in Website Design Is Not An Option - It's Necessary!
2007 John H. Dow
Here's a fact that may not surprise many,
80% of Internet Users use a search engine to find websites of interest.
It's estimated that over 2 billion people have Internet access in one way
or another. So that 80% translates into 1.6 billion people use search
Now can you think if any good reason not
to optimize your website to display when someone searches on a content
sensitive term for your website? It's not any more difficult to include
the search engine optimization in any website design, it just takes a
little more planning.
SEO is subject that's both wide and long.
In fact there are many opinions on exactly what the best methods, what's
most important, and what has the most impact. But the bottom line is that
any effort will be beneficial and many agree on the basics.
For this article, we'll stick to what we
refer to as on-page optimization. These methods utilize functions and
features on website layout and design. They can be easily included with
any snazzy graphics, layouts, or colors you want to use.
I'm also going to stay will within the
confines of basic methodology. Some experts get very technical and filter
down to the minute details. And that's not a bad thing but we don't have
the time and space in this article for that depth.
There are three common mistakes that I
see as I cruise through the Internet. These three items can be easily
fixed but are often overlooked. Here are the three:
- Naming conventions
- Internal linking
- Content Hierarchy
Whatever your subject matter may be,
there are usually several "phrases or terms" that describe what
your website is all about. If you have a website based on long haul and
rough terrain bike riding for instance, certain common terms would apply
like cross country, mountain biking, off-road, etc.
So anytime you would name the web page
with content you should use a common term for that content. When you link
to it internally, you should also use a descriptive term based on the
When you organize your web pages, and
create a menu for visitors to find these web pages you would also use this
method. So any internal link, menu item, or page name should be a phrase
or term common to the content.
Each web page should be organized under
some type of logical sequence. Much like a filing cabinet you might have
to keep important papers where you can find them. So your menu could look
something like this:
- Bike Models
This makes it easy for the visitor to
find and navigate to the subject matter that they are looking for
information. Each section is a sub-category and related to the main
website subject, long haul and rough terrain biking.
It doesn't matter how you organize and
name your web pages as long as they are descriptive in regard to your
content. So the search engines like it since they can easily serve up your
web page on the easy to identify content.
Now how hard is that? The main reasoning
behind this strategy is that search engines base part of the ranking
criteria on how accurate the description, naming, and link text on in
regard to the content on the web page.
And it's no harder to include some basic
SEO techniques during the design process since it helps the visitor as
much as it help you be more visible to the search engines in the right
subject area. So take a few extra minutes and plan out a logical naming
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