For novices, there are some basic html tags that will boost your search engine ranking (respectively) quickly, with noticable results. These include the <title>, <meta> <h1>, and <h2> html tags. Before you begin, it helps to have a basic understanding of HTML and how to edit a file with a text-editor (ie - Notepad, Homesite, etc).
The title tag is one of the most overlooked ways you can optimize your web site. Google uses the title tag in it's link to your site in the search engine results. By putting your keywords in the title tag, you will gain a higher ranking in Google and other search engines. Title is weighted quite heavily, since it's a short description of the content on the page. You should use your targeted keywords for a specific page in your title tag, being careful not to repeat a word.
For example, if you are targeting "search engine placement" and "search engine optimization" at the same time, don't repeat the words "search engine". Use something that produces the words in the correct order without repeating, like "search engine placement optimization". Try to keep them in the correct order if possible, as your chances are higher when someone searches that phrase; however, if you have to reorder the words it shouldn't penalize you too much in the search engine results.
Page title, as always is an effective use of optimization. Google looks at several factors, and if your page has a title tag with the keywords in it, you are more likely to rank higher.
A good title tag would look something like this:
NOTE THAT: we did not repeat any of the keywords words, a very common mistake which could penalize your ranking.
The most important meta tags are 'keywords' and 'description'. Google, Excite and Lycos ignore these two tags, but Inktomi-based search engines (i.e. Yahoo) still place some weighting in their algorithm on meta tags. Use a short and concise description about the page in the 'description' meta tag - one sentence. For 'keywords' tag use about 10-12 keywords maximum. Do not repeat your keywords in this tag, as it will undoubtedly qualify as spamming.
Inktomi uses the 'description' meta tag as the text displayed to describe a site in their search engine results. Google uses an excerpt of the text surrounding the keyword(s) matched on the page as the description of the link in their search engine results.
It's a good idea to customize your meta tags, especially keywords and descriptions, from page to page.
The following are some examples of meta description and keyword tag:
The HTML tag <h1> "heading" is heavily weighted in Google and Inktomi algorithms. Optimizing the h1 and title tag will give you quite a boost in your search engine rankings. Again, you should not repeat keywords in this tag, as it will be seen as spam. If you want to have subheadings underneath the main heading, your best bet is to create a cascading stylesheet (CSS) file that declares classes for different classes of h1 tags.
For those of you who are not familiar with CSS, I suggest you read the tutorial at w3schools.com (http://www.w3schools.com). You can then gain the high rating Google places on the h1 tag, while having different font sizes and colors, etc. declared in your CSS file.
A simple h1 HTML tag example would be:
<h1 class="heading1">Main Heading</h1><br> <h1 class="heading2">Sub Heading</h1><br> <h1 class="heading2">Another Sub Heading</h1>
And in your stylesheet file define these classes:
The content is also very important, as the search engine spiders will read this content in determining what the topic of yourpage could be about. They don't say "content is king" for no reason. The other factors on this page are good ways to improve your ranking, but if you don't have good content, there's going to be no reason for anyone to stay on your web site.
Do not over use your keywords in your content. One or two times for a big paragraph is more than enough.
You must include your keyword/phrase somewhere in your links. At least once, but not more than 2-3 times in different links. Remember – every over-optimizing can penalize the ranking of your page. One html link looks like this:
And, if we optimize for the “book” phrase, we may consider something like this:
<a href=http://bookhistory.com>Book history resources </a>
As you see, in this particular example we have the key-phrase twice – in the domain name and in the visible link text.