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Design for Search Engines Tips

Before you submit your site to search engines, you should make sure that your site, pages and content will be diplomatic and friendly to search engines. We have prepared this page to help you to make the best of our services. To save you time, the information on this page has been written in point form.

Meta Tags


Many webmasters start building a site with the template. When creating a template, it is necessary to make sure that the use of images is kept to a bare minimum. It is not a good idea to use images that span the entire width of a page. It is best to use very small images, and tile them across (or down) the page.

For example. Let's say that you want to make a navigation bar. Instead of making one long image and placing it into a table, you should use a smaller image such as this:

which is 1 pixel x 20 pixels..

to make:

Link | Link | Link

..simply by tiling the image across a table. Templates that use this technique have a VERY high change of getting listed well in search engines. Here is the code which was used to make the example bar:

<table width="100%" height="20" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" border="0"><tr>
<td background="img/tile.gif" align="center">Link | Link | Link</td>

The largest image on your template should be your logo. It should not be too big. Its size should be kept to a minimum, and it should be optimized. It is not a good idea to use flashing gif logos, because 1 - They get a bit annoying after a while, and 2 - they can become quite large and reduce your chances of obtaining high search engine rankings.

Basically, if you can center your template around CSS and background colors while using as few images as possible, you will be doing yourself a great favor.

Another great tip is to use as few graphics on a site as possible. Don't make new images for every page because when visitors view your page their browsers will have to download template images over and over again. However, if all of your pages use the same images, they will be cached and once a site visitor has seen one fully loaded page the rest will show up very quickly. Even for visitors that have a dialup connection, (providing that you have used small/optimized images in the fist place).


CSS (cascading style sheets) are another great way to help create top search engine rankings. Did you know that many search engines will compare the amount of code/html that you have on your pages and compare it with the amount of viewable content? (viewable content is the text that you can see and read on the website).

So, it is best to do away with as much code as possible. (For this reason, it is also good to make templates by hand. WYSIWYG editors really like to slap the code on thick, which can reduce your chances for top search engine results).

The most useful thing that you can do with css is to remove the font tags. For example: Many website have HEAPS of these:

<font face="verdana" size="2" color="#000000">Content</font>

These font tags can add up to quite a mess, and there is no need for them. ALL content text can be controlled via CSS. Instead, put this in the head of your template:

<style type="text/css">
td font-family:verdana; font-size:10pt;

The above CSS will make sure that everything in a TD will be 10pt, and you will never have to worry about font tags again. However, it is not likely that you will only ever want to use that one font size/style. You will also need headings, sub headings and footer texts. You may want to change the color of your links and the color they go when you hover over them with your mouse.

This page has not been written to show you how to make a website. We are merely trying to provide you with good tips and advice, for your consideration before you submit your site to search engines. You should do some research on CSS and implement it into your site and template as much as possible. Look fort CSS methods that reduce the need for manual font tags and other non-necessary code within your web pages.

Meta Tags

Some people turn Meta Tag optimization into an art! However, most of us don't have the time for that. The countless hours that can be spent on adjusting and re-adjusting Meta Tags could be better spent creating new content. After all, it is the content that search engines are "really" looking for. The Meta Tags just help the search engines to find it.

So, the best thing that you can do is to create a sensible set of Meta Tags which will be friendly to most search engines. Then MOVE ON. However, Meta Tags are quite important, so you should go about making them properly, ONCE.

There is no such thing as a "magical" set of Meta Tags that will instantly explode your web site statistics and search engine rankings. For example, you could go to a site that has a #1 raking for a great search term and cut and paste the Meta Tags into your site, but you will NOT get a #1 ranking out of it. Why? ..because there are many factors that determine search rankings such as site popularity, page loading speed and content. So, what you need is a set of Meta Tags that will match your site PERFECTLY!

Here is a great method of creating Meta Tags. If you use our Meta tag Generator you can be sure that your Meta Tags will not be too long, as the keyword, description and title characters used by search engines do vary. It is BETTER to have too few than too many. We'll explain that a little further ahead.

Rule #1

If a keyword is not on your page, do NOT put it in the title, description or keywords. Many, many people do this, and it can be extremely damaging to your promotion efforts. All it will do is water the theme of your page down, and the search engines will be scratching their heads (if they had one they would) wondering who to show your page too.

If you do know a word or phrase that is very common, and you want to use it, then you need to make sure that it is in your title, description and keywords 'as well' as on your page several times. Therefore you will most likely need to re-edit your content as well, (not just the Meta Tags).

