Optimizing Your Website Template

Optimizing Your Webpages For Search Engines

Written by Erich and published 10:15 AM
UPDATE: June 11, 2015 - Sub-site section added, page accuracy & links checked.

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There are a few edits that you will want to do either in Notepad or in "HTML view" to improve your ranking in the search engines. Optionally, you can also hire a Search Engine Marketing provider like the Year Three, LLC - Seo Company to optimize your website or template.

Submitting your website: | Click for details
Your website will not be automatically listed at Google and other search engines. You must submit your website to get listed.

Title meta tags: | Help for editing your title tags
The meta "title" on each page is the most important part of any webpage for getting a good search engine ranking. An effective title will get you a higher listing in the search engines. Try to use a couple of keywords but do not let your title get too long. Keep in mind that the title is also what people will see first when searching and it must make sense for users to click on your link.

Try to keep the meta "title" tag under 60 characters in length.

<title>Meta Page Title Important to better SEO</title>

Keyword meta tags: | Help for editing your keywords
As of this writing, Google and many other search engines do NOT read your keyword meta tags to help list your pages. You will still want to edit your keyword "meta" tags with just a few keywords but you do not need to spend too much time on this. See sidebar below for links to keyword tools.

Site meta description: | More details
At the top of every HTML page included in all Allwebco templates you will find a meta name="Description". This area is read by Google and most search engines and is what users see when searching. It is very important to edit this area with a description of your site, service or product. This area should include keywords but should also make sense so users will know what your site is about and click your link when searching. If it does not make sense users will usually avoid your link.

Image alt tags:
As of this writing, Google and most other search engines DO read image "alt" tags. You will want to edit or add these tags to every image on your webpages. In Notepad you can do a "edit" "find" and find "img" to check all of these. Below is a sample of an image with an alt tag included:

<img src="picts/image.gif" alt="Add important key phrases here">

Be sure to edit the "Add important key phrases here" like in the above example with your keywords on your pages.

NOTE: You will also want to use sentences for the alt tags and not use the same phrase over and over if possible. You may get penalized for spamming keywords.

Site Age:
The age of a website, or a domain name, also plays a factor in how well a website lists. As your site ages it may list higher in search engines. Opinions vary on exactly how important, or if this is actually even a factor, site age is for SEO. See Domain Age: How Important Is It for SEO? at Search Engine Journal.

Website Speed:
The loading speed of a website does have an effect on SEO listings, however, at the time of this writing this factor is very small according to Google and other experts. See Using site speed in web search ranking at Google Webmaster Central Blog

Getting all your website pages listed:
The menu.js file included with Allwebco templates is not read by search engines, so most Allwebco templates include either a "site map" page linked from your "index.html" that links to all other pages, or, in some models a text link path is setup starting from the "index.html". It is best not to remove any text links on your template home page.

Option #1. Best linking solution. Add a "sitemap.xml" to your website, submit this file through your Google Tools and Bing Tools accounts, and add a link in your robots.txt. For info on creating a sitemap so all pages on your website will be indexed by search engines see Sitemaps.org and Freesitemapgenerator.com.

See next section below "Using a sitemap.xml".

Option #2. Best linking solution. Add visible links on your index.html to either your site map page or to all your other pages. See the add links support page. See also "Normal page links" below.

Option #3. If your template does not include a "site_map.htm". Make a copy of any template page, for example copy the about page. Make this page a sitemap page. Add a link to every page on your site on this page, then either submit this page to Google separately when you submit your domain, or add one link on your index.html to this page.

Option #4. Best linking solution. Check the Webmaster Tools at Google or Bing for adding a sitemap to your website:

Option #5. Linking solution. Add images with links or links to all images on your "index.html" or website homepage. See the adding images to a page support page for details.

Mobile sub-sites: If your website includes a mobile website inside a "mobile" folder be sure you have a link on your full or "top level" homepage linking to the mobile homepage. See also mobile sub sites.

