There’s more to the web than just pictures and text. If you ever want to see the world that hides behind those pictures and text, on any website right-click and select view-source. There you will see a bunch of jumbled words that make about as much sense as your party years in college. Those little words all represent something that talks to the computer to show text here and pictures there. It will look like gibberish to you, but it’s speaking the computer’s love language: HyperText Markup Language. Also known as HTML.
Much of what you see inside of the source code is cosmetic, like the layout of the website and which pictures or text to display. But some of that code talks to other computers on the Internet like Google’s and Bing’s computers. Those are the important pieces of code for your website.
On the Internet, you’re like a human lost at sea. The way you get spotted by the giant ships of Google, Yahoo!, and Bing is with flares and these flares are a piece of code that yells to the ships passing by, getting their attention and drawing them to you. Those pieces of code matter most if what you’re trying to do is get ranked higher in search engines. So, I’m going to show you a few bits of code that will boost your chances of Google, Yahoo!, and other search engines finding you online.
Every single page on your website must have title tags. This little piece of code looks like this:
<title>Your Title Here</title>
If you look at the top of your browser and see the title of the website, that’s what this bit of code tells your browser what to display there. This also helps search engines know what to look for. They look in the “title tags” code and see if it’s relevant to the searcher’s request.
Keywords are simple combinations of words that give more detail for the search engine. Here’s an example of what they look like:
<meta name=”keywords” content=”Your words, belong here” />
Say you have a website about your favorite planet in our galaxy. One of your keywords could be ‘Uranus winds’ or ‘Gases from Uranus’.
These tags are mostly unused these days, but some search engines still use them so it’s important to keep them relevant and consistent throughout your site.
Description tags are much like meta tags. Instead of combining words together and separating them by commas, you write a simple description about the page. Here’s an example:
<meta name=”description” content=”This would be where you’d place the description of your website.” />
When you search for something online, the title of the page appears at the top of the search result, the URL, and then there is a description underneath. This is what the code does, it displays the description of the page in that area when searching online.
These are three simple ways to getting your site noticed by the search engines out there on the web. Now it’s time to check your site, view the source code, and make sure all those three tags are on each page. If not, that could be why no one is finding you online. Try implementing these simple pieces of code and I guarantee a significant jump in traffic on your site.