How Web Design Can Affect Search Engine Rankings

Uniquely built web sites can create unique issues when being promoted on the search engines. From a basic 3 page brochure site to a corporate site with hundreds of dynamically generated pages, every web site needs to have certain design aspects in order to achieve the full effects of an SEO campaign. Below are a few points to take into consideration when building or updating your web site.

1. Size Matters.

The size of a web site can have a huge impact on search engine rankings. Search engines love content, so if you have only a few pages to your site and your competitors have dozens, it’s difficult to see a top page ranking for your site. In some cases it may be difficult to present several pages of information about your business or products, so you may need to think about adding free resources for visitors. It will help in broadening the scope of your web site (which search engines like) as well as keep visitors on your site longer, possibly resulting in more sales.

2. Graphics-Based Web Sites.

While web sites that offer the visitor a more esthetically-pleasing experience may seem like the best choice for someone searching for your product, they are the most difficult to optimize. Since search engine robots cannot read text within graphics or animation, what they see may be just a small amount of text. And if we learned anything from point #1, small amounts of content will not result in top rankings. If you really must offer the visitor a graphics-heavy or Flash* web site, consider creating an HTML-based side of your site that is also available to visitors. This site will be much easier to promote on the search engines and your new found visitors will also have the option to jump over to the nicer looking part of your site.

* Author update – As of July 2008 Google has updated their algorithm to take advantage of Adobe’s searchable SWF library, enabling the indexing of Flash content for the first time.

3. Dynamic Web Pages.

If most of your web site is generated by a large database (such as a large book dealer with stock that is changing by the minute) you may find that some of your pages do not get indexed by major search engines. If you look at the URL of these pages they can be extremely long and have characters such as ?, #, &, %, or = along with huge amounts of seemingly random numbers or letters. Since these pages are automatically generated by the database as needed, the search engines have a tough time keeping them up to date and relevant for search engine users.

One way to combat this problem is to offer a search engine friendly site map listing all your static pages just to let them know that you do have permanent content on your site. If search engines see links going to and from these dynamic pages within a good internal linking system, this may also lead to the pages getting indexed. The link popularity of your site may carry more weight in this case as well, so if you can’t offer as much static content as your competition, make sure you have an aggressive link campaign on the go.

4. Proper Use of HTML.

There is quite a bit of sub-par web design software out there. Word processors usually have a way to create HTML documents which can be easily uploaded to a site via ftp. However, in many cases the code that the search engine robots see is mostly lines and lines of font and position formatting, not relevant content. The more efficiently written web sites usually achieve higher rankings. Our choice for web design software is Adobe Dreamweaver, as it is an industry standard. It also makes using CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) a breeze, which can drastically cut down on the amount of text formatting in HTML code. Hand-coding HTML to design sites is also a good method if you are proficient enough.

There are some no-brainers too: Web sites with abnormal amounts of hyperlinks, bold or italicized text, improper use of heading, alt, or comment tags can also expect to see low rankings.

5. Choosing a Domain Name.

The golden rule to web development of any kind is to keep your visitors in mind above all else – even search engine optimization. When choosing a domain name, one should pick either your business name (if you have a high-profile business name such as Chapters or Coca-Cola) or a brief description of your products. Domain names can always help with search engine optimization, as it is another area of your web site that important keywords can appear. Forget about long-winded domains such as http://www.number-one-best-rare-used-books-on-earth.com as no one will ever remember it and it will be hard to print on business cards or in ads.

If you need to change your domain name for any reason you obviously don’t want to lose existing rankings. An easy way to do this, and one that is currently supported by most search engines, is the 301 redirect. It allows you to keep your existing rankings for your old domain name, while forwarding visitors to your new web site instantly.

6. Using Frames.

Don’t use frames. Frames are a thing of the 90’s (and in the Internet world that is eons ago) and are not even supported by some search engines. The search engines that are able to index your site through frames will most likely frown upon them. Whatever you are trying to accomplish by using frames can usually be done with the help of PHP includes or CSS (Cascading Style Sheets). Some browsers are not frames-compatible, so there is the danger of some visitors not being able to see your site at all. Bookmarking of individual pages within a frame becomes difficult without lengthy scripts being written.