Using a sitemap.xml: For info on creating a sitemap so all pages on your website will be indexed by search engines check out Sitemaps.org and also Free XML-Sitemaps and Freesitemapgenerator.com. See also on this site Submitting Your Website to Search Engines for more on sitemaps.

Once you have created a sitemap.xml you will want to add it in your Google tools and Bing Webmaster tools accounts, or ping your sitemap. Optionally you can tell search engines where your sitemap is with a "robots.txt" file. Click here for more details on using sitemap xml files.

What Allwebco uses: We have been using the xml-sitemaps.com $19.00 advanced PHP sitemap generator on our website for many years and have had no problems of any kind. You can optionally generate sitemaps for small websites for free on their website as well.

Normal page links: | Help for adding page links
Text links on your home page are also important. What you may want to do, in addition to having plenty of copy on your homepage is also add normal text links to your pages as well with keywords in the link name. Here is an example:

<a href="about.htm">Link name with keywords</a>

Add the above link to the main body of your index.html or any of your other pages. Do not overuse your keywords and try to also use related phrases.

TIPS: Page copy:
If you can, try to have plenty of text on at least one page at your site with a long article about your service or product. Include (only a few) words and phrases that might be searched for often. This can be a great help with your rankings. Be sure to link this page from your homepage or site map with a text link or image link. If you do not the page may not be found.

At the time of this writing page copy and articles are probably the best SEO you can do. Write some helpful articles related to your business and include links to the new pages on your site map and/or your homepage. Try to not overuse your keywords so Google can view your articles as useful information.

TIPS: <H1> or heading tags: - More Details
Many on-line articles indicate that "headings" tags may improve your webpage rankings at Google. <H1> tags can be added to any Allwebco template. Add with caution, use only a single <H1> heading tag per page otherwise it may be seen as spamming by Google.

You can use sub-headings <H2> and <H3> tags multiple times on each webpage.

Code Examples:

<h1 style="margin: 0px;" class="title">This is a Heading</h1>

<h2 style="margin: 0px;" class="subtitle">This is a Sub Heading</h2>

Renders as:

This is a Heading

This is a Sub Heading

Our H1 and H2 tags are colored and the font is sized because we have included ".title" and ".subtitle" classes in our global .css file.

Warning: Do not replace the first <title> tag in the header of the webpage with <H1> tags. The header title is used for SEO. See "Title Tags" above.

See also Formatting H1 Heading Tags For SEO or Adding New Title Styles or Text Styles for headings. For even more info go to W3Schools heading tags.

TIPS: The homepage:
Keep in mind that search engines, as of this writing, give the most weight to your home page or index.html. Be sure you include plenty of copy (text) on this page or plenty of "alt" tags and links to your other pages. See above sections.

TIPS: Using different titles: | Help for editing your title tags
For better results, try to have different titles on each of your pages. Use a couple of keywords for each title but do not let them get too long. Keep in mind that the title is also what people will see first when searching and it must make sense for users to click on your link.

TIPS: Change titles and content: | Help for editing your title tags
If you can, change your page copy at least once a month and also change your title tags. Google and some other search engines give your website a better ranking if it is perceived to be current information.

TIPS: Website page speed:
Search engines, including Google, have been recently placing more relevance on the speed of a website. If you have a slow loading website you may want to find ways to improve your website load time. See the Fixing Slow Loading Webpages support page for tips on how to improve website speed. Also see section above on this page regarding website speed.

TIPS: Page errors:
Although search engines do not actually check a website for errors, errors can slow down your website load speed and effect your SE ranking. You should check your pages for errors after any major updates. See the Finding and Fixing Template Errors support page for info on finding webpage errors.

TIPS: Local searches:
Add local towns to your page copy, titles and "alt" tags so there is less competition for your business. Keep in mind that people may be searching for your product by town or city. This will cut the competition down to your area only if you add every local town, county, city and state to either your page copy, titles or your "alt" tags. This can be very effective. You may want to get out a map and find every town in your area. Perhaps even create a page just listing the towns you service and call it your "service area" page. Be sure to link this page from your homepage with a text link or site map as described above. If you do not the page may not be found.

