One of the best ways of finding any of these web sites is by using search engines, but you type anything into a search engine you are likely to get 1000’s of search results, and how many times do you look beyond the second page of search results? Not very often I guess.
Well what you need to do is to try and get your web site listed as high as possible in the results and there are a number of things you can do to help.
Make sure each page on your web site has a title in the head of the document. Many search engines use the title of the web page as the link to your site, so it is important that your title be as relevant and descriptive as possible.
To see how many Untitled Documents there are out there, all you need to do is type Untitled Document into a search on Google, when I tried it returned 40,500,000 search results. When you look at the pages found, Untitled Document, is not going to make you want to visit that page.
It is best to use the title for your page that describes the content of your page as much as possible in the most descriptive way. For example, if you were looking for a page that sells Crystal Wine Glasses and the search engine title for the page said Glasses it could mean the page contained anything from Sunglasses to Beer Glasses.
Meta tags are one of the most important parts of a web page when it is indexed by a search engine.
Meta tags are used by almost all search engines to index your page and contain items such as page description and keywords.
The description meta tag is very often used by a search engine to display a sort description of what your web page contains. Some search engines look at the keywords entered into the keywords meta tag and will use this to display your page in the search results if it is one of the words used in the search criteria.
For more information about Meta Tags look at the Meta Tags Optimisation Tutorial.
A number of search engines will index the first few lines of your web page, so try to make the first few lines as descriptive as possible.
Some search engines will even index your entire page. To try and trick search engines some people enter hundreds of keywords into the bottom of the page but in the same colour as the background so they can’t be seen by the user, but they can by the search engine spider. This is known as spamming and many search engines are clever enough these days to see this and will actually put your site lower in the listings or black list it altogether.
Try to place as many descriptive text links in your homepage to other relevant pages in your site as possible as search engines will use these links to index the other pages on your site.
Most sites these days contain images, so it is important that you use the alt tag on any images to try and describe as much as possible what the image is of. Not only will this help index your site better but it will also help those visitors to your site who are visually impaired.
Where possible try not to use images that contain text as what maybe easily visible to you won’t be able to be indexed by a search engine.
Links to Your Site
Many search engines, including Google, will return your web site higher in search results by the amount of web sites that link to your site, also the higher the profile of the site that links to yours, the higher your listing is in search results again.
With this in mind it is worth searching the Internet for other web sites on the same topic as your own. Many of these sites will have link pages and even if they don’t its worth asking the web site owner if they could link to your web site.
The more links to your site the better as I find many sites get more visitors from other sites linking to them than come through search engines anyway.
Sites Using Frames
Frames tend to cause search engine spiders allot of problems when indexing your site as many won’t recognise the document that opens up your frames and so wont index your pages.
To help over come this problem place your main homepage into the noframes part of the document that opens all your frames. The noframes part of the page is for those browsers that can’t handle frames, but as most nowadays do your web site visitors will never see what is in this part of the document.
To help index other pages on your site it is also worth placing links in the noframes part of the document as this will allow the search engine spider to find other pages on your site and index them.
Frames do cause allot of problems and not just when indexing your site, what happens if someone clicks onto a link which takes them into only one frame on your site, they may not be able to view any navigation controls and so will not be able to go to other parts of your site. I would recommend, where possible not to use a frames on your site.