How to Create Search Engine Friendly Websites
Most major search engines such as Google, Yahoo, MSN, and AOL uses bots to determine ranking of websites; they gather numerous site information to run within their unique algorithm to determine site ranking. Your job as a web designer is not only to create a stylish one, but also a search engine friendly one. To do so, you will need to think like a search engine bot, provide what it wants to see, not just your customers.
The Search Engine Game (Yes it can be fun)
Think of search engine optimization as a game, every time you do something right in making your website search engine friendly, the bot rewards you with ‘bot points.’ Of course, every time you do something wrong, the bot takes points away from you. Your job is to gather as much bot points as possible, making your website search engine friendly.
How Do I Earn Bot Points?
1) Finding the right keyword.
The most general and broad keywords are sometimes not the best idea. Having a less competitive keyword makes it easier for you to earn those ‘bot points.’ For example, the keyword ‘roses’ will results you in a massive pool of keyword competitors, thus making it close to impossible of getting a good rank. Consider making your keyword more specific into a phrase, for example ‘affordable red roses’. Certainly there may be much less searches for that phrase than ‘roses’, but people still search for it regardless. And when they do, your website will have a much better chance to ranking high, thus increasing your engine visibility. Each page of your site should be optimized to no more than one specific keyword
2) Keyword prominence, what is it?
Keyword prominence simply means how close your keyword is located towards the beginning of the page. Yes, increasing your keyword prominence will earn you those crucial ‘bot points.’
For example, the title of your rose page is ‘Your Company Name’s Roses and Gifts.’ Change it to ‘Affordable Red Roses from Your Company Name’. Notice the keyword phrase ‘affordable red roses’ shows up first within the title. This will increase your keyword prominence for that particular page.
Keyword prominence also exists in body of the page. Consider moving all your keyword phrases towards the top of the body. But don’t force it; one or two keywords phrases in the middle or bottom will not hurt your overall keyword prominence.
3) Keyword frequency, the more the better right? Wrong!
It is certainly important to reiterate your keyword phrase a few times within the page you are trying to optimize. However, there is a fine line between reiteration and spamming. If the search engine bot feels that you are excessively repeating the same phrase over and over again, it might cause a red flag and take away those precious ‘bot points’ of yours. There is no set standard in the number of times you can repeat your keyword phrase within a singe page. The best idea is to read your works thoroughly, if your keyword phrases are beginning to make your sentences and paragraphs sound awkward, then you may want to make some changes.
4) Easiest trick to get extra ‘bot points.’
Believe it or not, some bots, especially Google Bot, loves heading tags. Sure they may be difficult to manage, but making your keyword phrase in heading format certainly will earn you some ‘bot points.’
6) Images and ALT. What is important to know?
Yes they can if you use them correctly. Remember that bots cannot read images and image maps. So never put your keyword phrase or any relevant information in as an image. When you do use an image, for example a company logo, be sure to add an ALT phrase that includes your keyword phrase to it. Also keyword prominence also plays a factor in ALT as well so make sure the keyword phrase shows up first. If your page uses proper and optimized ALT phrases, bots will more than likely give you some ‘bot points.’
7) Meta tags. How crucial to search engines are they?
Not very anymore. Most major search engines such as Google, Yahoo, MSN, and AltaVista almost never look and judge pages from its Meta tags. But you should still properly use them for there are still some engines out there that still use Meta tags. Most people believe having the perfect Meta tag will earn themselves a good ranking on search engines. But in reality, Meta tags plays a very minor role in search engine optimization.
8) Index page vs. secondary pages.
Search engine bots place more emphasis on index (main) pages than other pages within a website. So make sure your index page is well optimized and have links to all of your other pages so the bot can crawl and index your other pages as well.
9) What is another simply way to get more ‘bot points’?
Make your page name the keyword phrase. For example, a page name affordable-red-roses.html will most likely earn you a better ranking than page1.html.
10) Link popularity, what is that?
Link popularity is the amount of other websites that have links to your website. This is perhaps one of the most important portions to the ranking algorithm. Often to be ranked as top 10 on major search engines for a common keyword will require you a link popularity of over 1000. If your page is completely optimized but have a very minimal link popularity level, don’t go after major keywords, for you will not win them.
The best way to increase link popularity is to do affiliate and link exchange programs. Services such as banner exchange will not increase link popularity. However, pay-per-click services may increase link popularity, but certainly the slowest and most expensive method.
Mar 11, 2004
Author: Company Press