Let's take a closer look at a few of the violations identified in the SEO Report.
Keywords in your Title Tag & Meta Description:
The very first place the search engine crawlers look at on your web page is the HTML title tag and meta description. These are HTML elements in the code of your web page. It's very important these sections are completed and contain the keywords you want to rank for with this page.
In addition to being important from an SEO perspective, the HTML title tag and meta description are displayed in the search results. You'll want to make sure that they clearly describe your page and why they should click the search result to visit your page.
Title and Description as shown in a Bing search result
Let's take a look at the “The title is too long.” violation. When we click on this item in the report, it opens up a box on the right hand side that gives us more details on the violation and recommendations on how to fix it.
Title Violation Details & Recommended Actions
In this example, the length of our Title is too long. Ideally, the title tag should not exceed 65 characters; everything else will be omitted in the search results. Depending on the keywords you care about, a better example of a title tag might be:
Santa Cruz Hotel | Vacation Rental Santa Cruz | Contoso Hotel
Tip: Place your most important keywords in the beginning of the title (notice how the name of the company is at the end) .
When we click The description is empty, WebMatrix alerts us that we have left this important area empty and recommends that we add human readable, actionable and keyword rich content that is no longer than 150 characters in the meta description area.
Description Violation Details & Recommended Actions
The meta description for Contoso Hotel might be:
Looking for a Santa Cruz vacation rental in a warm, sunny & fun beach town? Call Contoso Hotel 222-333-4444. Receive a FREE breakfast w/ your stay.
Tip: Add a call to action and a reason for searchers to visit your website in the meta description. This is your chance to convince searchers to click on your link instead of the other results on the page.
Keywords in your headers (H1, H2, H3):
Another area the search engine crawlers look is at is the HTML Headers on your web page. These header tags are HTML elements that help define the structure of your page. Many people make the mistake of using bold text or font size to indicate headers instead of using the actual header tags.
By doing this the search engines will not be able to properly understand the structure of your document, and your page could suffer in the search rankings as a result.
In this report WebMatrix is telling us that we are missing the H1 tag (Header 1) and this is a major component to determining page relevancy for your keywords.
Header Violation Details & Recommended Actions
You'll want to make sure your headers exist, are human readable, contain your primary keywords for the page, and that you appropriately label your headers as Header 1 (H1) , Header 2 (H2), Header 3 (H3), to indicate the structure of your content.
Here is an example of what the H1 header might be for the Vacation Rental page on the Contoso Hotel website.
<H1> Santa Cruz Hotel & Vacation Rental</H1>
Keywords in the ALT tags of your images:
A key component that many people miss in optimizing their web page is properly labeling each of the the images on the page with the image ALT attribute tag.
This WebMatrix report is telling us that our image does not have an ALT attribute defined.
Image Tag Violation Details & Recommended Actions
Search engines can't view images like human eye can, but they can read what the image is about if labeled correctly. The Alt attribute within an image tag is simple to define and is another key area you want to make sure you have placed your keywords in.
This attribute is also valuable for the accessibility of your web page; some people rely on screen reader software to read the web page to them and if you don't have the ALT attribute defined for an image they will miss out on what the image was trying to convey.
<img src="images3/contoso-hotel.jpg" alt="Santa Cruz Hotel & Vacation Rental">
Keywords in the body of your text:
The search engines like to see keywords and phrases within the first 100 words of the body of your text. Be sure to make the content compelling for your readers; write naturally and make sure your primary keyword phrases are included in the body text.
Be careful though - do not try and stuff your content with keywords. Always aim for human readability first, with considerations for the search engine crawlers second. Your page will be penalized if the crawler determines that you have "stuffed" the page with too many keywords.
The WebMatrix SEO Report provides a Word Analysis report to help you analyze the content on your web page. To bring up this dialog click on View More Details link at the bottom of your recommendations. Then click on the Word Analysis tab in the dialog that comes up.
Webmatrix will give you a report of how many times a certain word or phrase is used on that web page. You can use this to see what words are represented most on the page, and fine tune your text accordingly.