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Getting Your Optimized Web Page Listed

If you have already read the General Web Page Optimization Guidelines page you will already know that the Yahoo directory and DMOZ Open Directory Project have been discussed it's time to get noticed by the search engine spiders. Keywords in the URL are great, and search engines like them but if you've got a database driven or e-commerce web site, there may be problems regardless of how well your web pages are optimized. Characters such as ? & % are not read well by search engine spiders and are often passed over. Try avoiding using these character (as hard as it may be with existing web pages).

Getting Spidered - Title, Description and Keyword tags oh my!

Slick designs, keyword rich content and perfectly validated html appeal greatly to the eye.. but search engines could care less how pretty or bleeding edge your web pages look. The first thing they do look at are:

1. <TITLE>The Title of your Optimized Web Page</TITLE>
2. <meta name="description" content="A description of your web page, 12 - 24 words.">
3. <meta name="keywords" content="sprinkle in keywords,between 7 - 48 words,">

Title Tags

Title tags are the text that will be displayed first and the largest when your site appears in a search engine. Web Page Optimization specialists fret over these, I've looked at them for hours on end myself try to decipher the perfect amount of words and content to rank high. The K.I.S.S. rule (Keep it simple stupid) comes into play now. Try to keep your title tag between 6 - 10 words with you keyword density around 20-35%. So if your Title tag is 10words long using your keywords 2-3 times would be just about right. Keep your title tag relevant to your site and have it make sense. Remember it is your initial presence to users when searching. One more note, avoid leaving your title tage blank or naming your page "Homepage".

Description Tags

Your description tag is next on the list. If you had a few seconds to verbally explain to someone what your web page is about what would you say? This is what the description meta tag is for and why they should be well optimized, not an after thought before uploading to the server. Your description tag should be between 12 - 24 words and contain your keywords. If you web page is about Web Page Optimization, and example would be:

<meta name="description" content="Offering Web Page Optimization Tools and Information on how to optimize web pages for search engines. Web Page Optimization for Google, Inktomi, Yahoo.">

Keyword Tags

Keyword tags, sprinkle them in but don't abuse them. An old trick (old by Internet standards) was keyword spamming, over using your keywords and often using competitors keywords as well in hopes to rank web pages for irrelevant topics. Even if some search engines don't take them into account, others do. If your web page optimization techniques are targeting the full search engine spectrum, use them and use them wisely. Optimal keyword tags are between 7 -48 words and you should consider using your keywords a couple times. Anymore than twice and you could be overlooked, but be sure to use them!

ALT Tags

Important to some search engines, irrelevant to others, but a good thing overall. Think of ALT tags for images as bonus points in the eyes of some search engines. They sit waiting for a great description and after all, if you have your description and keyword tags done the content is already written. Use accurate descriptions for images and don't abuse them (ALT tags jammed with keywords on transparent gif's or 1X1 pixel images).

Content and Links

Keyword rich content and incoming text links are a day to day responsibility for web page optimization. They're weight within search engines is as good as gold, just as long as they are from relevant sites or sites of similar interest. Links from link farms and such can help out.. but if caught by the search engines you will be penalized as well. A risk not worth taking for web page optimization success.


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Tools and Resources - Getting Your Web Pages Listed