U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
EERE Communication Standards & Guidelines
Here you'll find the best practices for optimizing Web content for search engines. Search engines visit Web pages, index the words on those pages, and put the pages into a database. When a user does a search, the search engine compares the user's search terms against the pages in its database to find pages that contain the user's search terms.
Work with the EERE Search Specialist
Work with the EERE Search Specialist early in the writing process to determine strategies and a process for optimization.
Determine Key Terms
Develop a list of terms (singular and plural) that describe what your content is about. Your list should include terms users will use to search for that content in search engines, and appropriate synonyms, acronyms, and abbreviations. Good sources of terms include your statistics and your search logs.
Position Key Terms on Your Pages
Your key terms should be used in your H1 header text (which is also used in the title tag), introductory text, H2-H5 headers, and in the body of content.
Avoid Using Acronyms
For search optimization, it's typically best to spell out terms, such office names and technology-related terms. However, specific acronyms could be used if the search specialist has identified them as common search terms.
Selectively Use Meta Tags
Commercial search engines disregard meta keywords and may not recognize meta descriptions, so optimizing efforts should focus on page content. If you want to meta tag your home page or a few other important pages for EERE's search engine, the meta tags must meet the following EERE standards: (Note: Incorrect use of meta tags adversely affects searches in EERE's search engine as well as in commercial search engines.) If you are unsure about how to write meta tags, contact the EERE Search Specialist.
- Verify that the syntax is correct on meta descriptions and meta keywords.
- Create unique meta descriptions and meta keywords; i.e., do not use the same meta tags on different pages.
- Limit meta descriptions to 200 characters.
- Limit meta keywords for home pages to the site name and a few general keywords that reflect the subject matter on the site.
- Limit meta keywords for non-home pages to keywords that appear in the content of that page. They should only contain a few major key terms or phrases that reflect the page content.