Optimizing Web Pages for Search Engines

For search engine optimization (SEO), follow these best practices when writing Web content.

Understand How Search Engines Work

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.

Position Key Terms on Your Pages

Your key terms should be used in your header text (which is also used in the title tag), introductory text, headers, and in the body of content.

Spell Out Acronyms

For search optimization, it's typically best to spell out terms, such as office names and technology-related terms. However, specific acronyms could be used if the search specialist has identified them as common search terms.

Focus on Content

Commercial search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo disregard keyword meta tags and may not display content from description meta tags, so focus your optimizing efforts on page content.

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