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What are Meta Tags?

Posted on 20 January 2012 by Linda Joseph

I review client’s websites regularly and I am shocked at the number of websites – built by professional web designers – that don’t have meta tags!

What are Meta Tags?

Meta tags are special tags that are put in the <head> section of the HTML website code.  These tags aren’t setup up for web visitors but for the search engines.

The search engines use this information when crawling your website to help them organize, categorize and catalog your web pages. This information is used when users go to the search engine to search for your information or info related to your business.

There are several different Meta Tags but I am only going to cover the critical ones as well as the Title tag.

Title Tag

The title tag is the most critical.  The title tag for your web page should be like the title of a book. It should convey what the page is about.  I strongly recommend that you have keywords in the title tag.

NOTE: You only have 70 characters so think carefully about what you want to show.  Google may pull the title tag as the title of the search results…

I just did a ‘Online Market Analysis’ for a local business who had this title tag:

<title>Home Page</title>

How awful is that!!?? They paid thousands of dollars for their website.  They aren’t found in the search engines,, hhhmmmm wonder why?

Ok, since I don’t want to embarrass them, here is a good title tag for day spa:

<title>Day Spa Shelton CT | M Spa and Skin Care | Facials | Skin Care </title>

 Meta Description Tag

The Meta Description Tag is the second most critical tag you need to use on your website. The Meta Description Tag describes the content of the web page.  You only have 150 characters so keep it brief, engaging and keyword rich.

Again, Google may pull the description content to use in the description of the search results. Make is user and search engine friendly!

Meta Keyword Tag

The third tag I want to cover is the Meta Keyword Tag. In this tag you add the keywords for you web page.  There are not limits on this but I would keep it to 3-5 keywords.

Other Meta Tags

There are several other important Meta Tags like the Meta Charset and Meta Language Tags. These help search engines read and understand your Web pages better no matter what language is used.

This tool will help you make Meta Tags for your website: SEO Tools

Linda

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How Does HTML Work?

Posted on 16 January 2012 by Linda Joseph

Subscriber Question:

How Does HTML Work?

HTML, HyperText Markup Language, tells a web browser how to show a web page.  The HTML language allows you to set up pages, paragraphs, fonts, colors, tables, images, links and so much more.

In a previous post, I have covered the basics of HTML and the two most important HTML tags you need to know – how to make links and how to insert images.  When the browser sees a link tag, it knows it needs to insert a hyperlink.  When the browser sees an image tag, it knows it needs to grab the image and display it on the page.

Here are a few other tags that might be helpful to know:

Italics  <em> </em>
NOTE: can still use <i></i>
Bold  <strong> </strong>
Underline   <u></u>

Strikeout  <del></del>
NOTE: Used to be <strike></strike>

Paragraph <p></p>
Line Break  <br />

Font Style  <font face=””></font>
Font Color  <font color=”” ></font>
Font Size  <font size=””></font>
Combination font tag: <font face=”” color=”” size=”” ></font>

Background Color:  <body bgcolor=”yellow”>
NOTE: It is best practices to define background color in the CSS.

Lists:
Ordered List  <ol></ol>
Unordered list  <ul>,/ul>

To get all these tags as well as how to create a website, pick up a free copy of “Seven Easy Steps to HTML Success” your free HTML book now.

My advice: Do NOT try to learn HTML to design a website!

Learn the two most important tags but focus on things that will make you money. Soon I will be talking about using HTML on mobile websites.

Linda

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HTML Help – Most Important Tags

Posted on 12 January 2012 by Linda Joseph

How Do I… HTML Help

I get asked daily about HTML.  I used to teach HTML and wrote a book on HTML.

If you want to learn HTML just pick up a free copy of “Seven Easy Steps to HTML Success“, Free HTML book.

The two most important tags that you need to know are:

  1. The HTML link tag
  2. The HTML image tag

These two tags I use more than all the other tags combined!  I used them when I made web pages and I use them today when I create widgets on my WordPress pages.

HTML TAG – Links

<a href=”url”>anchor text </a>

The “URL” is the link that you want to go to.  This has to start with http://

Here is an example: http://freehtmlbook.com

This is an acceptable URL to put in the link tag.  Make sure that it goes in between the two quotation marks.

The text between <a…> and </a> is called the anchor text.  If you have ever seen blue underlined text that goes to a website when you click on it you have seen anchor text links.

In this case, I want the anchor text link to be:   free HTML book

Here is the code: <a href=”http://freehtmlbook.com”>free HTML Book</a>

Here is what it looks like: free HTML Book

HTML TAG – Images

You will want to insert images into your web page or wordpress blog.  The secret here is that your image must reside on the Internet somewhere.  If it just is on your computer it will not show.

If you do not have hosting then I recommend that you use a free image hosting service like photobucket or flickr.  You can then link to your image and have it appear online.

Here is the HTML help tag: <img src=”url”>

NOTE: There is NO PAIR of tags with the image tag. It is one of the exceptions!

The url of the image has to start with http:// just like it did for the linking tag.

Here is an example of an image tag: <img src=”http://freehtmlbook.com/images/Copy%20of%20S-E-S-T-H-S2.jpg”>
Here is how the browser will interpret this HTML image tag:

Write these two tags down and put them where you can easily access them! Believe me, you will use them all the time!

Linda

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What is HTML?

Posted on 09 January 2012 by Linda Joseph

Hypertext Markup Language – What is HTML?

If you haven’t heard about HTML, don’t worry!  You need to know a few basics but don’t need to know how to design a website…

HTML stands for Hypertext Markeup Language.  The only reason why I know that is because I taught HTML to hundred’s of students when I first started online.  There are so many free resources out there now that anyone can learn HTML.

Here are some of my favorite resources:

Here are some of the basics that you need to know:

  1. HTML is a language read by browsers
  2. All HTML words are surrounded by angle brackets <?
    (When a browser sees the angle brackets it knows it is HTML whichb it will have to interpret.) 
  3. These HTML words with brackets are called tags
  4. Normally tags appear in pairs
    <tag> is the opening tag
    </tag>is the closing tag
  5.  There are exceptions to the pair rule!

You have a web browser on your computer.  It may be Internet Explorer, or FireFox, or Chrome, etc. But if you have been online at all you have used a browser to read web pages.

Web pages may be written in HTML. The browser reads the HTML and displays the HTML as a web page.  It does not display the HTML but rather uses the HTML to interpret how the content is to be displayed.

Here are a few basic tags:

<html></html>

This tag tells the browser that the following content is HTML and therefore to interpret it appropriately.  When the browser comes to the </html> tag it knows it is at the end of the page.

Inside a web page you have two sections:

  • Head
  • Body
The head give information important to the way the language is interpreted as well as information for the search engines. This information is not displayed on the browser.

The body is the information you see on the browser.  Here is how this looks:

<html>
<head>

</head>
<body>

</body>
</html>

That is the basic outline for the web page.  To learn more, pick up your free HTML book.

Ask your most pressing HTML question below.

Linda

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