You are here: Home / Tools / Website Documentation / Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

A tutorial on how to use the Search Engine Optimization capabilities of your website.

Search Engine Optimization is the process of improving the visibility of a web site in search engines via the "natural" or un-paid search results. The Propertyshelf CMS gives you the tools necessary to optimize your site's web pages to rank highly in the search engine results for the keywords of your choosing. Once you have created a page, you simply need to click on the "SEO Properties" tab to begin using these tools.

SEO Properties Tab

Under this tab, you'll see a number of fields all related to making your content more readily indexable by search engines.  Depending on your level of technical expertise, some of these fields might be of more interest than others. A typical user will probably not need to utilize all of them, but it is very useful to have them there if you do happen to need them. Below is a brief description of all of the fields:

  1. Page Title Tag: The text to be displayed in browser title bar. Search engines display it as a title of the document.
  2. Meta Description Tag: Description of the document to be indexed by Search Engines.
  3. Meta Keywords Tag: Keywords, the page will be indexed with.
  4. HTML Comment: Comments embedded into HTML header.
  5. Robot Tag: Robots meta tag value. Allows or denies indexing, following links etc. for spiders indexing your content.
  6. Distribution Tag: Distribution tag to designate time and area distribution of the document.
  7. Canonical URL: Specify your canonical URL. If your site has identical or vastly similar content that's accessible through multiple URLs, this format provides you with more control over the URL returned in search results.
  8. Custom Meta Tags: Here you can manage your custom meta tags. Specify local Meta Tags parameters to be added to the global Meta Tags. If metacontent field is empty, then a meta tag will not be present on this page.

The most commonly used attributes are "Page Title Tag" and "Meta Description Tag".  More details on these fields below:

Page Title Tag

A title tag is the line of text that is normally displayed at the top of the browser window.  Title tags are arguably the most important SEO tags for any site.

For most search engines, the maximum length of a title tag to be displayed is between 60-70 characters. If your title tag is over 70 characters, your title will be cut off around 70 characters on the search results page.

Search engine spiders use these title tags as the main source for determining the page topic. Spiders or crawlers examine the title and then translate the topic of the page. This is one reason why it is always best to use your keywords in the page title, and to place them as close to the beginning of the title as possible. Remember, the text included in the title tag is also the text that will appear in the SERPs (search engine results pages) as the linked title on which users will click to access your page. In fact, just fixing the title tags of your pages can often generate quick and significant improvements in your rankings.

For example, let’s say you have an educational site that provides information and guidelines on teacher certification requirements.  You’ve decided that the most important keywords for your site are “teaching certification” and “teaching requirements.” In this case, a page title along the lines of “Teaching Requirements for Teacher Certification” is highly relevant to the topic of the site. Spiders will crawl your site, and because the title is the first factor it sees, the spider will “read” it and then examine the rest of the page finding the keywords used in other places on the page to determine how relevant the title is to the rest of the content. If the content, H tags, and title tag all relate—you’re in business! This is why it’s so important to target the most critical keywords in the title tag.

Follow this same process for all of your pages, and remember to create unique titles that are relevant to each page and do not just stuff a lot of keywords in them.  This greatly improves the effectiveness of those tags and will increase the search engine rankings for your keywords. Although your home page might show up for 20 or 30 different keyword combinations, only your top two or three keyword phrases should be included in the tittle.

Meta Description Tag

The META Description Tag usually consists of 25 to 30 words or less using no more than 160 to 180 characters total (including spaces). The META description also shows up in many search engine results as a summary of your site.

Directories like Yahoo! and the ODP (Open Directory Project - show the page title and description that you entered (and the editors modified) on their manual submission form.

Make sure your Meta Description Tag is relevant to the content on the page.

Propertyshelf MLS Webservices SEO Optimizer