SmartSpace enables website owners to optimise their site for search engines. By using the tools available you can maximise the number of visits you receive from search engines.
This page tells you the basics of how to improve your websites search visibility. For more advanced advice and links to more tools click here.
It goes through each of the main website structural elements that affect search engine rankings, although each search engine will give different weighting and interpretation to each element.
This page does not discuss offpage factors that affect rankings. See the article with the link above.
The Title Tag is one of the most important elements of a web page when it comes to search engines. Not only is it the first thing that searchers see when browsing through results, it is also a very important element in search engines scoring your website relevance for search terms.
SmartSpace automatically inserts a title tag for every web page. By knowing what the title tag will be, you can optimise pages for your own search terms.
The title tag is not seen on the webpage itself (it is in the unseen page header) but it does appear, usually at the top left of the browser window. Here is where you find the title tag for the following types of pages;
- Home Page
- The title is made up of the website name and the first keyword or term placed in the Website Keywords field in Control Panel > General Trader Settings.
- After editing the Website Keywords field click on Update SmartSpace Buisness Preferences at bottom of page.
- The website name is held at Control Panel > Trader Details in the Website Name field
- You could place up to 4 or 5 tags or keywords in this field, each separated by a comma and using no words like "a", "the", etc.
- Capitalise the first tag or keyword.
- If you are optimising for local search (e.g. plumbers, local traders etc.) include your suburb or locality in the keywords.
- Apart from its use as part of the website title, key words are not always used by search engines to determine search rankings
- Content Pages
- These pages are available in the Content Manager.
- The content Title/Menu Item becomes the page title when viewed on the web.
- If you are trying to get search traffic from a page, ensure that you use the search term in the "Title/Menu Item" field.
- Use the Additional Title field under Advanced Content and SEO Settings on the edit page to refine your title and improve search visibility.
- Group Pages
- These pages are editible in the Database Manager in the Groups section
- The Page Title for group levels are:
- For Groups: Group Name
- For Instances: Instance Name
- For Group Categories: Category Name
- For Category Types: Category Type Name
- Product Pages
- These pages can be found in Control Panel > Products (if E-Store is subscribed)
- The Page Title is the Product Name in the case of products
- If you are using Brands, the Brand Name is appended
- Eg My Product - Big Brand
- In the case of Product Categories, the Category Name becomes the page title.
- Depending on your structure setup, if you are using Brands, the Brand Name may be appended
- The description field in each is truncated at 150 characters to be placed in the Page Description
- Other Pages
- On other automatically generated pages the title is auto generated,
- Bookings - inserts the name of the resource (e.g. Book Squash Courts online).
- Memberships - "Trader Name" Memberships.
- What's On - "Trader Name" - What's On.
The description is not seen on the webpage itself, but it is usually seen as the text associated with the page title in search results. If a search engine does not think the page description fits the search result for a particular search term, it may substitute the description with some text from the page content. A good description is vital, not only for search rankings, but also click throughs, once it appears in a search engine results page (SERP).
- Home Page
- The contents of the Website Description field in General Trader Settings is used in this important field.
- The first 150 characters of this field is used in the tag (after any html is stripped out).
- Please ensure that you check this field before the website is published.
- Content Pages
- Use the Page Description field under Advanced Content and SEO Settings to see exactly what you want to see on the search result pages.
- If there is no description here, the first 150 characters of text is used from the content itself (after html is stripped out).
- The search term you are targeting, or at least variations of that search term, should be contained in that section of text or in the description.
- Product Pages
- The product description is used (first 150 chars after html is stripped out) for product pages.
- The category description is used (first 150 chars after html is stripped out) for product category pages.
- The brand description is used (first 150 chars after html is stripped out) for brand pages.
- Groups Pages
- For Groups: Group Preview (if available)
- For Instances: Instance Description
- For Group Categories: Category Description
- For Category Types: Category Type Description
- Other pages
- The same description as the Home Page.
Although not all search engines use the keywords meta tag in their search algorithm, SmartSpace includes the aforementioned Tags field to populate this tag. Insert at least 4 tags or keywords although try not to let the total number of characters exceed 250.
- Home Page - Found in General Trader Settings.
- Content Pages - Found as 'Page Tags' in the Advanced Content Settings of the edit page and as 'Archive Keywords' on the Edit Category page.
- Product Pages - Found as 'Page Keywords' in the main product edit form.
- Other Pages - There are a range of pages which have a keyword element to them, view the relevant Help file for more information.
Page Name and URLs
On your content pages, you can now add a "Page Name" to your page. A Page Name forms part of the page URL which gives the page extra relevance for search engines. Read more here.
Page names can be currently assigned to the following pages;
- Content pages - See the Page Name field in both content pages and content category pages.
- Page Names for products - see the SEO settings section of each product
- Coming soon - Page Names for Groups
When creating content, use the formatting tools in the Content Manager to improve your site's search engine visibility;
- Use the "Heading" selections found in the Format drop down list to create and format section headings.
- Do not use the "Heading 1" selection unless you have selected to hide the title (A H1 tag already is automatically selected and generated).
- Use the "Heading 2" and other "Heading" tags as a way of setting out the importance of headings and sections of content.
- Note that more is not necessarily better - headings should represent the structure of your content
- Setting all the headings on a page as H1 and/or H2 will more likely see your content down graded
SmartSpace automatically inserts "Alt" tags in all images based on the name or caption of the Image you set when it was loaded into the database. "Alt" tags are important for search engines when images are part of a page;
- If you upload an image other than through the database (you are able to load separately through the Content Manager), or if you are embedding images in content, insert your own "Alt" tag through the image window > Alternative Text field.
- If the image is attached to content, the caption of the image will be used as the "alt" text.