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    1 Reply Latest reply on Mar 5, 2009 2:02 PM by pdmiller

    Search Engine Optimization When Designing Your Website

    pdmiller Adventurer

      Search Engine Optimization is a large topic. There are no quick and easy solutions to get your website higher in the rankings. Anyone who promises you quick or guaranteed results is not to be trusted. However Search Engine Optimization is something you should do to help with your website rankings. I will discuss various things you can do in the design of your website to help with SEO. There are many different things to do for SEO that are apart from the design of your website. That topic is better discussed by an actual SEO professional who can go into more depth on the subject.

      • First of all, if you haven't already gotten a domain name for your website you might want to consider different options rather than just your company name. For instance if your company name is Spot On and you sell lighting fixtures you might want to use domain name like** . Search engines look at the URL of your website as a ranking factor. If the search engine can't tell what you business is by the company name - people won't either.
      • The titles of your pages is very important. They should each be uniquely titled and if possible include a keyword that you are trying to get ranked for on that page.
      • Keywords - a huge topic! How to find the best keywords for your website? There are many tools out there to help you narrow down a keyword or key phrase for your website. The Google Keyword Tool with Adwords is one of them. You don't want more than one or two keywords on a given page of your website. Pick the best keyword or phrase that best describes the content on the page and only use those on that page.
      • Content is one of the number one things that Search engines look at. You need to work your keywords and phrases into the content of your pages without over-doing it. A search engine will tag you website page as spam if you overdo the use of your keywords. You also want to look at "Latent Semantic Content" when putting together your content. For example, if your target keyword is "Light Fixtures", you can also use words like "lamps" and "tracking lighting" to enhance the thematic relatedness and relevancy of your page for your target keyword "light fixtures"
      • Use the "alt" tag. For any graphics and images on your page, write a description of what the graphic or picture is. Don't spam the alt tag with keywords. That will get you blacklisted. Many people search for images on Google and other search engines. Label your images correctly. Also, sight impaired people have machines that "read" website pages to them. Having alt tags correctly labeling your images helps them to "see" your site.
      • Name your image files with accurate titles. Don't put an image on your site that is "0001234.jpg". Rename the file to what the picture is... "brown_hanging_lamp.jpg". Again, search engines will index your images and can help bring people to your site through an image search
      • Make sure all your website pages are W3C certified. This is something you can check for free on the Internet. It is a program that goes through a given page and tells you if you have any markup language mistakes. Mistakes can inhibit web crawlers and spiders when they visit your website to index your pages. A broken tag or misuse of HTML can be easily fixed.
      • Be sure to created a "Links" page. Search engines look to see how many other sites are linked to yours. The more links you have to your website the more important search engines think your site is. It takes a lot of time. The links need to be relevant. If you have a lighting fixture website don't put up links for quarter horses. The amount of back links to your website can greatly influence your page ranking. Many sites will allow you to link to there website if you place a link to their website on your "links" page. Your links page must only be one click away from your home page. Usually a discretely placed link at the bottom of your home page is good enough.
      • One way to ensure that search engines locate all your web pages is to have a Sitemap. They are easy to create. There are free places on the internet who can create one for you once your website is completed and uploaded on the web.
      • Have a company information page and a privacy policy page. This increases your credibility with people as well as search engines.
      • Make sure you have a robots.txt file that tells spiders and crawlers where they can and can not go on your website.

      Well these are just a few of the things to consider with designing your website to help with Search Engine Optimization. If you have any questions, please feel free to respond to this posting.

      Patty Miller, owner
      Affordable Web Design and Graphic Solutions