Have you wondered how search engines pick which sites are displayed in search results? Or more specifically, which text from a site they will display in search results? And these terms that we’ve heard before [page title, metatags & keywords]… what do they mean and how do the puzzle pieces fit together?
[#1] The Page Title is the text that appears at the very top of your browser window [not the URL or address that you type in, above that]. It is the most prominent piece of information displayed in the search results. There is typically a 40-60 character limit to what you can include, and your title should be pleasantly readable, not awkwardly stuffed with keywords.
[#2] The HTML Page Name, aka the File Name, should be comprised of words that actually describe the contents or function of the page. [Hint: keywords work really well]. This is another opportunity to distinguish your company from the competition. Think of how many pages there are out there called “services.html” or “contactus.html” and how you can use the page name to focus on and attract the people looking for your services by being more specific. [example: “nj-graphic-design.html”].
[#3] There are several types of metatags:
A Meta Description Tag is metadata coded into a web page that describes the content of the page. This text should also be concise, yet pleasantly readable as it may be featured prominently in the results. Meta Keywords Tags are metadata that contain keywords related to the content of the web page. Search engines use these keywords to determine relevance. It is recommended that in addition to your targeted keywords, you include some that are not on your “short list.” Also add your company name and common alternate spellings, regardless of whether they are correct. If people misspell your company name or a product you sell when they type in the search request, you want them to find you anyway.
Metatags are not evident on the web page, but can be seen by selecting “view source” from the browser menu. To maximize your SEO opportunities, each landing page of your site should have a unique metatag description and keywords targeted specifically to the content of that page.
Also coded into a web page, Alt Tags are “alternative” descriptive text coded into an image to describe the image in the event that it cannot be viewed. An example: when a browser is set to display only text, as is common on mobile devices. Alt Tag text may also appear when your cursor hovers over an image, but is typically not seen otherwise.
Did you realize that there is so much happening behind the scenes of your website? And while this data may be “out of sight” to you, search engines and web crawlers are attracted to them like moths are to light. Graphic Matter’s web design team will help you uncover the hidden opportunities on your site. Call us and begin optimizing your site for greater search engine visibility.