Search Engine Optimization for HTML Pages
Why optimize a web page?
It is important to ‘optimize a web page’ for search engines, as search engines need to understand about your web page, to list in search results. When you optimize a web page for search engines, it becomes easy for the search engines to crawl and understand about the page. It can easily categorize it and index it on its database based on the information you have given in that page. There are mainly two types of optimization; On-page and off page optimization. Here we are discussing the HTML web page’s on-page optimization.
The basic structure of an HTML web page is like this.
<! DOCTYPE html>
Content with <h1>, <h2>, etc., Paragraphs, images, hyperlinks, tables like all elements are
in this section.
The important sections in the HTML codes you need to take care of while doing the optimization are given below.
<title> Title of your web page here </title>
The title tag should be within the <head> section of your web page’s source code. It is one of the most important elements in SEO as it gives a basic idea about the page content and focusing keywords to the search engine. Give your title relevant to the content. It should be meaningful with no spelling mistake and no grammatical errors. The title should be descriptive including the focusing keyword. The title can be minimum 3 words and maximum up to 8 to 10 words. Maximum characters allowed in a title is 70, But it is optimal to be within 55 to 60 characters. If we say it in pixel width it is up to 512 pixels. SEO title should not give in full capital letters, as it will use more pixel width. The SEO title giving in one page should not use in other pages. Means it should be unique. If two web pages are having the same title, and if they are focusing the same keyword, those pages will compete with each other for ranking. This is known as cannibalism. When multiple pages within the same website are competing with each other for the same keyword, search engines get confused and the pages will put in Google’s sandbox. Google will not punish for this but counts as an error and hence your web page’s ranking will affect by this. If a web page is not having SEO title, google takes <h1> as the title and if not given <h1> also, it will take <h2> as title. If not given any heading tags it will take something from the content as the title.
<meta name=’description’ content=’meta description about your web page ‘/>
The Meta description is in the <head> part of your web page. When you optimize a web page, the meta description should be unique and contain the focusing keyword. It should be free from grammatical mistakes and spelling mistakes. The Meta description should be catchy and attract visitors to your website. It should be relevant to your page content. A short description of your page is what your meta description should be. Keyword stuffing must be avoided. The maximum characters allowed in a meta description is 155 to 160 characters (max 1024 pixels). In blog posts, the length should limit in 155 characters as ‘posting date’ also is displaying with this. If the meta description of a web page is not good or valid, google will take any content from the web page and show it in the result. If it could not find any valid content again, it may check in open directories or Yahoo directories etc. to get the description content. But you can ask google not to take the content from these directories by the following codes.
<meta name=”robots” content=”noopd”/>
This meta code tells Google not to take any description from open directories
<meta name=”robots” content=”noyd”/>
This meta code tells google not to take any description from Yahoo directories.
When you optimize a web page, if you are giving a valid and content relevant meta description, there is no need to use these codes given above.
This is a list of keywords and keyword phrases you are focusing when you optimize a web page. When you choose keywords try to think, for what all queries or keywords, your web page should be listed for. The structure of meta keywords is given below.
<meta name=’keywords’ content=’keywrd1, keyword2 ,..’ />
Earlier ‘meta keywords’ were a ranking factor. But when people tried to misuse it with keyword stuffing, Google removed its importance. Now Google is not considering ‘meta keywords’ as a ranking factor. Yet when you optimize a web page, it is good to give meta keywords in your web pages’ head section as other search engines may consider it for ranking. Use keywords and keyword phrases in ‘meta keywords’. Write the important keywords in the first section of the keywords list. Means give a prioritized keyword list. Do not stuff keywords and never repeat keywords. Separate each keyword with a comma when writing in the list.
Content Optimization in the <BODY> part of your Web page
The content should include the keywords you are focusing preferably in the first paragraph of the content. Try to include keywords and its synonyms in various parts of the content in a natural way without causing keyword stuffing.
H1 Heading tag
<h1> heading text </h1>
This is the main heading on a page, usually the title of a post on a page or a highlighted text in that page. <h1>tag should be more specific to your content and it should be little more engaging than the title tag when you optimize a web page. The focusing keyword can also be included in the heading text but make natural keyword without keyword stuffing. <h1> will be the biggest text and can be used only once in a page. Put your <h1>tag at the top of your page preferably after the <body> tag in your web page’s source code. Other heading tags <h2><h3> <h4><h5><h6> etc. can be used in a page based on their need and format of the content. They all, except <h2> can be used any number of times.
Anchor Text and links
Anchor text is the clickable text in a page with a hyperlink in it. Clicking on it will redirect you to some other page. Anchor text can be used to create internal links and external links in a page. Internal links are the links that will redirect you to another page with in the website itself. External links are the links that will take you to another web page outside of your website. Anchor text can use to create external links and internal links in your web page. SEO suggests the anchor text should be relevant to the page to which it is linking to. An anchor tag will look like this,
<a href = ” URL of the page to be linked ”> anchor text </a>
The common web standard for an anchor text is blue, with an underline. But it can change using CSS styles. The words in the anchor text will help the webpage in getting good ranking. When you give anchor text never give to the focusing keyword as search engines understand it as you are suggesting that URL to that particular keyword.
The “Nofollow” Attribute goes inside an anchor link:
<a href=”URL of the page to be linked ” rel=”nofollow”> anchor text </a>
The ‘nofollow’ attribute in the anchor tag tells the search engine robot not to follow that link and not count it for link juice passing.
Image Alt Tags
When you optimize a web page, image optimization is also an important factor. The search engine can understand the image from its title, alt tag, and filename only. Image Alt tags are very important in a web page optimization; as it describes the image to the search engine. Alt tag should describe the image but must be short as possible. When you optimize an image, use the alt name relevant to the image and content in that page. It is very useful to include your keyword in a natural way inside the alt tag. When you give file name for an image in SEO, separate the words with a hyphen. Never give space between the words in the image filename. Try to use minimal size for the image file to load faster.
Canonical Tag usage is very important to avoid duplication of content issues for search engines. You can tell google that the content on this page is the copy of another page and avoid the confusion for search engines. You can tell it via the canonical tag. The code structure will be like this given below.
<link rel=” canonical” href=” URL of original page content”/>
This code should be included in the head section of your web page where you are using the duplicate content.
These are the basic processes in on-page optimization. If you wish to do SEO on your web site contact a good SEO company who can give you good SEO services following all the rules and algorithms by Search Engines. Never try to do Black hat SEO (un ethical) to get immediate results. Remember any unethical practices will be punished by Google and are able to give you only short-term effects. Always practice White hat SEO (ethical) that improves your website quality and gives you long term benefits.