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On-Page Ranking Factors - SEO Best Practices

On-Page factors are the aspects of a given web page that influence search engine ranking.

Code Sample


<body>, <div>, <p>, <span>, no tag

Alt Text

<img src="" alt="Keyword">




What are On-Page Factors?

There are several on-page factors that affect search engine rankings. These include:

Content of Page

The content of a page is what makes it worthy of a search result position. It is what the user came to see and is thus extremely important to the search engines. As such, it is important to create good content. So what is good content? From an SEO perspective, all good content has two attributes. Good content must supply a demand and must be linkable.

Good content supplies a demand:

Just like the worlds markets, information is affected by supply and demand. The best content is that which does the best job of supplying the largest demand. It might take the form of an XKCD comic that is supplying nerd jokes to a large group of technologists or it might be a Wikipedia article that explains to the world the definition of Web 2.0. It can be a video, an image, a sound, or text, but it must supply a demand in order to be considered good content.

Good content is linkable:

From an SEO perspective, there is no difference between the best and worst content on the Internet if it is not linkable. If people cant link to it, search engines will be very unlikely to rank it, and as a result the content wont drive traffic to the given website. Unfortunately, this happens a lot more often than one might think. A few examples of this include: AJAX-powered image slide shows, content only accessible after logging in, and content that can't be reproduced or shared. Content that doesn't supply a demand or is not linkable is bad in the eyes of the search enginesand most likely some people, too.

Title Tag

Title tags are the second most important on-page factor for SEO, after content. You can read more information about title tags here.


Along with smart internal linking, SEOs should make sure that the category hierarchy of the given website is reflected in URLs.

The following is a good example of URL structure:

This URL clearly shows the hierarchy of the information on the page (history as it pertains to video games in the context of games in general). This information is used to determine the relevancy of a given web page by the search engines. Due to the hierarchy, the engines can deduce that the page likely doesnt pertain to history in general but rather to that of the history of video games. This makes it an ideal candidate for Troy MI SEO search results related to video game history. All of this information can be speculated on without even needing to process the content on the page.

The following is a bad example of URL structure:

Unlike the first example, this URL does not reflect the information hierarchy of the website. Search engines can see that the given page relates to titles (/title/) and is on the IMDB domain but cannot determine what the page is about. The reference to tt0468569 does not directly infer anything that a web surfer is likely to search for. This means that the information provided by the URL is of very little value to search engines.

URL structure is important because it helps the search engines to understand relative importance and adds a helpful relevancy metric to the given page. It is also helpful from an anchor text perspective because people are more likely to link with the relevant word or phrase if the keywords are included in the URL.

SEO Best Practice

Content pages are the meat of websites and are almost always the reason visitors come Troy MI SEO to a site. Ideal content pages should be very specific to a given topicusually a product or an objectand be hyper-relevant.

The purpose of the given web page should be directly stated in all of the following areas:

Title tag URL Content of page Image alt text

Here is an example of a well-laid-out and search enginefriendly web page. All of its on-page factors Seo Search are optimized.

The content page in this figure is considered good for several reasons. First, the content itself is unique on the Internet (which makes it worthwhile for search engines to rank well) and covers a specific bit of information in a lot of depth. If a searcher had question about Super Mario World, there is a good chance, that this page would answer their query.

Aside from content, this page is laid out well. The topic of the page is stated in the title tag (Super Mario World Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia), URL (, the page's content (the page heading, "Super Mario World"), and within the alt text of every image on the page.

The following example is of a poorly optimized web page. Notice how it differs from the first example.

This figure shows a less search enginefriendly example of a content page targeting the term "Super Mario World." While the subject of the page is present in some of the important elements of the web page (title tag and images), the content is less robust Troy MI SEO than the Wikipedia example, and the relevant copy on the page is less helpful to a reader.

Notice that the description of the game is suspiciously similar to copy written by a marketing department. Marios off on his biggest adventure ever, and this time he has brought a friend. That is not the language that searchers write queries in, and it is not the type of message that is likely to answer a searcher's query. Compare this to the first sentence of the Wikipedia example: Super Mario World is a platform game developed and published by Nintendo as a packin launch title for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System.. In the poorly optimized example, all that is established by the first sentence is that someone or something called Mario is on an adventure that is bigger than his or her previous adventure (how do you quantify that?) and he or she is accompanied by an unnamed friend.

The Wikipedia example tells the reader that Super Mario World is a game developed and published by Nintendo for the gaming system Super Nintendo Entertainment Systemthe other example does not. Search results in both Bing and Google show the better optimized page ranking higher.

An Ideally Optimized Web Page

An ideal web page should do all of the following:

Be hyper-relevant to a specific topic (usually a product or single object) Include subject in title tag Include subject in URL Include subject in image alt text Specify subject several times throughout text content Provide unique content about a given subject Link back to its category page Link back to its subcategory page (If applicable) Link back to its homepage (normally accomplished with an image link showing the website logo on the top left of a page) Related Tools


The MozBar SEO toolbar lets you see relevant metrics in your browser as you surf the web.

Open Site Explorer

Open Site Explorer is a free tool that gives webmasters the ability to analyze up to 10,000 links to any site or page on the web via the Mozscape web index.

Term Target

Helps determine how targeted a particular page is for a specified keyword by analyzing a variety of factors.

External Resources

SEO Advice: Writing useful articles that readers will love

Matt Cutts, head of Google's Webspam team shares his thoughts on good content.

Google-friendly sites

Google's official documentation on building Google-friendly websites.

Related Guides

The Beginner's Guide to SEO

Mozs comprehensive guide to the practice of search engine optimization for those unfamiliar with the subject.


Roll-Ups and Yahoo! Look Risky; Trust Sam Zell; A Bit of Bafflement: Best of Kass

Accounting issues tend to arise toward a bull market's end after companies that used roll-up strategies have problems growing sales and profits further.