7. Update Your Information.

Not only does stale information look poorly on your organization when it is read by a visitor, you could also be missing out on some good rankings by not having content include new trends in your field. Web sites that continuously update and grow their web sites usually experience higher rankings than stagnant sites when dealing with an industry that experiences a high rate of growth or change. While the age of a web page is looked at as part of a search engine algorithm, it has no bearing on searches for items recently in the news. Consider creating a section of your site devoted to news within your organization, or have a constantly updated blog.

Many shortfalls of web sites can easily be attributed to designers who just don’t keep the user or search engines in mind. Search engine algorithms are quickly improving to try and list the most user-friendly sites higher, given that the content and link popularity are there to back it up. So first and foremost, know your target market and make your web site work for them before focusing on search engine optimization. If you build it (properly), they will come.

Home Business – Keep Your Content Fresh for Web Traffic

You need to keep fresh content on your site if you want traffic to keep coming in. Creating information that is going to be wanted for years to come should be your main focus. Some topics are always going to keep people coming back to your site. if you are constantly providing good info people will keep coming back. People always want to learn new strategies on making money. Its a topic that will never go out of style.

You have to focus on what people want. Right now people are interested in finding new ways to get web traffic. Blogs and websites are being launched on all kinds of subjects. Those web developers want people to come to those sites. If you have found successful ways of getting traffic then you have something that people want. Can you write this information up and turn it into a report? Can you create a few videos that explain your process in detail? Can you make it easy to follow?

Information is always going to be in demand. People are always changing jobs and interested in learning new things. People want news, they want to be informed. Web developers need content for their sites. People want to work from home so they can save on gas and commute time. If you have found a way to do these things and can create information about it then you are ahead of the game.

Keep thinking about what people want. Every year around new years a bunch of people are going to buy memberships in gyms and they are going to make new years resolutions to lose weight. It happens just like clockwork. Many will start going to the gym in January but after a few weeks they will stop going. But the topic of losing weight or getting in shape is going to stay relevant for years to come. Diet and exercise is always going to be a hot topic. Creating information about topics that will have staying power is a good idea. Think about why people want to get into shape. Are they just tired of being overweight? Are they trying to become more attractive? Are they training for an event? These are all new types of information that can be explored. Do keyword searches to find how people are looking for this type of info.

If you can create information that is valuable and people really want it you have a chance online. More blogs and websites are going to be created every day. You have to find ways to make your websites and blogs stand out. The way to do that is to create good high quality content that people want.

How to Distinguish a Professional Web Site Design Service

There are various IT companies that offers Web development services but how can you find a professional web site design company?

Usually, when potential clients look for information, they use search engines like Google, Yahoo and MSN to help them find the sites that can cater to their needs. But since there are thousands of websites that offers web design services, what is the probability that the site that was picked is the best? Researching in the Internet can be a tedious job since there are several information available and not everything that can be read is a reliable source. But don’t fret, this article may help you to find an offshore solutions partner that professionally delivers the web design service that you wanted.

There are several criteria for a website to be considered as a professional site. Of course, a potential client will foremost scrutinize the overall web design site before it consider it’s service. The client will search for a site with a professional look and feel because the website is the main portfolio of what they can offer. If a site doesn’t look good, potential clients won’t even consider dealing business with this company. Below are some of the common factors that can help clients determine if a company’s website is professionally done.

Aesthetically pleasing web design. The first thing that potential clients will notice is the appearance of the web page. When he visits the site, his decision to explore or exit from the site will be based on the overall visual aspect. Since a web site is the medium for persuasion, it needs to designed with as much thought and effort considering the target audience and how it will appeal to the potential customers.

Content and Text. The site should contain all the information that is written well and was proofread by an editor. Typographical errors or misspellings won’t increase the site’s credibility.

Site navigation. The clients should see the important links, it must be consistent and located at a position most visible to them. It would also help if there’s a sitemap available on the site.

Functioning Site. Different clients are using various types and versions of hardware and software to view the site. It is a good practice if the site was checked as compatible with different browsers and screen resolutions

Portfolio. A portfolio of past works can showcase the variety of designs that the web design company can offer and at the same time it can show how well they have satisfied each client’s needs by highlighting their specific services and products through the web site.

Organization. It is important to have an organized website so that potential clients will be able to find the necessary information that they are looking for quickly.

Includes Valuable Information. All valuable information should be readily available. Anything a customer might need should be included on the website, from phone numbers to directions or any other important information.

Using the guide discussed above will help potential clients to distinguish a professional web site design company to those who offer poorly created sites because choosing the right professional website designer can go a long way towards helping clients achieve their business goals.