Many web site designers don't design
their sites for the search engines.
This is a huge mistake because they
miss out on attracting lots of free
traffic. Your beautifully designed web
site may have cost you thousands of
dollars but it still needs to attract
visitors to be profitable.
Here are 12 highly effective strategies
for designing a search engine friendly
1. Research highly targeted keywords
- do this even before you begin designing
otherwise you may have to go back
and clean up some of your web site
design. Use the keyword research tool,
Wordtracker (wordtracker.com) to research
the most popular keywords that pertain
to the subject matter of your web
site. Wordtracker will show how many
people have searched for that particular
keyword over several search engines
within the last 60 days.
2. Create a list of approximately 100
keywords or keyword phrases that you
can include within your web pages. After
having completed the above research,
you should have found the keywords that
were searched on most frequently, but
only produce a small number of competing
3. Write a paragraph of 250 - 500 words
of text for the top of each web page.
Weave your keywords within this text
being careful not have them so close
together that your copy reads strange
for your visitors. Aim to please the
search engines as well as your web site
4. Optimize meta tags - the most significant
meta tags are the title and description
meta tags. The keyword meta tag has
lost its effectiveness due to people
spamming it, however include it anyway
as some search engines still use it.
Include your keywords within each of
these meta tags. The title meta tag
should be a short sentence about the
purpose of your site. In your description
meta tag, write a sentence on the greatest
benefit of your site. Your keyword meta
tag should include the most frequently
used keywords contained within your
5. Include Heading Tags - these can
range form H1-H6 most designers will
only use H1-H3. These tags separate
each section of your web page with subheadings.
The H1 tag contains the largest font
and is the most significant. Within
the descriptive text of these header
tags you should include the keyword
phrases placed in the same order as
your keyword phrases that are within
your keyword meta tags.
6. Optimize images using the alt tag
- write a short description for the
alt tag of your image. The alt tag has
a) visitors can read the description
if they can't see the image.
b) search engines only spider text (not
images), therefore this could help your
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7. Reduce image size - too many images
or very large images on your web page
will slow down the loading time of your
web site. Make sure your images have
a resolution of 72ppi. Slice large images
into smaller pieces with your graphics
8. Find incoming links (backward links)
- web sites that link to yours raise
your link popularity. Search for web
sites that are compatible with yours
and have a PR 4 or more to do a link
exchange. Write optimized articles and
include them on your web site. This
means your site has a greater chance
of being indexed quickly as well as
getting a boost in its rankings.
Create absolute links (ie http://www.domainname.com)
from all your internal pages to your
home page. This will increase the number
of links pointing to your home page.
9. Use Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
to implement a clean design throughout
your web site. This will reduce the
time to implement a consistent text
(or layout) style for your web site.
It will also enable you to easily update
your whole site should you wish to make
any future changes.
10. Place any script code into external
swapping images on your navigation bar)
it creates a lot of code between the
header tags, pushing down the text that
search, engines would spider first.
Placing the script code in an external
file reduces the code to just one line.
11. Insert the DOC TYPE tag at the
top of every web page. A DOCTYPE ( "document
type declaration") informs the
validator which version of HTML you're
using for your web pages. DOCTYPEs are
a key component of compliant web pages:
your markup and CSS won't validate without
[!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD
DOCTYPES are also essential to the
proper rendering and functioning of
web documents in compliant browsers
like Mozilla, IE5/Mac, and IE6/Win.
12. Write clean html code - web site
editors often write extra code. This
can increase the loading time of your
web pages. Check your html code by running
it through a html validator (http://www.htmlhelp.com/tools/validator).
Once you have implemented all the strategies
above, submit your website to the search
engines and get ready for lots of targeted
You now have built a profitable search
engine friendly web site.
About the Author
Drost is the Certified Internet Webmaster
(CIW) owner and author of http://www.iSiteBuild.com
Affordable Web Site Design and Web Hosting
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