Having slaved over a carefully crafted web site design, and launching it to the world, you now find yourself disappointed that you are nowhere to be seen in any search engine listings – a very common scenaro.  We have all been there before.

Part of the web site design process should include Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) consideration at the initial conception of the web site.  Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is very often overlooked in favour of bolting it on as an afterthought when the site is completed.

The following tips will help beginners consider what to look out for when building a web site, give a little bit of understanding of what is needed and what fixes can be retro-fit to an existing web site to help you achieve better SEO results.

1. Give your web page a descriptive “Page Title” tag.

A Page Title TAG tells the search engines what your web page is supposed to be talking about.  It is important you include a short sentence that would include a few key words (words that you consider might actually be put into the search engine to find this web page). And these same key words should also appear on the page body in searchable HTML text.

As an example, lets consider we have an imaginary “Washing Machine Repairs” web site that wants to promote and get sales leads on “Washing Machine Repairs”. Our service page file name would so very often be called service.html on a web site with no SEO consideration, with a page title of “Servicing and Repairs”.

In this case we will start off by making our Page Title; “Washing Machine Repairs”, as no-one want to “service” a washing machine, only repair them. But hang on, could this be better? As our imaginary business is in Hightown, and not many people will be searching globally or nationally for what is quite probably a local service, we will extend that page title to: “Washing Machine Repairs in Hightown”.

One further thing we could also consider, this imaginary business only fixes two kinds of washing machines brands. We know we shall be mentioning this on the page in our HTML text, so our final “Page Title” for our repairs page shall be;

“Washing Machine Repairs in High town for Manufacturer1 and Manufacturer2”.

2. Page Description TAG

The Description tag is used by the search engines as a short summary that appears in the search engines listings underneath the search engine page link to describe the web page.

Note: because of abuse of many web sites incorrectly adding the text in the “Page Description” tag that does not match the actual contents of the page, Google can totally ignore your “Page Description” completely in favour of selecting relevant text on your web site page and presenting this is the Google search listings.

Referring back to our imaginary “Washing Machine Repairs” web site and the file called service.html. We need a suitable “Page Description” tag to honestly inform searchers (we shall be coming back to being honest) about the information page they are going to visit if they click the link in the search engine listings.

A suitable page description could be;

“Professional and Fast Washing Machine Repairs in Hightown for Manufacturer1 and Manufacturer2 washing machines”.

As this link is returned in the search engine listing we have included a little sales friendly wording “Professional and Fast” to reflect the quality of service the business offers.  But it could also be something like:

“Low Cost Washing Machine Repairs in Hightown of Manufacturer1 and Manufacturer2 washing machines”

Note how again these contain our important key words and key phrases (two or more words);

Washing Machine, Repairs, Hightown, Manufacturer1, Manufacturer2.

These keywords and key phrases we will make sure we mention on the page itself in HTML headings and paragraph text.

3. File Name

The file name is the actual file name the server uses to locate the web page and display it in your web browser. Our web page file name is called “service.html” and you would see this at the end of the URL http://www.examplesite/service.html.

Search engines can give your page a better search listing if this file name is named to reflect the content of the web page itself. In our imaginary site, it would be common to call web page file names like “about.html”, “history.html”, or “service.html” all of which are very meaningless to the search engines.

In our imaginary site we are going to call the file name;

washing-machine-repairs.html

or one step further…

washing-machine-repairs-hightown.html

This file name directly reflect what the page is about, and what we know contents of our page title and page description does contain.

Summary

Taking these few small points into consideration when designing a web page can help your web page have a much higher listing in the search engines. If you consider that many web sites have little or no thought about basic SEO configuration, little SEO changes like the above should allow your web page to float up above the 1,000’s of pages that do not have any such basics applied.

In “Part Two” we shall be looking further into ways of letting the search engine know what your web page is talking about and how it can be found.

Please make a comment if you found this post useful, need to ask a question, or wish to share your experiences of how best to get your web site listed in the search engines.

Continued in “Part Two“….