Thursday, July 31, 2008

How Do I Create a Search Engine Friendly Site?

Good Question!

If you’re going to spend the money to have a website designed for your company’s online brochure or any other purpose, having one that will be seen should be your number one goal. Otherwise you’re just throwing money away.
5 things to avoid:

Flash intros
I love the look of a good flash intro and we still design them for our clients when they ask for them. However, I always advise not to have one if you are looking to optimize your site for search engines. A search engine friendly site has readable text that the search engine crawlers/spiders/robots can read. They cannot read the content in flash. Consider having a flash header or another flash element on your homepage in addition to readable text instead. It will give you better SEO results.

Lacking content
I always say “Content is King” and I mean it. Having plenty of keyword rich content on your site will help you get noticed by the search engines and visitors alike. I always bookmark sites that have a wealth of information useful to my business or me. If you are looking for a minimal design for aesthetic reasons, you may want to rethink it. Quality content will create visitor loyalty.

Outdated content

If you’re going to place a calendar of events on your site, you should be prepared to update it. If you leave old information on there from last year and don’t have anything current, visitors may just close the browser and look elsewhere. In addition, search engines pay attention to continually updated sites. If your website is static and never changing, you’ll be ignored. Try to continually add fresh content for optimal results.

Too many images or animated gifs
I know they look cool and are fun to play with, but honestly, when you go to a site that is flashing and moving everywhere – don’t you feel lost? A little bit of movement works well to draw attention to the areas where you want people to pay attention, but continual movement throughout the entire page can be tiresome to the visitor. Furthermore, the crawlers can’t read the images. Having your sales message in a slick image rather than just plain text might be your desire, but if you’re looking for performance in your website – you’ll want to use actual text.

Generic linking
You should always avoid using “click here” to get your visitor to the next page. The crawlers also see it and give you more weight in the results if you are using proper anchor text in the link. For example, if I want to draw attention to our design page, I might use something like this: Please review the Complete Business Systems website design portfolio to view some samples of our design work.

In addition to the items to avoid, always remember to use your meta tags for title, description and keywords as well as the other SEO tips that I regularly write about. If you need a refresher, have a look through the archives located over on the right hand side of our blog.


Michael Wong 38 said...

Hi, was wondering if you'd like to exchange links with me?
If yes, please leave your blog url as a comment at:
I'll link to you first, then when you have time link back k?
Thanks, Michael
BTW--I'm michaelwong38 on digg. If ever you want something dugg, just send me a shout anytime.

Unknown User said...

Great post(they all are). But as you said, Flash sites are far more exciting than plain texts. Moreover, with rich media making a grand entry in almost 50% of all websites today, SEO should focus on optimizing them. I am sure they have devised ways of getting those rich media content sites (mostly videos) to the first page of search result.

With Google including videos in search result, the SEO future is all set to move from current practices. Would love to read a post from you on how to optimize such sites.

UK Business Lists said...

Cool tips,I would love to work on them.

RV Dealer said...

Quiet impressive guidelines!I would love to work on it.

Remedy Service Desk said...

you are right more and more linking make your site friendly and you provide a brief info about it nice work.

B2B Data said...

You can also try adding a tag cloud, that points to keywords or try emulating your main competitors keywords and meta-tags in your site. Also lots of high quality anchor backlinks on high PR follow permitted forums and sites helps.

Robert Girvan said...

Great info simple and straight to the point. very helpful

kushi said...

Great Post, Nice Tips , thanks for sharing

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