Naked Code: Stalk Your Website Source to Check SEO

Either take control of your SEO (search engine optimization), or Google will mash-up phrases on your page to create your search result. This copy is incredibly important because a doctor or patient may base their entire decision to visit your site based on it.

That, we think, makes it worth looking into. No SEO tools or gadgets required.

These words are key to achieving the highest possible rank on Google, so lets 1. check and make sure they’re there, and 2) ensure that they accurately portray your page.

Here’s what the search result looks like for the home page of Biotica.

SEO on healthcare website

Where does SEO copy come from?

The short answer is that some human, web developer, SEO wrote these blurbs. But to find out exactly what’s written, you’ll need to dive into the source code.

Here’s how to do it: Hold down the CTRL key plus U. Like magic, the source code of your website will appear. If not, Google the name of your browser + source code. You’ll see something like this:
Sample code from medical marketing website

All of the content (words, images and videos) in an HTML page appears between < b >tags< / b > or angled brackets. Every tag must be – with a few exceptions – must be opened with a pair of angle brackets, and closed with a pair of angled brackets with a forward slash.

< b > Boldface begins with the open tag, and ends with the close tag.< / b > > b <, it must be closed < / b > , or the applied format will continue forever.

So DOCTYPE html tells the browser, “hey buddy an HTML page is coming.” At the bottom of the page, not shown, is the close tags

< style rel=”stylesheet” > This line is importing another file that tells the page what sizes and colors fonts should be, the width of columns, etc. Basically, everything you see on the page.

With the <TITLE > tag we’re deep into SEO country. The title contains the text that appears in the headline of your search listing, “Medical Marketing Agency…” above. The length of this line should be 60 characters to ensure that the most important part of the copy fits properly.

Describing your website for SEO

Keep moving down, and you’ll see <META DESCRIPTION CONTENT=”Medical marketing agency…” > This is the text that appears under the headline in your search listing. Meta tags should be 160 characters in length and contain the critical keywords you want your site to rank on. By the way, Meta refers to data about other data. In this case, all of the information on your page.

Now that you’ve spent a few minutes checking code, open up a few more pages of your website. Better yet, view the competition’s source code to see what they’re saying about themselves! Do you have code questions? Email Bill, and we’ll try to address them in a future issue.