Many times, consulting with individuals and businesses, a lot of the terms we often use regarding online marketing are not fully understood. One good example of this confusion is when we discuss the term web site design and (SEO) search engine optimization. These two functions are two very distinct phases of marketing that must be understood before you can proceed effectively with either of these issues.
A website is a very brief description of what your product or service is all about, and most people are informed enough to throw some form of site on the web. This doesn't mean that anyone will ever see your website, and you probably won't even make a sale. This is where the term of search engine optimization often referred to as SEO, comes into play. There are a few terms we must be clear on before we go much further.
There's a twofold purpose for keeping your site simple. The search engines love simplicity. First of all, keyword rich titles and content for the search engines, and secondly for the users who visit your site, so they can experience the ease of navigation with a simple website design.
Search engines don't read flash, pictures or scrolling text. Junk code and junk content slows down the spiders when the robots come to visit your site. Use java script only if needed for a specific function....the search engines don't read java script either.
A limited amount of images is acceptable, however, to many images will slow the page loading times significantly which in turn will slow the spiders down. You can reduce the negative aspects of this by putting the images in a style sheet so any multiple use of the same image can be preloaded for each page.
Another thing that will help the spiders crawl your site promptly and effectively is to use ALT tags. To conform to validated code standards, every image must have an ALT tag. You can use keywords in your ALT tags....this is just one more way to maximize your source code.
In the source code of your website there are three critical tags that must be used to help the search engine spiders capture the full information about your website. The heading tag is extremely important for the search engines. This is the information that appears when you query a specific term and the search post the results of websites that meet that particular search term.
The next important function is the use of meta tags. This is a description of what your site is all about, which appears just below the title in the query results from the search engines. There are some search engines that doesn't put much weight on meta tags anymore and don't read them; however, there are more engines that read the tags than don't, so I would recommend using ALT tags, at least until all search engines are no longer using ALT tags in their algorithms.
The third thing that you must list is the keywords and keyword phrases. This is where the search engines match the search queries that users are typing in the search bar to sites that have those keywords in their source codes. It is recommended by some of the major promoters that 20 to 25 keywords are adequate for the search engines. Long tail keywords may be something you may consider later on, once you understand the purpose of long tail keywords.
You must have a good balance of keyword rich anchor text in the content area of your web page. This is a clear signal to the search engines to spider your entire website. This will result in every page of your website being indexed by the search engines.
Make sure you include a sitemap of your website, linking to all pages of your site and keep it up to date. This helps the spiders to search for all the links and pages that otherwise could be overlooked by the spiders. This is a roadmap you're giving the spiders to make it easy to find what is important for promoting your opportunity by using the latest in optimization strategies.
Although privacy statements and contact us pages are not required for search engine purposes, it is a good idea to give full and fair disclosure to the users who visit your site. Most users won't bother to read these comments, however, you are covering good business practices which could save you a lot of grief later on.
In this article we've covered some simple yet important aspects of web development and search engine optimization. If you don't have adequate knowledge in some areas of our discussion, then seek the help of your marketing professional or SEO expert. It's imperative you have a workable knowledge of the subjects we've shared with you today. With this information you can create a blend of good web design and search engine optimization techniques into your business opportunity. Without this knowledge, everything you do will be of no value and you will be wasting an incredible amount of time and money. Good Luck!