There are two versions of every article I write. One version is written in English for you, my readers. A second version is generated (automatically) for the computers and is written in a computer language called HTML.
Search engine optimization is the process of fine-tuning the HTML version so the search engines may easily index and rank your webpage. “Optimizing” this process gets your pages ranked as high as possible. The result is high rankings for your webpage.
Where is the HTML?
Every page you read on the Internet has an HTML version. Right click on a page and choose “view page source.” This is the computer coded version of the article you are reading. These are the instructions for your computer and web-browser to generate all the visible and audible parts of your webpage.
Within the HTML lies the information needed to index your webpage with the search engines. The process of completing or “optimizing” this information is called SEO (search engine optimization).
You Don’t Know HTML?
Almost all website programs (aka HTML generators), blogging software (aka content management systems) and word processors automatically generate an HTML version of your webpage, blog post or simple text document. You don’t need to do it.
Most successful bloggers do not know HTML. You don’t either.
Fortunatley, converting your text to HTML is standare. In fact, there’s no variation between systems and is very uniform regardless of the system you are using.
Header (Title), Subheader, Keywords, Meta Tags and Anchor Text
Completing all the necessary elements for the SEO; however, varies greatly. The method to complete the basic SEO elements such as;
- the header (telling the bots what your article is about),
- sub-headers (phrases that augment the header),
- keywords (main subject of the article, should be one or two words only),
- meta tags (additional descriptors) and
- anchor text (a hyperlink using descriptive words),
all differ from system to sytem. Most systems require you to manually complete these items (there are special boxes to fill in for every article…usually) to allow insertion into the HTML.
In many cases, the authors ignore the SEO and the search engine is left to it’s own devices to figure out the most important elements of your work to index and rank.
What Can You Do?
1. Don’t ignore the SEO. It’s the key to content marketing and the only way to get your webpage ranked highly.
2. Install SEO Plugins on your WordPress site. These plugins will help you easily complete the necessary SEO fields to get you started to optimize your own articles. Highly reputable plugins include;
3. Make sure each of your articles has a correct title, keywords and meta tags. While the use of keywords and meta tags is no longer used by Google, it is a helpful exercise to start using these descriptors to index your article on your own. Other search engines may still index your site using these criteria.
To Your Growth And Success!
Randall V. Wong, M.D.
Medical Website Optimization