As promised in Part 1 of this series of posts on Search Engine Optimisation for iWeb sites here is Part 2. This time it’s all about meta-tags, what they are, where and how to insert them and how to make them work for you. To do this I shall also be delving into the world between the ‘head’ tags of an iWeb site.
So what is a meta-tag? Put simply a meta-tag is a piece of HTML code that can be used invisibly to provide information about the web-site you are visiting and to control the action of a browser. They can be used to show the creator of the web-site, certain specifications of the web-site as well as things such as web-site description, content, keywords or copyright to name but a few. There are 2 types of meta-tag, the HTTP-EQUIV and the NAME.
A HTTP-EQUIV meta-tag is shown below:
<meta http-equiv=”Content-Type” content”text/html; charset=ISO-8859-1″>
A NAME meta-tag is shown below using ‘keywords’ as the NAME:
<META name=”keywords” content=”insert a list, of keywords (or phrases), here, separated by, commas”>
As well as ‘keywords’ you can also use any number of the following meta-tags:
So lets start by taking a look at the HTML behind a basic iWeb created site. Below is an image taken from the demo iWeb site that I am building showing what is listed between the <head></head> tags.
In comparison, below that I have added an image of the HTML between the <head></head> tags of this WordPress generated site.
Obviously there is a lot of code in both Head sections that you don’t need to touch but the major difference is detailed below.
Which Meta-Tags to use
To help me get this site higher in search engines I used a WordPress plugin called ‘All in one SEO’ and as you can see from the images above it has added a ‘description’ and ‘keywords’ to the <head></head> section of the WordPress page. These do not appear in the iWeb site and unfortunately this plugin is not available for iWeb.
So how do we get round this problem? We have to add it manually and for that we need a tool such as MassReplaceIt.
Once you have finished your site you need to publish it to a folder rather than its webspace.
Open MassReplaceIt and in the ‘Find’ window you need to enter </head> .
In the ‘Replace’ window you need to enter the following code:
<meta name=”description” content=”xxxxxxxxxxx” />
<meta name=”keywords” content=”xxxxx, xxxxxxx, xxxxxxxx, xxxx xxxxxx, xxxx xxxxx, xxxxx, />
Obviously you will need to edit the sections between the quotation marks to suit your site.
Not every search engine uses keywords and/or the description tag to register you in a find but the majority still do. The description is used by some search engines to display information about your site when users are searching for it. Just Google All About iWeb and you will see the text that appears in the description tag as in the image above under my site’s URL.
Keywords are a black art and there are many articles in books, magazines and on the net that swear that the author has found the key to perfecting keywords. I will be covering keywords in more depth in SEO for iWeb Part 3 but for now you should basically insert a list of words that best describe your web-site and that you think users will type into Google to get there. Remember that you have to separate the words (and or phrases) with commas.
If you update your site regularly it may be worth saving the query so that you can save yourself sometime every time you publish.
If you want to add some of the other meta-tags you can do that too. For example you could insert:
<meta name=”author” content=”Your Name Here” />
<meta name=”build” content=”number here” />
Now all you have to do is publish your site to your web-space.
One thing you must remember is that improvements to your position in search engines are not immediate. It may (and probably will) take many weeks before you see any movement, but a web-site is a long term prospect so bear with it.
As I mentioned before, SEO for iWeb Part 3 will be about Keywords.