Optimizing Your HTML
October 19, 2010
When optimizing your website, there are several areas which you need to address. One of these is the HTML coding. Now, one of the most important things to remember is that Google and other search engines do not see websites as we do. When a search engine crawls a website, it sees the site as HTML (Hypertext Markup Language). For those of you who are unfamiliar with this term, HTML coding is the meat and potatoes of your site. It is the skeletal structure that indicates what colors, font, images, and content will appear on your site. This code can help or hurt you when it is crawled by the search engines. WARNING: If you are unsure about how to edit your website’s HTML please contact a professional.
So, you ask, how do I make sure that my coding is performing up to its capabilities? For starters, you will want to use title tags that describe your content. These tags can be found in your HTML coding. The search engine’s goal is to provide the searcher with the information that they are looking for. For example, if you have a website that sells shoes and you set your title tags to say something like, “Jogging is good for fitness” the search engines will not be able to correctly place you, as you may show up in a search for the keyword “jog”. We both know this is not going to get your shoe business off the ground. Alternately, if you use a title tag like, “Holly’s Shoes- Your Home For Nike, Uggs and Steve Madden” you will have a greater possibility of being picked up for keywords “shoes”, “Nike”, “Uggs” and/or “Steve Madden”.
Another way to hurt your site is to over-saturate your meta description with keywords. While this may seem like a great way to get picked up for all of your keywords, I assure you that the search engines will prove you wrong. Search engines don’t like spam any more that you like it in your inbox. Avoid using keywords that do not relate to your product or the purpose of your website.
Here is an example of a bad meta description for our shoe website: Buy these great brands at Holly’s shoes: Steve Madden, Nike, Uggs, Puma, Skechers, Reebok, Adidas, Aerosoles, Betsey Johnson…
You want something that looks more like this: Holly’s Shoes sells womens shoes and mens shoes with attitude which are cutting edge and cool under the Holly’s Shoes brand name.
As you can see, the second example actually describes what you have to offer, it makes sense, and still includes keywords that are pertinent to your site.
Save your keyword optimization for the meta keyword section, just don’t overdo it. Pick about 15 keywords (or fewer) and go from there. If you pursue too many keywords at once, you may find it hard to target them all and the search engines may view it as spam.
If you are trying to improve your search engine placement, cutting corners or being slimy with your optimization will only hurt your rankings. Take time to do some research and look at what your well-ranked competitors are doing. You may have some big shoes to fill in the beginning, but before your know it you will be walking (or jogging) amidst the big dogs.