Playing with SPIDERS

Last week we took a quick detour from our six week blog series to announce our Gold Web Award, but this week we continue to look at the wonderful world of Web design in terms of SEO and linking.

Whenever you enter a query in a search engine such as Google, Yahoo or Bing; you get a list of web results that contain that query term. Users tend to favor websites that are at the top of this list as they perceive to be more relevant to the query. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a technique in which a site attains a position in search engine and depends on how well the website is optimized and marketed. SEO will determine your organic listing on the search engine and do not involve sponsored listings or paid campaigns.

As each and every web designer knows by now, SEO is the icing on the cake and no website should go without.  SEO should be a major factor when you look at design, development, content and upkeep of the site.

Today, we will share a few tips on how to structure your website around these key SEO principles:

  • Keep up to date with the latest algorithms.  These change regularly and you will have to commit to a constant update of your site and knowledge.
  • Be patient – keep working on your site, tweak content, and you will see the benefit of your efforts eventually.
  • Include a site map page.  A site map will help Google bots/spiders   find all the important pages on your site.
  • Use keywords in your URL’s.  Use hyphens in URLs and file names, not underscores, as hyphens are seen as a “space” by the spiders.
  • Use a unique and relevant title and meta tags on each page.
  • Submit articles like your newsletter to ezine publishers that archive their ezines. The links stay live often for many years in their archives.
  • Your content should be keyword rich, but don not forget that you are writing for the user.  Make content interesting and punchy and maintain a good balance between keywords and user targeted content.
  • Great content will build inbound links and thus up your SEO ranking.  Jump to our previous blog on how to structure content for awesome tips on content creation. Remember that the first paragraph is the most important of your content for SEO rankings as it is seen as a summary of what the content is about.
    • Use your keywords as anchor text when linking internally. The anchor text is the text inside your tags that links to other pages. It’s important for the anchor text to contain a description of where the link is taking the visitor. It is also vital in SEO as it tells the spiders where the link is going. Do not use the same anchor text throughout the whole site; mix it up a bit.

 

 

  • Build links.  Look for links from authority sites in your industry. Analyze the inbound links to your competitors to find links you can acquire, too.  Again, great content will assist in building inbound links.  A blog is a great way to secure some inbound links through fresh content and structured data.  Ensure that your blog is keyword rich yet interesting.
  • Social media will also contribute to your overall search ranking.  Try and link your platforms to your website and incorporate “share” and “like” buttons on your webpage.
  • Lastly, stay away from Flash as much as possible.  Search engines don’t get along well with Flash, for most part the search engines cannot read it.  I know you want a pretty site and it’s so easy to get mesmerized by the nifty visuals, but unfortunately, this one is a no-go!

With following the above tips, you are well on your way to a SEO – structured website.  Next week we will be looking at accessibility. Happy linking!

*SEObook has great tips and more in depth analysis of SEO principles