Web pages use HTML to display information over the Internet, using a browser (i.e. Firefox, Internet Explorer). According to dictionary.com, one definition for design is: to intend for a definite purpose. This implies that a designer should have forethought when constructing a web page design such that there is a definite purpose for each page. Of course the web site owner will want their site to be popular, and business web sites desire traffic to achieve a return on investment (R.O.I.) and traffic is the key. It is the search engine that returns the results page for a search. The keywords used help the search engines determine relevancy of the search to the web page.
The search engines (i.e. Google, Yahoo!, MSN) are not human, but are programs written by humans and cannot actually “see” the images or “read” the text on the web page. It is important to impart to them well researched information that will lead the search engine to your web page and return your web page link to the searcher in a results page. Optimization of a page (Meta tags, keyword research, keyword density, and relevant links) can make the difference between whether your web page is returned in the first results page, last page or somewhere in between.
HTML stands for Hyper Text Markup Language. HTML contains the blue print of the web page and the specific information for the browser as to the layout of the page and how the search engines robots and people will view it alike. Each web page should be optimized individually, choosing appropriate keywords and connected including internal links and related external links to other web pages. This is important because the Search Engines do not spend lots of time indexing any one particular website, therefore making sure the pages are updated and link correctly will tell the robots that the website has not been abandoned and can be indexed.
HTML is used to formatting the page, creating lists, providing links between pages, add images, and use tables to keep this information in order and provide the information that may get you those top 10 results using well-researched keywords. The Meta Tags used in the HTML tells the search engine robots how to categorize the information and returns information to the screen for the user in the form of a results page. This is usually the result of a search performed by a user. At its most basic, a web page could be composed of a few basic tags and most likely it will also include words or rather content.
Additional Meta tags can be used to be more specific in its formatting and display instructions to the browser. For Example: Keying this into the Google search box results in reveals that there are 131,000,000 results for the keyword phrase web page design in .24 seconds and returns the first 10 web pages. This does not include the sponsored links (paid placement) using this keyword phrase. Then by examining the HTML page source (right click the mouse and choose view source) the Meta Tags for this particular HTML can be displayed. The number one web site (excluding the sponsored links) revealed that the title made use of the keyword phrase. The keywords included website, design and web design and the meta name description content contained the keyword phrase “web page design”.
If all of the tags are removed from the source code, what remains is the heart of the page, or rather text. If a page is well written it will impart the information to the user desired when he or she selected the page from the results page. It is likely that the page will provide information for the viewer to read, look at or listen to in the form of a video, audio file, image or text. How the page is displayed is a choice of the author and this can make the difference between a plain page and a page that has all of the window dressings. Whether the reader has a pleasant experience or one that causes the reader to click off the page, and never returns to the web page in the future is dependent on whether the needs of the user were met.
The search engines robots (Google, Ask, MSN, Yahoo!, and others) look for and gather the text on the page using an algorithm and store this in a database. This algorithm determines what the search engines tasks are and tell them exactly what duties to perform and what information to look for on their search. Providing Meta tags the robots will assist them in their task to gather and categorize the web pages information in its database (used later in retrieval as a result of search). This is why optimization of a page can make the difference between whether your web page is returned in the first results page, last page or somewhere in between.
Remember to carefully choose keywords, and to use those keywords in the body of the web page, as well as in the title and even in the web page title, Meta description tag. Be sure to submit your websites URL to the search sites and directories and look for sites to link to yours to improve your search engine ranking and search engines will soon return your web page at the top of the results.