singular and plural forms.
Robots can be told which pages to index and which ones not to.
<META NAME="robots" CONTENT="all / none /
index / noindex / follow / nofollow">>
Defaults for the robot attribute are "all". This allows all the files to be indexed. "None" tells the spider not to index files or follow the hyperlinks on the page to other pages. "Index" means that this page may be indexed by the spider, while "follow" means that the spider can follow the links from this page to other pages. "Noindex" tells the spider not to index this page, but allow it to follow the links and index those pages. "Nofollow" allows the page itself to be indexed, but the links not be followed. Robot attributes can be useful, as you can see.
You can specify the distribution of pages for indexing. Indexing can be global, or can be restricted to certain countries.
<META NAME="distribution" CONTENT="Global">
Help the robot classify your site by assigning a rating for your pages which is a possibility:
<META NAME="rating" CONTENT="General">
Making revisions to your site or updating frequently ask the robot to revisit your site after a certain time. Use a time frame between 3 weeks to 6 months, which is recommended.
<META NAME="revisit after" CONTENT="30days">
How to do it:
SUBMIT TO THE "BIG 5"
After all the right things are done with the text, keywords, Meta tags, etc. submit yourself to search engines. 95% of all links come from locations such as these:
Yahoo Excite Lycos AltaVista Infoseek
Or join the All Net 2000 family and be submitted to the "Big 5" and the "Top 500" also.
Swap links with other sites! Place a number of related links on your site. Then contact sites asking for reciprocal links. Its surprising how many people are doing this. Ask if you can include a graphic or banner with the link, if they're really cooperative! Have a page on the site for this purpose only, call it something like "Hot Links".
THE LINK EXCHANGE
If you're adventurous enough join the "Link Exchange". Free banner exchanging program with link sites all over the world. Some quirky rules apply, and it takes a lot of energy, but the results are worth it!
Simply visit www.linkexchange.com .
Once in an engine check your site once a week at least. Things happen and pages can disappear from catalogs. Links go screwy so watch for trouble, and resubmit when you spot it.
Or join the All Net 2000 family and receive free reports telling where you are located in the search engines.
Engines are visiting sites on a schedule developed from site changes. The engines are growing smart and realize some sites change content only once or twice a year, so they are not visited regularly. Resubmitting every month will ensure your site's content is current. Join the All Net 2000 family and be re-submitted every 60 days.
Search engines can take weeks or months before their catalogs are updated. They may "crawl" every night, but new findings aren't public until the catalogs are updated.
Example: Mid-April 1996, WebCrawler's catalog listed finds through Feb. 1996 only. Alta Vista seemed to be the same way. The catalog for Excite reflected changes soon after they were made, indicating the catalog was constantly updated. Recent reports reflect that they are slowing down due to massive volumes of submissions.
DON'T SPAM OR TRY TO "BEAT" THE SYSTEM THROUGH ABUSE.
Spamming doesn't work with every search engine. The content of most web pages should be enough for search engines to determine relevancy without webmasters resorting to repeating keywords to try and "beat" other web pages. The stakes keep rising, and users are beginning to hate sites that take to these measures.
Efforts should be spent on networking, exchanging links and alternative forms of publicity.