Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the volume and quality of traffic to a web site from search engines via "natural" ("organic" or "algorithmic") search results. Usually, the earlier a site is presented in the search results, or the higher it "ranks," the more searchers will visit that site.
The site optimizer tool of TOWeb
The site optimizer of TOWeb is accessible from the link "Website Optimizer" located in the "Publish" screen. An orange pellet is displayed aside this link to alert you about possible optimization for your site when it is the case. By default none of the base sites originally created by TOWeb are optimized as these are only starting examples and it is up to you to customize all their content with your own texts and images.
TOWeb analysis and detects multiple points of possible improvements for better ranking of your site by search engines such as Google. The test results vary with the content of your website, so it is important to regularly look at the results and guidance displayed by this optimizer each time before you publish/update your site. Each point analyzed by TOWeb can be reported:
- in green to indicate that all optimization criteria are satisfied,
- in red to alert you about possible optimizations of great importance,
- in orange to alert you of optional optimizations (but to consider as they are generally recommended to improve your SEO and/or the popularity of your site).
When optimizations are possible then you can click on their name for a detailed list of the changes you need to apply and/or to see the different tips and advice identified by TOWeb. You may also save the results of the optimizer report into a file, for example if you need to study it outside of TOWeb or if want to print it.
Finally out of all points and technical advice reported by the website optimizer of TOWeb, it is also very important to pay particular care not only to the structure and navigation of your site but also to all your texts by reading all the other tips of the located below on this page.
How will Internet visitors find your website ?
Most of your visitors will find your website using Internet search engines such as Google. To comply and authorize this, follow this 3 steps procedure :
- for each topics of your website (and especially your home page) verify and update their general information. You can do this from the "Search Engine Optimization" area located in your "Topic Settings" :
- title : choose the right words for your page title. This is the most important information search engines will use to locate your website. To determine the appropriate title, imagine which words your visitors would enter in a search engines to get to your website
- description : make few sentences that present and best summarize all the content of your web page (or website if it's your home page)
- enable search engines : just leave the option unchecked to authorized search engines on your web pages
- give a name for each of your web pages. Your home page will automatically be and stay with the filename "index.html" (or "index.php") but for all other pages you may want to give as page file name that will be fixed and final for all your URLs
- very all your texts and paragraph titles. These are scanned, extracted and analyzed by search engined robots that try to understand the meaning to categorize and organize all these in there database. The choice of your texts and sentences is therefore very important
- add a title on each images if you want them to be best indexed by image search engines such as Google Images
- now your website is ready and available, you can submit your website to GOOGLE
Your website is still not visible in GoogleYour website will be automatically referenced in search engine databases but this may take times. To improve ranking and position in their search results. To do that here are some advice to consider :
- the content of your web pages : the information and text content of your website is essential. It must be useful for your visitors and should contain the important words or sentences your visitors are looking for. If you use a word very often and place it in your topic's tile, this word will become an important one on your website.
- External links : if many websites contain a link your website, this generally means that your content is interesting or in relation with these websites. The more links you will have on the internet the more important your website will be so you might consider the exchange of links or banners with websites similar to yours.
- regular updates : in order to make people come and visit your website often, it's important to update it periodically and add new useful information. Search engines take in accounts such aspects so it's important to maintain your website up-to-date and alive
- try not to rename or deleted the web page names (URL) of your website as they have been bookmarked by user and stored by search engines. If possible keep our old web page by just removing their content and providing link to the new page(s)
- the page title should summarize all the content of your topic. It should not be a sequence of keywords but a sentence (with or without any verbs). You should carefully choose the word you use for it as it must stay as short as possible. In fact your title is longer that 60 characters the rest would generally be ignored by search engines.
- the page description generally contains one or two sentence to present the content of your topic. This text is also the one commonly displayed below a found link on the list of search results. For best SEO in search engines it is advisable to put a Meta <description> tant does not exceed 156 characters (maximum 300 characters possible). It is important for both Meta Title & description summarizing a topic to be as clear and concise as possible and stay within those limits. If this is not the TOWeb case will show in red the field name to indicate that.
Eventually be patient ! Your website is not likely to become famous on the internet in just few days. This may take weeks, months and even years before your website to appear on the top of search engine results.
