SEO - Search Engine Optimization
SEO - What is it All About?
Designing and creating websites that are search engine friendly requires a basic understanding of how search engines work. We focus on the overall layout and usability of your designs from the perspective of how a search engine robot would see your site to achieve greater visibility within natural search results. This includes both natural search and PPC ad programs.
Understanding SEO Terms | By Daniel G. Roberge
According to Jupiter Media Metrix, 80 percent of Internet users start off in search engines before they buy a product or service online. Clients are often shocked when they realize that their company site is NOT search engine friendly. Often a site was designed 5+ years ago when the only concern was if it displayed correctly in multiple browsers. When they realize that there's a problem that is hindering search engine spiders from correctly indexing their information they want to know what's causing it and then how to then fix it.
Types of website design style used just afew short years ago that contribute to poor rankings include: Flash intro pages, poor navigation menu systems, excessive use of sliced images, and overly complex nested table-based HTML, among others. To improve a website's rankings, we need to dig deeper and focus on the different types of TEXT ON THE SITE and how can it be adjusted to become a search engine-friendly page.
7 Tips to Improve Search Engine Results | By Daniel G. Roberge
Here is a general breakdown of the most common TEXT sections on the HTML page and a few recommended adjustments.
Start at the top of your page. Name your pages with keyword-friendly names. How many times have we seen page name abbreviations? For example: wrdserv07.html. A more friendly naming convention would be: design-services.php. Content management systems often dynamically generate page URL names for the main section pages and sub-section pages of sites. These are often unfriendly and too complex for the spider to search correctly. Carefully planning the architecture and subdirectories of your site content names will help avoid this pitfall.
2) Page TITLE Tags
This TITLE tag is the single most important on-page element of high ranking web pages. The TITLE of your home page (and every page!) is key and should be matched to the specific content of the page. Make sure the page title is relevant to the page content and you will have a much better chance of obtaining higher targeted placements. Include the relevant keywords to that page's topic in each and every page title. For local or state businesses, be sure to include your state name, for example, New Hampshire, or Massachusetts, etc.
3) META Tags and DESCRIPTION Tags
META tags contribute to the topical relevance of your web site. They play a lesser role today because spammers focused on them over the last few years and the search engines now mostly give them a lower overall relevance. You should still make an effort to fill up the tag with relevant keywords as they are indexed along with the rest of the page content and help to provide an overall better index score.
The DESCRIPTION tag is just as important as it ever was and should be carefully crafted for each page. The DESCRIPTION tag should provide an accurate 25-30 word description of your site. If you could speak to a customer in only 25 words - what would you say? Make it concise and descriptive.
4) Navigation Menu Links
Menu links are important! If the search engine spiders cannot read and follow your links (like those made all of images) then you are missing out on additional search engine rankings. DHTML and CSS menu navigation systems with additional ALT and TITLE tags are best and the most friendly. It's also important to provide clear topical relevance for the navigation labels of each text link. Include the keywords that you will be targeting on the destination page.
5) Paragraph Content
Search engine robots read a webpage from the top to the bottom of the page source code (the actual HTML). Important elements that are placed at the beginning of HTML code are better for page indexing, or in the mind of the spiders - more relevant. Additionally, a semantically styled and coded HTML page (H1, H2, H3 etc.) scores significantly better in index tests than a similarly content table-based HTML page.
The first introductory paragraph of the page should include the target keywords you've chosen for the page. This paragraph, along with the URL and page title, form a definitive description of the page content for the spider to index.
6) Image Alt Tags & Image Title Tags
The ALT tag was given much importance in the early years of SEO, but not so much anymore. Again, spammers started to incorporate lots of unrelated junk keywords into their image ALT tags so engines like Google,Yahoo! and MSN Bing changed their search algorithms which adjusted the overall importance of ALT tags. The ALT text is still one of the primary ways people with disabilities access and "read" the content of your site. In addition, a designer can use the image Title tags if they are concerned that a particular page will be consistently viewed without images turned on.
7) Footer Menu Links and Sitemaps
The footer navigation links should mirror the main navigation links. From a usability perspective, footers provide a visitor a convenient option for finding content at the bottom of the page. Additional topic-oriented text links will allow your visitors to freely browse around your website.
Sitemaps can dramatically help the visibility of your website by allowing search engine spiders easy access to all of the pages in your site. Place a link to the sitemap on every page within your site to ensure easy access no matter where a search engine or user enters your site. For sites with more than 10 pages, a Google site map is recommended. A Google XML Sitemap allows webmasters to submit a master list of all their site’s pages to Google for easier site indexing.
Roberge Design provides all of these SEO site-optimizing programming services as part of our comprehensive website design package. In addition, we have other SEO-related improvement methodologies to implement to help you reach higher in your page rankings.
Partner with Roberge Design for your next project - Developing a NEW website or RE-DESIGNING an existing one does not have be an intimidating experience. Let Roberge Design help you succeed with your next Internet-related project. Call 1+ (603) 682-6468.Where is your site listed in the search results?