Hidden Threats to Your Website
Most people don’t look beyond the appearance of their website – and why would they? They probably will never have discussed with their website developer the need for meta titles, meta description, image titles, descriptors and alternate text, the architecture of the website or careful use of keywords.
These are all invisible and few non-professionals know how critical they are to a website’s success or failure. Let’s look at each in turn.
This is the title for this page <title>Website Fails By Developers</title> – you can see it for yourself by a right click in Chrome and selecting “View Source”, in Internet Explorer right click and choose HTML, in Firefox right click and choose Page Source, on an iPad download the view source app
The Title Tag is the first line of an entry in search engine results. Ideally it should be a teaser headline which catches the browser’s eye as well as an informative description that starts telling the search engines what the page is about. Maximum characters and spaces is approximately 50, but whatever makes an impact will work for you. It should not be overlooked.
The Description Meta Tag expands on the <title>. Think of it as a billboard. Your eye is drawn by a compelling headline and then drawn down to read the advertising copy. It is your biggest opportunity to draw visitors to your website and shouldn’t be wasted.
Your images have the opportunity to be given four attributes:
- Alternate Text
and their purpose is:
- The caption appears on the page – a design and relevance decision really
- The title is to help the search engine bot to understand briefly what the image represents
- The alternate text is to help visitors to the page who are using text only browsers understand the relevance of the image
- The description expands on the title, in the same way as the meta tags in the page
All of this is a gift to expand on your content and focus on its purpose. Failing to make the most of it is a wasted opportunity.
My next post will be about site architecture which is equally important to human and bot visitors.