How do they work? | Top Search Engines | Search Engine Features | Tricks of the Trade |
5 Things Never To Do | Resource Links | References | Contact | Home | CarrieBeth.com
 
Web Site Title
The title of your website is crucial. Don't just stuff keywords in it hoping that it will get you ranked high in the search engines. You also need to make it relevant to your users. Often a search engine will assume that sites with keywords within a title are more relevant than other sites. Basically, make your title as descriptive as possible for the user, while putting keywords in it for the search engines, while making it as short as possible. Often, this is NOT easy.

Meta Tags
Meta tags are not a gauranteed way to get you ranked well in the search engines. Some search engines don't even use meta tags to rank their web sites. Meta tags are, however, a good way for some search engines to get around frames and learn more about the content of your site. Just to be careful, always include them in your HTML coding.

The are two meta tags you will want to use - the keywords tag and the description tag. The keywords tag looks like this: <meta name="keywords" content="words describing your page">. For instance, this page would use words such as search engine, ranking, meta tags, keywords, etc. There is debate as to whether it is better to separate these words by a comma or not. You can choose your approach at your own discretion. Because search engines vary in how many keywords you can use, only put in the lowest possible so that you're covered: 25 words or less.

The description tag looks like this: <meta name="description" content="a description of your page">. These tags may vary from 150 to 250 characters depending on the search engine, so plan for 150 or less. You want to have a sentence or two that completely sums up your entire site. Use of keywords is beneficial so don't put in a lot of extraneous words.

Keywords
A site with a lot of graphics and hardly any text will not get ranked very high in the search engines. This is because it has no idea what your site is about. It may be pretty, but it can't tell what your content is. Placing keywords in your headlines and in your body copy (especially in the first few lines of text) will greatly improve your chances. Search engines also take note of how many times a keyword is listed. Don't spam, but try to put keywords in where you can (while not making it noticable). Remember that relevancy is crucial. If your text is relevant, you won't be forced to repeat keywords.

ALT Text
ALT text is found in the image (IMG SRC) tags. Its main purpose is to write a brief description of a picture or graphic in case it does not show up upon loading. What many of the sneaky developers do is stuff their ALT tags with keywords. While I'm not reccommending that, I am suggesting that when naming your image in the ALT tag you take some keywords into consideration. Doing this could boost your keyword relevancy without getting you kicked out of search engines for spamming.

Submit Your Key Pages
It is recommended that you keep to only a few, if not one, main topic in your web site, but if you do have several topics, first make sure the meta tags are different for each one. This ensures that you have the maximum number of keywords to your advantage. Second, don't just submit your index page; submit each of your key pages. This does not mean you should submit every one of your pages, just the key ones. It could give you better success in the search engines.

Submitting by Hand vs. Software
While search engine submission software looks great because you get to submit to thousands to sites, it really is better to stick to the top 20 search engines. Over 90% of your hits from search engines come from the top 20 anyways. Submit by hand. Always. It will get you better results. You can avoid errors and learn more about how each search engine works.

 
How do they work? | Top Search Engines | Search Engine Features | Tricks of the Trade |
5 Things Never To Do | Resource Links | References | Contact | Home | CarrieBeth.com
© 1999-2000 CarrieBeth.com