Every search engine optimization specialist knows that there are certain areas of a web page that are more important than others, and if you want to be a specialist you’re going to have to understand the structure of a typical HTML document and how you use it to implement optimization techniques. The first thing you need to be aware of is that any HTML on your sites needs to comply with the strictest standard known as XHTML. By following this standard you are ensuring that your site is easily readable by search engines, as they do not see your page as you see it in a browser.
Search Engine Optimization
Every page that complies with the XHTML standards has two main sections head the area and the body. If you want to see these areas simply right-click on this page and select view source. This will open up the page as an HTML document in exactly the same way search spiders see it.
Search Engines Index Your Site
The head section starts at the very top and is closed by the /head tag. The content in this section is usually invisible when looking at it in a standard web browser and consists of the title tag and maybe meta tags. The title tag displays text in the caption bar on the top of your browser screen. As you can see this site is “search engine optimization”. The meta tags usually contain description keywords and help the search engines index your site using the correct phrases and words, however, meta tags have no bearing on ranking.
After the area of the document, you will find the body and this consists of everything you see in your internet browser. In the area you will see the heading tags, these are important for search engine optimization with h1 being the most important and h6 being the least, as far as keyword relevance is concerned. You may also see the links tag which is delimited and marked up and also image tags which appear as so, img. Simply right-click and select “view source” for a full view of an XHTML page. Ok, time to look at the most important aspects of a page and how a specialist would begin to optimize them for search engines;
The Meta Tags
First of all, There are 2 Types of Meta Tags that Search Spiders Appear to use;
- Meta Keywords
- Meta Description
The meta keywords were originally a means for spiders to find out what your page was about and therefore it helped to boost your rankings, however, once the spammers caught on it was quickly changed and now the main search engines such as Google give very little weight to the meta keywords tag. Simply use it for your top 3 main keywords and a few synonyms, only target the keywords that are relevant to the body text on that page.
The meta description tag is the description that the search engines will show for your site in the SERPs. Meta descriptions are not going to help you with regards to increasing relevancy however if you don’t have a meta description the search engines will simply make one up using the first few lines of your page, this may not do your content justice.
HTML Heading h1 – h6
The headings are the best means of organizing your page and making it easier for visitors to view. As well as this they play a big role in determining the relevancy of your web page and the search spiders will give a lot of weight to any keywords within them.
Use your main keywords in the headings towards the top of the page as this will give them greater relevancy.h1 – h6 headings are a great way to structure your page but always remember to keep the basic quality guidelines and not overuse them.
This is something that is not something that is mentioned a lot by SEO specialists but does add relevancy to your page’s content and raises the profile. When you refer to other sources elsewhere on the net be sure to anchor the text with keywords that describe your site. Don’t overdo this and keep links like this down to 3 a page and this will help your site establish itself as an authority page.
These tags are used to give alternative wording for images that for some reason cannot be displayed in a browser. The reason search engine optimizers bang on about them is simply because search spiders cannot read images but can however read the alt attribute, therefore adding relevancy to your page. If you looking to become a search engine optimization specialist these are the very basics you should be aware of concerning html elements and should take time to ensure they are optimized correctly.