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How to Design a Website for the Search
How to Design a Website for the Search Engines
by John Aschoff
What is the best way to build a website, in
regards to ranking well in the search engines?
Most recently Google is looking for exact
keyword phrases in a websites text.In the past it would look at the text
on the index page and put keywords together, even if they were in
different paragraphs. Google still does this, but now is putting more
relevance on exact keyword phrases, rather than putting keywords
Example: If a website is selling 'checks', it should have exact keyword phrases in the text for all its related services:
* Make sure your text contains your keywords and
phrases, but don't make it hard for your visitors to read.....stuffing
keywords into the text, just for the sake of higher rankings, will not
do you much good for your visitors, if the text doesn't flow well.
* Conventional wisdom calls for around 250 words
of text on the index (opening) page, in order to insert our needed
keywords. Its not so important how much text. What is important is that
you need enough text in order to insert all your important keyword
phrases, without the text sounding 'spammy'.
* Search engines (Google especially) love information. This means that the more info you offer your visitors, the better you may rank. If Google sees that you are offering your visitors helpful information, they will reward you for it.
If you have .pdf articles or files, create the
article in HTML (and .pdf if you like, its fine to use both methods
together). This will allow the search engines to read the article and
index the information. Many .pdf files are images, which search engines
won't index well. Convert it into HTML, and they will.
* Not only does Google like information, but
other websites will link to you, if your site offers information that
their visitors would be interested in. More links means a higher rank in
the search engines.
* Create separate pages with information.
Example: If you have a hotel website, create a page about local
attractions. If your service is real estate, then have articles on 'How
to Obtain a Home Mortgage' or 'Home Inspection Tips'. Not only will
Google love you, but so will visitors to your site.
* Don't use promotional language in your text
like 'we're the best' or 'the number 1 real estate service in the
USA!'......just reading that last sentence makes me ill. Your visitors
aren't stupid, don't treat them like they are. Not only will it
displease your audience, but it won't help with the search engines
either. Do you think a search engine spider cares that you're service is
the 'absolute best service ever offered on the planet'? Nope.
* Be sure to use good text on your subpages as
well.......the major search engines love text and will see ALL the text
on your site, not just the index page. Google is trying to 'figure out'
what your site is about. It will look at the whole site to do this. So,
if one of your main keyword phrases is 'laser printed business checks',
you should have a page devoted just to that.
* The key to good website rankings is to take
advantage of the many keywords that relate to the services you offer,
not just a few, and create pages for them.
Example: You have a website that sells autographs. On the main page, have links to your major categories of autographs. One link would be for 'Celebrity Autographs' one for 'Sports Autographs' etc. Now, a visitor who is interested in sport autographs, will click on this link which will take him to the main page for 'Sports Autographs'. Now, break up the 'sports autographs' page with more links....
Click on the 'Baseball Autographs' link, which
will take you to a page about baseball autographs, or even just about
baseball in general. Now, have links to each individual player......
'Sandy Koufax Autographs' etc.
This now allows you to use many more keywords to
be found with in the search engines. For instance, you can now use
keywords associated with baseball: baseball autographs, baseball
signatures, baseball memorabilia etc.
Now, not only will you be listed higher for 'Sandy
Koufax Autographs', but also for just 'Sandy Koufax'. This will allow
you to pull in visitors who are interested in Sandy Koufax, who will
come to your site for information, and end up purchasing his autograph,
even if this wasn't the visitors original intention. You know the old
saying.......the more you throw at the wall, the more will stick.
It's simple, the more pages your website has,
the more keywords and phrases you can use. The major search engines will
index all of your pages (for the most part).
It is best to build a website in a language
search engines can understand. If you have a site that takes all its
information from a database on your server, the search engines likely
will not index that information.
Example: You have a website that sells tickets.
Since the tickets you sell are for shows and
events that are constantly changing, your webmaster probably will build
you a site that is dependent on pulling information from a database.
Spiders generally have a harder time 'seeing' information from these
types of websites. I recommend that for every 'dynamic' or database
driven service on your site, you also create a basic HTML page, that
search engines can follow.
For instance, you may have a new comedy show coming to town that you want to sell tickets for. Just like the above example on autographs, you should create different pages and sections on each individual type of show. Have a link for 'Music Tickets', then a link for each type of music and create a separate page for that......like 'Rock and Roll Tickets', 'Country Music Tickets' etc..... all with their own separate page.
Now, you have created a way for the search
engines to 'see' that your website not only sells tickets, but also what
types of tickets, down to the last detail. You will now find yourself
listed in the search engines for a multitude of ticket related keywords.
If your whole site is database driven, the number of keywords you will
be found under will be much less.
* Use keyword internal linking: Search engine
spiders 'see' what each link to a page is being labeled.
* Have at least your major links listed on the
main (index) page. Also, a sitemap is a great tool for the search
engines (and visitors) to use, to find all of your pages. Have a link to
your sitemap from your index page.
* Make sure you have the location of your shop,
office, store etc. on your main page (in HTML text), even if the
services you offer are geared to a national audience, it is smart to
appeal to your local audience as well. A good way to do this is to have
your company name, address, town and state at the very bottom of your
page, in an unobtrusive manner. Put it at the bottom of every page on
* Its a good idea to make changes to your site
at least occasionally. Since search engine spiders are constantly
crawling the web, they will visit your site regularly. Updating your
text (even just a little) or creating new pages shows that your site is
* Its ok to have external (outbound) links on
your site. Again, it shows that your website is offering information. If
your website is about 'Colorado Real Estate', then list some Colorado
related sites such as: the official Colorado state website, or maybe a
site that talks about restaurants in Colorado etc.
* Use 'Call to Action' language on your
pages....i.e. 'click here to fill out our response form' or list your
800 number prominently on every page.
* HTML Tips
title= use this command for all your internal
links (each link can have its own 'title')
Example: a href="http://www.web-promotion-specialist.com/searchengineoptimization.htm"
title="Search Engine Optimization"
alt= use this command to describe what your
images or photos are (search engines can't 'see' images, so you can tell
the search engines what each image or photo is about)
Example: img src="images/logo.gif"
width="131" height="80" alt= "Company
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