Your designers may have created a fabulous looking web site, but is it search engine friendly? A recent survey by Forrester Research showed that UK surfers used search engines to help them find information 81% of the time compared to links from other sites at 59% and online advertising at 20%. Is your web site designed to be both user and search engine friendly? Compromise is always necessary in the design of a site but some techniques will demolish any chance of a top search engine position and the sales this would produce.
Content is King
Lots of relevant text is what the search engines are looking for. Anything that gets in the way of descriptive text about your products will affect the position achievable on the engines. A search engine friendly site consists of lots of text, dressed up as you choose with traditional html FONT tags. Your targeted phrases or Keywords should be repeated throughout the page and an overall theme applied to the site through the use of descriptive and targeted language.
Introductory logo pages immediately put a site at a disadvantage. By definition, they occupy the default page of the site. This default page has the best potential to get to the top of the search engines. An image and a few words ‘Click here to enter’ gives them little information about your sites theme. It also puts an unnecessary obstacle in the way of the user; they have to decide ‘Should I click?’ instead of ‘Should I buy?’. Anatomy website website architecture
Web site creation software
Automated site creation software packages tend to both restrict how each page is constructed and add extra unnecessary html code to the web page. Avoid them and either learn to hand code or get someone to do it for you. Less is more where code is involved.
Each page on the site should have Meta tags written to target the content of the individual page rather than using the same tags throughout the site. It is good to make each page contribute to the overall theme of the site by including your major keywords in titles, keyword and description tags. Keep these Meta tags short as too many words dilute the effectiveness of your main phrases.
Finding the right keywords is the key to good traffic from the search engines. Use your chosen keywords throughout the site. Domain name, directory structure and page names should include the keywords. Use keywords as the text within hyperlinks, <IMAGE ALT> tags and hidden <FORM> tags. Chose your keywords by identifying what your target audience will use. Ask colleagues and friends for their thoughts and research the most popular keywords with the tools available at WWW.TOPWEBSITE.CO.UK
Dynamically driven database sites will struggle to get the individually generated pages listed. Search engines won’t read past the ‘?’ used in the URL to define the variables, and ignore these pages. The right approach, from the start, resolves this difficulty by re-writing how your server defines the variables. Alternatively, the database can be used to create static pages, at regular intervals, instead of dynamically generated ones. Both require specific software solutions designed for this purpose, such as the service at www.the-md.co.uk.
Search engines will penalize or ban a web site if they find invisible or small text, excessive keyword repetitions, duplicate pages or sites, use of unrelated phrases and repeated submissions. Software generated doorway pages are also at risk as search engines become more sophisticated at identifying spam. Don’t give them the opportunity to ban your site by steering clear of these techniques and rely on good content instead.
There are many web site promotion companies who will help you to optimize your web site for the search engines. Always check if they have professional indemnity insurance, a list of clients you can talk to, and that the sample results they show you are for keywords that are not too obscure.
Beware of automated submission services because it is worthless appearing in a search engine without the site being listed in the first couple of pages. Without including these optimisation techniques in your web site, it will be lost amongst the thousands of other sites.
Search engine traffic is highly targeted and very cost effective. It is often worthwhile employing a specialist search optimisation company at the start of the design process. Important factors can then be built into the site as a whole and mistakes avoided.