TIPS: Link building:
RECIPROCAL VS ONE WAY LINK BUILDING: Link building is a critical technique to achieve top 10 rankings on the major search engines. The search engines job is to provide the searchers with the most relevant information for the search term used. To effectively provide relevant results, the search engine uses both "on-page" and "off-page" factors. Having a well-balanced on-going link building campaign is important. However, the emphasis should be on one-way links to your website. The major search engines are discounting the reciprocal links and almost cancelling them out. One great way to acquire one way links fast is through the use of paid press releases. See the PR Web press release newswire website for more info.

Pagerank is a backlink analysis algorithm used by Google, and possibly Bing and other search engines, to give more importance to a website in keyword search results. The more links that lead to your website the higher your Page Rank. Read more about Page Rank at Wikipedia.

Check Website Page Rank:
Free page rank tool powered by Page Rank Checker service

TIPS: Distributing a Press Release:
Using a press release distribution service is an excellent way to disseminate news about your business. A press release is not only for large companies, but for any type or size of website or business. Click here for some tips on following the proper format for writing a press release. If you have the time to write a press release, it is a very cost effective way to build links, and enhance your site visibility. Ensure you do have something newsworthy to write about to maintain your credibility. You may want to search Google News for press releases related to your product or service to see what may be newsworthy.
Press Release Distribution Service 24-7
Check out 24-7 Press Release for tips, news, submission services and other useful information if you are interested in distributing a press release.

TIPS: Don't forget Yahoo! and MSN Bing Search:
Although Google has the lion's share of searches, Yahoo!, MSN Bing Search, AOL and Ask still receive millions of searches each day. Be sure to check your site listings in these search engines and check out optimizing information for each. See sidebar on this page for optimizing links.

Professional services:
There are many optimization services available to help you achieve higher search engine ranking. See the Year Three, LLC for professional search engine optimization, or you can try some searches at Google for "website optimization services".
Year Three, LLC SEO company

Nielsen NetRatings, comScore and Hitwise Search Engine Ratings:
Below is a pie chart for most popular search engines for April 2014. The 2014 rankings are compiled from comScore, Inc. Older rankings on this page are from Nielsen NetRatings and Hitwise.

comScore, Inc. Rankings for February 2015

comScore, Inc. Rankings for April 2014

Hitwise Rankings for January 2013

Hitwise Rankings for September 2011

comScore, Inc. Rankings for Sept 2009

Hitwise Rankings for June 2009

Nielsen NetRatings Rankings for October 2008

Nielsen NetRatings Rankings for Aug 2007

Nielsen NetRatings Rankings for Dec 2006

Nielsen NetRatings Rankings for July 2005

Related Topics:
Submitting your site to the search engines
Editing your title and meta tags

Related Websites:
Y3 Marketing
META Tag Analyzer
Optimization at A List Apart
Google Webmaster

Allwebco Template Support

Allwebco Website Template Support
SEO Website Optimization

comScore Ratings for Feb 2015

comScore Ratings for April 2014

Hitwise Ratings for January 2013

comScore Ratings for September 2011

Hitwise Rankings for June 2009

See Also...
Submitting Your Site
Page Title Tags

Related Websites:

Y3 SEO Marketing

Search Engine Watch
Wikipedia SEO

ALA Optimization

Google Web Guide
Google Trends

Google AdWords
Microsoft Ad Center

Webmaster Tools:

Webmaster Central
Google Webmaster Tools
Bing Webmaster Tools


Free XML-Sitemaps
Free Sitemap Generator
Wikipedia Sitemaps
Sitemap Submission

Free Keyword Tools:

Google Trends
Bing Keyword
Google Keyword Tool

What Page of
Google Am I On?

Optimizing Help:

95 SEO Tips
Optimize for Yahoo! (2007)
Optimize for Ask (2007)
Bing SEO
Y3 Marketing

Download Google's Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide (PDF)

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