As bloggers we spend time making sure our site looks attractive to visitors. Lets face it. The idea “don’t judge a book by its cover” is nice in theory, but often our first-time visitors do just that.
However, when a search engine stops by to index your site, they don’t look at the outside beauty. Instead, they go “under the hood” to read your HTML coding. What does it say to them? Well, one rule to live by when it comes to HTML is the simpler the better. If you have an lot of extra unnecessary coding, it can slow down and confuse the search engine’s crawler. However, there are a few simple codes you can add to help them out when indexing your site.
When niche blogging, you can get so comfortable within your niche that you start to use acronyms and abbreviations in your posts that are familiar to you and your readers. These “little comforts” may make sense to you, but to the crawler, they are just gibberish.
Let me give you an example. Lets say you blog about once a month cooking and often use the term “OAMC” within your posts. When a search engine’s crawler stops by your site to read your most recent post, they’ll read the abbreviation exactly as written – “O” “A” “M” “C”. To the search engine crawler it’s just a bunch of random letters and index it as so. Later, when someone who’s searching for a blog just like yours types “once a month cooking” into the search engine, that recent post that you worked so hard on won’t come up and the person may never find your site.
Yes, you can add meta tags to your posts to help out, but most bloggers don’t do this for every single post. Instead, you can quickly add a simple bit of HTML coding to tell the search engine’s crawler that OAMC is an abbreviation for once a month cooking.
<abbr title=”Once A Month Cooking”>OAMC</abbr>
Now, the search engine crawler stops by and reads your HTML noting that OAMC is an abbreviation for once a month cooking and indexes it as so. Later when someone searches for “once a month cooking” the search engine will consider your page and the perspective reader can stop by to find out how truly perfect your blog is for them.
What about acronyms though? Well, first, lets rewind back to high school for a short lesson in English. What’s the difference between an abbreviation and an acronym?
An abbreviation is a word shortened by letters and read as so. For example, you would read OAMC as “O”, “A”, “M”, “C”. An acronym, on the other hand, is a word shorted by letters into a readable word or nickname. For example, when frugal bloggers blog about “BOGO” sales, we often read that as “bO-goh” instead of “B”, “O”, “G”, “O”.
So, how do we tell the search engine crawler that BOGO is an acronym for “Buy One, Get One Free”? The HTML is almost the same:
<acronym title=”Buy One, Get One Free”>BOGO</acronym>
Now the search engine crawler understands that BOGO is an acronym and when a prospective reader is searching for “Buy One, Get One Deals”, our post will be considered.
So why type this HTML code over and over again, instead of just typing out the entire word? Well, you only have to insert this code once, preferably the first time you use it, into a post to help out the search engine crawler. After that, you can simply type OAMC or BOGO with no added HTML. Plus, it will help expand the search words that will result in your post.
Next, imagine on your once a month cooking blog, you do have a page for new visitors that explains all the definitions of your frequently used acronyms and abbreviations. But, when the search engine crawler stops by, it just reads it as a bunch of text. It doesn’t understand that “Once a Month Cooking” is the definition of “OAMC”. Let’s say when someone searches for “OAMC definition”, you want your site to come up. Here’s the HTML to tell the search engine crawler what it needs to know:
<abbr title=”Once A Month Cooking”>OAMC</abbr>
<dl><dt>OAMC</dt>:<dd>OAMC or Once a Month Cooking is setting up a day or two in advance to cook enough meals to last the entire month. Also known as “Freezer Cooking”.</dd></dl>
When a search engine crawler this reads as “Hey, there’s going to be a word with a definition here!”. Then tells the search engine crawler exactly where the word is and exactly where the definition is, so they can index it as so.
While these little tips might not fling you to the top of Google’s search page, it will helps Google index each of your posts properly and help perspective readers find your site a little easier.
With a minor in computers, Beth spends her days as a stay-at-home mom to 3 adorably active children under the age of 5 and blogging about how to cut your grocery budget dramatically at In Good Cents.