Make sure people can find your Web site

Applies to
Microsoft Office FrontPage® 2003
Microsoft FrontPage 2002,2000, and 98

Now that you've invested time and energy in creating your Web site, you want to make sure that people can find it. How do you make this happen?

How search engines rank content

When you are looking for something on the Internet, you probably go to your favorite search page (search engine) and type in a few keywords. Then you probably select the first Web site or page in the list (search engine listing) that looks as if it will give you the information you want. The position of each Web page in this list depends on its "ranking" by the search engine.

Most search engines rank a Web page based on the location and frequency on the page of the keywords that were typed in the search box. Search engines generally look at the placement of keywords in the Web page title, keywords meta tag, text on the page, and description meta tag.

Tips for improving search engine ranking

Each search engine analyzes the location of keywords and evaluates or ranks a Web page differently. However, there are general tips that you can use to get a more favorable search engine ranking for your Web page.

Let's assume that you have created a descriptive title for your Web page, and that the first few paragraphs of your Web page contain the keywords that you think people will use to find this information. The following additional steps can help make sure that people can locate your Web site:

  • Create a description for your Web site and add it as a meta tag to your home page.
  • Create a list of keywords for your Web site and add it as a meta tag to your home page.
  • Analyze the meta tags that you've added to your Web page.
  • Register your Web site with a search engine.

Meta tags provide information

A meta tag is a special Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) tag that provides information about your Web page and that is not visible to Web site visitors. Meta tags provide information such as who created the page, how often it is updated, what the page is about (description tag), and which keywords describe the content of the page (keywords tag).

Many search engines use meta tags to index Web sites (keywords meta tag) and then display the description in the search results (description meta tag).

 Note   Not all search engines support meta tags. Also, be aware that a search engine that supports meta tags may not use them to increase a Web page's ranking. Search engine Web pages often have links to information about how they use the information in meta tags.

Create a description for your Web site

Think of a description that summarizes the content on your Web site and will appeal to your intended audience. Each search engine has a different limit for the number of characters from a description that is displayed in the search results. These range generally from 150 to 395 characters, so limit your description accordingly.

Add the description meta tag to your home page

To add the description meta tag to your Web page, in Page view do the following:

  1. On the File menu, click Properties, and then click the Custom tab.
  2. Under User Variables, click Add.
  3. In the Name box, type description.
  4. In the Value box, type the description for your site.
  5. Click OK twice.

Create a list of keywords for your Web site

As you choose your keywords list, keep in mind the audience that you want to attract and the words that they would likely type into a search engine to find the information provided at your site.

Your keywords list should include both singular and plural forms of nouns, some synonyms, and any abbreviations that might be appropriate, listed in order of importance. Search engines ignore capitalization. The entire meta tag must contain fewer than 1,024 characters.

Add the keywords meta tag to your home page

To add the keywords meta tag to your Web page, in Page view do the following:

  1. On the File menu, click Properties, and then click the Custom tab.
  2. Under User Variables, click Add.
  3. In the Name box, type keywords.
  4. In the Value box, type the index keywords for your site, using commas to separate words.
  5. Click OK twice.

Tips for description and keywords meta tags

Description meta tag tips

  • They should summarize content on your Web page.
  • Displayed description is limited to between 150 and 395 characters in search engines.

Keywords meta tag tips

  • Include both singular and plural forms of nouns
  • Include some synonyms
  • Include abbreviations
  • List words in order of importance
  • Capitalization is ignored
  • The entire tag must contain fewer than 1,024 characters

Analyze your meta tags

Before you submit your Web site to search engines, you may want to take a final look to make sure that you have used meta tags effectively. Be sure that you have used correct spelling, and that the title, content, and meta tag data on your pages work together to create a Web site that is easy to find.

Register your Web site with a search engine

After you've added a description and keywords to your Web site, and maybe analyzed the meta tags to make sure that you've used them properly, you're ready for the final step: submitting your site to one or more search engines. Registering your site is easy, quick, and something that you can do on the Internet.

Read Registering your FrontPage-based Web site with search engines for information about how to register your site.

You can also use Submit It! Site Optimization & Search Engine Submissions, available on the Microsoft Small Business Center Web site, to register your URL with hundreds of search engines and directories and to review search engine tips.

For more information about how to submit your site, use meta tags, and boost placement of your Web site, visit the Search Engine Watch Web site. You will also find search engine submission tips, news, search engine listings, and more at this site.

 
 
Applies to:
FrontPage 2003