January 11, 2008

Website Search Engine Friendly Basics

I had a three meetings today and all of them were to discuss 3 websites that were not performing and even not showing up for their company names. I don't know how many times I have said just how much more difficult it is to inherit a website than to create one from the bottom up. And yet clients expect to pay less for services rendered for Website RE-development.

When creating a website for business purposes it would be wise to ask your webmaster if you can insert these very important parameters into EACH page of your website:

1. Page Title: If you have to do ONE thing right, it would be your page title. The page title is whats located on the very top of your browser. Keep your title to 65 characters. Ensure that the keyword or phrase that you are targeting fits nicely in the page title without making it unreadable.

2. Meta description tags: Have you ever wondered about where the displayed text right under your website address comes from? Hello? This is actually the text that users will click on or ignore. Keep your descriptions brief with as much sensible use of the keyword you are targeting. There are other directories that SE's (specifically google) use to describe your site - dmoz being "it"- either way, whichever description describes your websiteis what the SE's will use.

3. h1 to h6 tags: Ok so maybe you won't use all the h tags but use atleast one to give credence to your page title.

4. alt tags: the text here actually replaces the image when search engines read your content. Make sure each photo has a proper tag. Always. And YES - for every single photo. This also adds to your keyword density so make it smart.

5. Content: Make sure your pages can accommodate at the very minimum 300 words and that the Search Engines can read your text. If your website has too little, it will not help you in achieving much in the SERPs. Its ok if it has more than 300 words but don't bore your readers. There is a fine line between creating a site for SE's and your users. Make sure you don't cross it.

These parameters need to be readable by the Search Engine spiders - they cannot read javascript or flash.

If you create your website using a Joomla CMS then you are on the right track.

I am reminded by a the K.I.S.S. principle here.

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