In the final part of our SiteMaker SEO tips we look at site content and links. If you have missed any of our previous posts you can find SEO Tips parts 1 – 4 here.
Your page content: e.g. the text that is on your page.
This includes all the contents on your page, particularly text and any ‘alt tags’ (alternative text) you have attached to your images. All this text is represented in the HTML and therefore gets picked up and used by search engines, so make sure it includes some of your keywords. Don’t just dump them on the page so that it becomes a mess of words (remember your site is read by people too!); you have to make sure that they are relevant and appropriate with the message of the page.
For example, on my site I’ve included the following passage on the ‘home’ page:
Search engines also pay attention to ‘Heading tags’ within your HTML, which are generally used to describe sections of your content. Words that appear within the headings are also deemed to be of greater importance in your site.
We generate three levels of heading tags on your pages based on your content: H1, H2 and H3. H1 is the most important and H3 the least. Any title text boxes that you put on your page are automatically turned into H2 headings in the HTML. The very first of the title text boxes that appears on your page (from top to bottom) is given the H1 status.
In body text boxes, if you use bold headings to separate text, i.e. adding the ‘bold’ style to create a heading within a text box, then these are given H3 status.
Links on your page, including the anchor text: e.g. the text on which the link is set.
As well as the menu links on your page (which use the menu name as ‘alt’ text) links in text on your page are a good way of reinforcing your keywords and creating interlinking between your pages.
To do this you have to be using a ‘body text box’ which is preset with standard or system fonts as only this type of font permits links (‘graphic fonts’ do not allow links to be set). Select the text box so that you can edit the contents and then highlight the text string by clicking and dragging.
Go to the editor, click on the ‘link’ panel, choose ‘link to a page’ and then select your page. Finally, use ‘apply’ to save the page. This link will be correctly represented in your HTML along with the ‘anchor text’ which is the word or words on which the link is set, and will be read and indexed by search engines.
Try to make sure that all your pages have 1, 2 or 3 links to other pages using relevant keywords. Don’t get carried away and put in 10 to 20 links as this might be overkill and result in search engines penalising you for link spamming.
Images on your page
Your images can also be used to flag keywords as well as provide a text description of the image itself using alt tags. This additional text provides extra information about your site and the text description makes the contents more accessible to users with screen readers i.e. the visually impaired. You can also make these images link to other pages in your site which will further improve the interlinking of pages.
To create an ‘alt tag’ on your image, select the image, click on the ‘Style’ tab in the ‘Editor’ and then use the ‘alt tag’ button. Enter your text and choose whether you want to display the text on rollover (it will always be displayed in the HTML), click ‘Apply’ and you’re done.
Referral links to your pages
We used referral links to get the site listed in the first place, but they are also a good tool to improve the keyword relevancy and keep your site high in the rankings. It’s always worth asking other site owners in related fields to put a link back to your site and include some of your keywords in the link text. Not everyone will do this and its best not to pester people too much, but if you already have a relationship with another site owner, then this could be a good thing to do.
And that, as they say, is that!
Like we said at the beginning, this is not meant to be the ‘be all and end all’ of SEO guides, but it does provide some useful, practical tips in a confusing world. Don’t forget, that this is not an instant process. It will take some time before your new site starts appearing in the search results. But follow the steps above, be patient and you can bet that your site will eventually turn up, and a lot quicker than if you did nothing.
So, all that is left to say is, good luck with optimising your site.