Marginal and/or aggressive executives with questionable business ethics often cut corners and take advantage of accounting conventions. For all we know, so could the U.S. Other firms will likely also face questions as well.

Position: None

Selling My Yahoo! Long

Originally published Oct.

I'm taking off the balance of my Yahoo long at over $35.60 a Search Optimization share in premarket trading this morning in light of the earnings beat at YHOO-affiliated Alibaba (BABA - Get Report) and BABA's roughly $8-a-share rise in the premarket. But as the cycle matures and credit markets tighten -- as we're seeing now with widening spreads between investment-grade and high-yield bonds -- roll-ups often turn sour.

Recent questions surrounding Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX - Get Report) and SunEdison (SUNE - Get Report) could be examples of this.

NEW YORK (RealMoney) -- Doug Kass of Seabreeze Partners is known for his accurate stock market calls and keen insights into the economy, which he shares with RealMoney Pro readers in his daily trading diary.

This past week, Kass talks about the problems inherent in roll-ups, why he sold his Yahoo! shares on Alibaba's good news, what one proven prognosticator is selling now (and why it matters), and why he's just plain confused by the current behavior of the market.

Must Read: Warren Buffett's Top 10 Dividend Stocks

A Word About Roll-Ups

Originally published Oct. 27 at 7:43 a.m. That's where companies boost earnings not through organic growth, but via acquisitions.

The breeding ground for roll-ups is a flourishing mid-business-cycle condition, when liquidity is abundant, the stock market is euphoric, there's little introspection and less of a focus on earnings quality.

But problems often get exposed later in the business cycle. (That's been the case over the last two years.)

Indeed, BABA's beat -- which is unrelated to Mayer's execution -- could give the Yahoo! CEO some "breathing room" to destroy more capital through untimely acquisitions.

Click here to see my YHOO comments from yesterday.

Position: None

. I'm also removing YHOO from my "Best Long Ideas" list.

While I continue to expect a "transaction" at Yahoo (i.e. a takeover), I remain concerned that Site Engine CEO Marissa Mayer will continue to Optimisation Search try to improve the company's core business through a series of undistinguished and unsuccessful acquisitions. 29 at 9:58 a.m. EDT

I'm calling an audible on Yahoo! (YHOO - Get Report) now. Securities and Exchange Commission's investigation of revenue recognition at IBM (IBM - Get Report) . EDT

Zero interest rates, massive liquidity and slow global economic growth breed financial engineering, accelerated M&A activity and the proliferation of "roll-up" strategies


seo | BusinessWired - Business Wire Blog

By Hannah Kelly, Business Wire Paris

The changing face of the news coverage and visibility scene

It's the hottest debate in 2014: SEO for discovery or social sharing for impact?

2014 started off innocently enough.  First Google Hummingbird made major changes regarding news release visibility.  Then midway through the year Facebook launched FB Newswire, to increase the visibility of news.  Suddenly it was clear.  Facebook and Google were directly competing to see which service was more effective at surfacing a story and driving action because of it.

google vs facebook

Fact:  Both Google and Facebook are hungry for your news.

Recently, investigated data from around 8 billion page views of approximately 200 news sites with the results that 38% of referrals were generated by Google and 26% by Facebook.  While this statistic may not help Google overtake Facebook in the race to win the visibility war, it does providing an interesting opportunity for communicators.  If your published news piece can generate visibility on both Google and Facebook, you can generate more than 50% of your inbound traffic with (relatively) little effort.

However, the type of news that is sought after by these sites is slowly shifting. In both cases, Google and Facebook first relied on algorithms to determine which news to surface.  Unfortunately, this caused a plethora of misleading articles by less trustworthy "media outlets" to rise to the top.   These algorithms were adjusted greatly on both platforms this summer when Google and Facebook users revealed that they crave "real news" vs. click bait.

In an effort to continually refine results, these algorithms are continuously updated to reward authenticity and engagement. Google's most recent changes to  Google Penguin, Penguin 3.0, on October 17, 2014, focused solely on overcoming link schemes that manipulate the ranking of a webpage (and the news story hosted there).

So what does this mean for your news?

As more and more refinement is done to ensure only high quality news is surfaced when searched on Google or on social networks, there are a few things today's communicators can do to make sure their news is not only seen, but shared.

Be descriptive in your headline

The more descriptive the title of your article, the more likely people are to read it, visit your page, and thereby increase your page ranking. News releases are known for their relatively long 'uninteresting' titles - but now the tables have turned. Readers know exactly what to expect from your release, which comes as a great relief after having spent significant time browsing through articles only to discover that they are not quite what was promised with the first click.

Write a concise, accurate article

Now that your title has drawn readers in, the idea is to hold their interest. Long rambling paragraphs will not do this. Keep your information as succinct and on point as possible - engage the audience through a direct approach. To give you an idea, the ideal length for a news release is no longer than an A4 page.

Contact information

This is crucial. If the reader has any further questions, they will want to contact you. The worst possible thing to happen at this stage is to struggle to find any method of contact. Include your Twitter, your Facebook, your Google+ - all and any possible ways of getting in contact. Not only does this ease contact between your company and the reader, but it also allows your news to be shared back with direct links.

News releases, especially those distributed by a commercial newswire such as Business Wire can help your distribution reach, and engage and activate audiences on both Google and Facebook platforms. Every news release jumpstarts a range of actions from coverage to sharing, each that directly impacts visibility within both Google and Facebook.  Business Wire's wide distribution circuits, unique journalist lists and most of all, our "share" tools allow you to publish and share your articles within seconds. With over 50 years in the industry, we can help you tailor your distribution effectively, thus greatly increasing your traffic growth.

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