Rule #2

Don't try and trick search engines. They're not as silly as they once were and they're getting smarter every day. Example: Don't repeat text hundreds of times, making it the same color as the background. Search engines woke up to this a long time ago. Basically, just be honest. The time you waste trying to be "tricky" would be better spent working on your site, content and REAL promotion efforts. ie: Ones that actually work.

Rule #3

Keep your title, description, keywords and content specific. Many people try to add too many words and phrases all over the place. Imagine for a moment that you are lost and you need to ask for directions. If you were told to "drive under the bridge, past the green house on the left, over the little bump, past the red mail box, you'll see a house with a white gate and then you'll need to pass a school crossing and then turn left" would you look at the person with a blank face (providing that you continued to listen to the person)? Probably! However, if the person said: "Take your next left" it would be much more helpful, yes? So, you need to keep specific. Use as many informative words as you can to keep a "theme". Don't go overboard.


Creating a "functional" set of Meta Tags is actually not all that hard. It's not "rocket science" as many people would have you believe. You can of course do HEAPS of research on keywords and spend hours on each page, and get very good results, but if you have 3,000 pages and a business to run, it's not always practical. So, that's what we mean by functional. A decent set of Meta Tags that will do a great job, (possibly even better than sitting for hours per page). If there was anyone that KNEW how to get #1 every time, then they'd be a very, very rich person. The truth is that it's just not possible, so you need to keep realistic.

If possible take a look at the content, before you make any Meta Tags at all. Is there a GREAT keyword that could be repeated a few more times? Especially somewhere within the first 255 characters on the page? You need to put yourself in the web surfer chair for a moment. Ask yourself: "If I were looking for the content that is located on this page, what would I type into a search engine?" Once you have thought of 3 good words/phrases, add them to your content. Re-adjust the content so that it still reads well. If the words that you thought of were already in the content, good. Less work!

Now you need to make sure that the 3 keywords/phrases are also in the title, description and keywords. This can be slightly tricky at first, but once you have done a few you will get really good at it. It may be a bit of a bother if you do have 3,000 pages, but let a lesson be learned. It is good to get in the habit of using descriptive and informative words when writing content. If you are not the content editor, then it would be a good idea to explain this concept to the person(s) that do write the content.

Here's an example:

You have a page about the benefits of vitamins for you a cat. Obviously, if you were to have such a page, you would of course be selling some form of cat/pet food on your site. It is for this reason that you would want people to visit your site, otherwise there would be no real benefit.

You would think of words that people may type if they were looking for products which would keep their cat healthy. They might use "natural cat food", "natural pet food" and "cat nutrition". So, you would make sure that each of those phrases are in the page content several times each. It would also be a good idea to use the singular words many times too. ie: cat, nutrition and other derivatives such as cat food, pet food, nutrition for cats and nutrition for pets. Try to use plural and non plural words as well.

Once you have done that, you should make a title, which also uses the same words. ie:

<title>Cat Nutrition: Natural pet food for cats food</title>

With the above title, your page will most likely be found under:

Cat Nutrition: Natural pet food for cats (Cat Nutrition)
Cat Nutrition: Natural pet food for cats (Cat Food)
Cat Nutrition: Natural pet food for cats (Natural pet food)
Cat Nutrition: Natural pet food for cats (Pet food)
Cat Nutrition: Natural pet food for cats (Nutrition for cats)
Cat Nutrition: Natural pet food for cats (Pet nutrition)

Such a title would do much better than something like:

<title>Look after fluffy: He will love you because he needs his vitamins</title>

..which would get you traffic that were searching for things like:

Look after fluffy: He will love you because he needs his vitamins (Love vitamins)
Look after fluffy: He will love you because he needs his vitamins (Look fluffy)
Look after fluffy: He will love you because he needs his vitamins (Needs love)

..the whole point here is that you need to be specific, informative to search engines and have a "theme" going.

Now you need to add a description. As mentioned above, where it was stated that you should add your keywords and phrases to the top of your page, (especially within the first 255 characters) you will have your description there. All you need to do is copy the first paragraph of your page into your description. Just like that.

Now the keywords. Try not to add single words. With all the competition on line, there is not much chance that single words will be of any use. Your best bet would be to use key phrases of 2-3 words. ie:

cat food, nutritional cat food, cat nutrition etc.. Don't bother adding extra words or phrases that are not in your page. Doing so would be a waste of time.

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