Have Pages and Naming Conventions
Of Good Website Design!
John H. Dow
There are a few elements of website
design that are necessary for both the visitors and the search engines. It
doesn't matter if your website is about your hobby, club, political view,
or for selling a product or service.
There are basic pages that should be a
part of any website. These pages are like the standard who, what, where,
and how of writing a good news story. Each page provides very specific
information about the website.
The four standard web pages are:
- The front page, often referred to as
the home page.
This is normally the landing page for most visitors and highlights the
subject covered and or sales copy.
- The Frequently Asked Questions page
The FAQ helps visitors find common questions and answers on the
purpose and content of the website.
- The About Us page.
The About Us page gives a background on the website owners or
creators and often provides a mission statement.
- The contact information page.
This page gives contact info for visitors that have questions not
covered in the FAQ, or just want to contact the website owners.
Each page lends both credibility and
substance to any website. Visitors can find out more about the website and
the search engines love content that is particular to each website.
The front or home page should have an
easy to find and use menu (links) to of all the web pages in the website. Menus
should be on all major pages so the visitor can easily navigate through
the website and information.
Naming conventions used on the menus
should be clear in regard to the subject matter on each page. A good
example would be to name the web page after the purpose or content like
"How To Make Muffins".
Content should be organized like a filing
cabinet, using subject matter that filters down. If you had a cooking
website, it could look like this example:
- Breakfast Meals
- Lunch Meals
- Dinner Meals
-10 Minute Dishes
You can arrange the subject areas by any
method but stick to a common theme and name the web pages so that the
visitor can see exactly what type of information is available. Try to stay
as meaningful as possible on naming conventions.
Search engines love a clear, easy to
follow hierarchy on menus. And they reward you with higher search term
rankings which means more visitors come to your website. And these
visitors are the most highly targeted that you can find.
One common mistake I see often (and I was
guilty early on too) is when use "home" for the link text to
their front web page. Home means little in the way of content and doesn't
tell the visitor much about what's on the page.
Link text should always be as descriptive
as possible. So in our above example with a cooking website, you would
want to use the term cooking in the front page link. Maybe with more
detail like "Midnight Cooking" or "Cooking Ideas".
Both are much more descriptive than "home".
So always try to be as descriptive as
possible when naming your four basic pages too. Instead of just
"About Us", use "About Cooking.com" or Contact
Information for Cooking.com". Always remember to let the visitor see
the content before he clicks.
You get better search engine rankings and
happy visitors following these basic suggestions. Website Design is much
more than an attractive looking website, it's about user experience and
search engine rankings too.
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