Search engine optimization

There are a lot of articles and tips out there, that explain how to optimize your page to get good search engine listing. I thought if was time for me to bundle a bit of them and post them here. So here we go.

Page type

First of all, make sure you don’t have things like frames, Flash, dynamic URLs, image maps or javascript (as a means to navigate), … They won’t do you any good, in fact most search engines will ignore the link or page. If you however do have to use frames, put the most important things, that is the optimized content, in the <noframes> container. It was originally designed for browsers that don’t support frames, but it’ll do good to search-engines too.

Keywords are key

Always set a keywords meta-tag. For your keywords choose as descriptive words or even better, phrases as possible. Try not to go too general. Avoid short words. Words of three letters and shorter will always be ignored.

Title

Choose your title carefully. Most search engines will use this to display your site, so it has to be short enough (max 50 characters or so) and as descriptive as you can, because this what surfer sees first. Using one or two of your keywords will help a bit too. Also give each page a different title. If you have a photo-album online, don’t give every page the “My album” title, but go further, like “My album: vacation 2003”. Search engines will now see the difference more and that’s a good thing. And finally, place it correcly: the <title> container has to be unique and goes in the head and nowhere else!

Meta tags

Meta tags are not what they used to be. A few years back, some good meta tags were all you needed to get a good listing. Nowadays, they are less important, but still do some good. As described above, the keywords meta tag is together with the description, the most important ones. The description is often used together with the pages title, to list your page.
Place them correcly, that is, in the head of your page and don’t make them too long. A description should be limited to about 200-250 characters, while the keywords to roughly a 1000 (including separators).
For the description, try to put in about 3-4 of your keywords and this at the beginning of the description.
For the keyboards, try to avoid repetition. Also, when you target a specific demographic, try to put in keywords, like cities, countries,…

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