Using Google services in your website
In addition to submit your site to the Google search engine, Google offers free services handled and assisted by TOWeb. To configure them in TOWeb you first need to open a Google account. These TOWeb options are available in the "Settings > Google Services" screen and they include:
Google provides an invisible tag you can place in your site to confirm that you are the owner. Log in to Google webmaster tools with your Google account to choose a verification method and select it thereafter in TOWeb. The simplest method that we recommend is to select the Add a meta tag verification and copy/paste the line of code that provided by Google. This code line should be like this one:
A TOWeb Studio edition allows you, if you wish, not to generate the tag "meta generator" in your site by selecting the choice "None" for "Meta generator" option located in TOWeb screen "File > Your website". But unless you are a web developer with very specific needs, we advise you to keep the generator meta tag to your site not only because this information is not visible to internet users visiting your site but also because :
- this meta generator tag is used to facilitate technical assistance in case of problems on your website. If you remove it and contact the technical support Lauyan then, depending on the problems that you may encounter, this may delay the research and analysis of all possible causes and therefore postpone the problem resolution time. A republish of your site after reactivating the "meta generator" tag of TOWeb may also be requested by our technical support until the resolution of your problem is completed
- the presence of the TOWeb meta generator tag in your site can also improve your SEO. In fact some search engines such as Google are fully aware of the different structures and mechanisms used by major websites generators, this to better reference all text and other elements located inside your site, so they can make the most judicious and appropriate predictions on the role, relation, meaning of all your site content; as many points which will not be processed if this information generator is removed from your website.
Google Universal Analytics
This service from Google tells you how visitors arrived on your site how they explored and what you can do to improve the comfort of use. To integrate this service automatically to all pages of your website, simply connect to your Google account to know the code of your site and enter it in TOWeb. This code is of the form:
UA-xxxxxx (eg UA-207352-3).
The IP Anonymization of Google Analytics (also called IP masking) helps you to strengthen your own privacy policies as well as support the recommendations from local data protection authorities in some countries which may prevent the storage of full IP address information. If you use Google Anaytics on your site and want to activate the IP masking you only need to check this option located in TOWeb step “Options > Google Services”.
For more information see the help page of Google Universal Analytics.
Smartphone Web browser customization
Some extra information can be added to your website to allow display customization of some web browser elements when visiting your site. These options can be added to your site from step : "File > Your website".
Web browser status bar color on smartphones
Some browsers may recognize and use a custom color defined for the display of their elements if the version of the mobile platform supports it too. This is the case with the Google Chrome browser and web browsers offered by default in Android devices but also with Windows Phone devices. By using and adding this option to your site, you allow Internet users to view your site better suited to your theme, as shown in the example below with a screenshot before and after using a custom color.
The above screenshots were made by a Samsung Galaxy S6 with Android 6.01 (Marshmallow) and the web browser provided by default. The way custom color is used (or not) to color certain elements depends on web browsers, their versions and the version of the platform supporting (or not) such option.
If you want to reuse a color already prsent in the theme of your site, you need to proceed as follows: from step "Theme" click on the original element and then on its color button. Once the "Colors" window is opened you can select and make a copy of its "color code" to the clipboard and then reuse this code with a paste. Finally, if you do not want to use any of custom color simply leave (or reselect) the "Auto" color.
On the iOS platform with the Safari browser there are 3 possible display choices : the normal default display of a web page in Safari, the display with a status bar using a black background and the status bar display using transparency. For these 2 last option to work, it is necessary to have saved your site URL not among the favorites of your iPhone / iPad but as an icon on your home screen by using the "Share" ( ) "Add to Home screen" ( ) and then open your site directly from this icon (given that the icon to be used will be your favicon or the iOS icon defined for your site).
A favicon is an icon symbolizing your website. Web browsers can use a favicon in their address bar, bookmarks, tabs and other shortcuts pointing to any page of your site. It is therefore strongly advised to add one on your site to allow users to better store your image (for example the logo of your company/organization) and better identify it later when they want to come back to visit your site. This icon must be a 32x32 pixels image and preferably in a PNG or ICO format
Metro, iOS & Android icon
This icon in PNG format is similar to the favicon but of greater size. It is primarily used by Apple products (including iPhone and iPad) and the latest web browsers of Microsoft (such as Edge on Windows 10 and Internet Explorer on Windows 8).
Google Maps API
Since June 22nd, 2016, the usage of the Google Maps APIs requires a key. If you have not any yet for your domain or site you can get your API Key from Google. Keep in mind that each free API key comes with a 25,000 map loads per day limit so, for very large websites with numerous visitors, you could possibly need a Premium Plan license from Google. For more information and conditions of use, please refer to Google. Once you have your API key :
- if you are using a TOWeb version greater than 6.13 then you just need to copy/paste your API key in TOWeb step "Options > Google Services > Google Maps". For more information on how to add Google Maps to your website please see the Google Maps object.
- if you are using TOWeb V5 or older then you will need to follow Google instructions and copy/paste your code using the TOWeb script fields.
See also the following pages:
- Navigation and structure of your website as internal links in your site but also external links to other sites are very important not only for your visitors but also Internet search engines
- Custom error pages and files "robots.txt", ".htaccess" and "sitemap.xml" to handle all the errors and rules of your website.