Techy On-Page Factors. the HEAD section. Part 1 of 2

On-Page factors will be discussed throughtout two related posts.

For this post, we’ll take an inventory of the following elements:

DTD statement, Character set tag, Title tag, Meta description tag, Meta keyword tag

1. DTD Statement

It is not imperative to be present exclusively in the section, but generally, it is the first tag on a web page. The only thing you must check is that it is the CORRECT tag. An example: your code is written in HTML 3.2 and you insert a 4.01 tag – that can cause problems. Bottom line – make sure to use the right tag. If you don’t know if you have the correct tag, consult the W3C or your web designer. So, why paying attention to this tag? Having this tag in place, #1allows your site to load faster in major browsers, and #2 - for faster indexing by the search engine spiders.

2. Character set tag

Wondering why is this tag listed first in the section before the Title Tag?
Answer: The Title Tag displays text in the browser. Since the character set should be defined BEFORE any text appears in the browser, this tag should be first. Listing the Title Tag first is an old, outdated method.

3. Title tag

The Title has, if you will, two primary functions: #1displays at the top of the browser window and #2appears as the linked text in search results page. Needless to say that all major search engines like MSN, Google or Yahoo, index the Title Tag. Applying it to SEO, the Title Tag is considered average importance to Google for competitive phrases. Remember that Google displays up to the first 64 characters.This is translated into this rule: keep it short, but don’t limit your title to only the company name. You write the title to grab attention, create curiosity, and finally, get the prospect to take the desired action – clicking the link.
In the end, an insite: Having duplicate, or near duplicate Titles across your site has the same effect as duplicated content – Harms your site ranking power.

4. Meta description tag

This tag should be kept to a maximum of 165 characters. The Meta description tag works along side the title tag to attract prospects. When a performs a search, the results displayed are, theoratically, the Title Tag and the Description Tag. I wrote “theoratically” because if you choose not to include the description tag, most search engines will use the first 30-40 words on the page, which, by the way, is considered very unprofessional. If you decide to write the description, make sure to include your targeted keywords but don’t over do it. If your Description Tag contains the keyword phrase being searched, Google will use your Description Tag, if it doesn’t, it will use a snippet. As a general rule, you should spend the same amount of time writing your Title and Description as you would spend on an adwords ad.

5. Meta keyword tag

Recent results show that not using this tag doesn’t affect your site’s ranking. As a matter of fact, Google still ignores this tag. Limit yourself to using between 6 and 8 keyword phrases, but you’ll want to avoind using your “money keyword phrases”, a.k.a. the ones that produce cash, because that dirty little trick of scanning the competitor’s page source is very popular in today’s network marketing.

Go to the second part of this post.

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