This is the third volume of our UG Blog’s series on SEO website design and some of you are probably wondering why this is entitled How to Master the Art of SEO rather than How to Master the Science of SEO or something along those lines. Search Engine Optimization grew popular in the mid 1990s when the dot com era was still at large and while it has been studied and written about for several years, one can still not categorize it as a hard science. Meaning there is not a specific procedure you can perform on your website to guarantee that it will rank #1 on a search engine. The main reason being competition; it is simply not possible for everyone to be #1.
This is why, as a website design firm, we recognize SEO as an art form. Something that has to be continually worked on and molded to achieve the best possible results. Sure your site may fluctuate in its rankings from time to time, but if you constantly update your site using by following these guidelines you should definitely see some results. Every company has a specific audience they cater their products and services to so make sure you focus on them, not everyone in the world who has access to the internet.
After you’ve improved content and keywords on your website to be more SEO friendly the next thing you can work on are your metatags. Metatags are usually found at the header of the coding and are used by search engines to categorize your site correctly. This is an element very much unlike content that is visible to the search engines, but not to the user. Let’s explore ways you can use metatags to make your site more SEO friendly.
This metatag is probably the most important one to fill as it usually shows up as the short description on a search engine result. This will help users understand what your site is about and help search engines place your site into the right category.
The keywords metatag has grown less important over the years to Google, but still maintains some value on Yahoo! and Bing. Don’t use more than 10-20 keywords that are relevant to your page and definitely don’t include ones that don’t show up on your page at all. This can result in a ranking penalty.
This tag tells search engines what language the website is written in. If your site caters to a specific audience such as Chinese, French or German readers it’s important not to leave this tag empty. It’s most important to use if your site is in multiple languages; using this tag can identify which page is written in which language.
This is a metatag that should be avoided when possible. Constant use can result in a penalty from search engines since it can redirect your users to another site. The only time you would use this is when you have recently changed your domain name and you need to redirect users to your correct site- and even this should be used sparingly.
Now that you’ve learned how metatags can improve the SEO rankings of your site, stay tuned for Vol. 4: Links!