[su_dropcap style=”simple” size=”5″]SEO[/su_dropcap] (Search Engine Optimization) is the “How-To” to getting your site to show up in search results. In other words it’s the skill to getting your site to stand out from the others that pop up when somebody types in a relevant search or keyword. Dealing with SEO can be a huge challenge sometimes. Search engines love big, dull, ugly pages. They are easier for the spiders, robots, and crawlers to navigate. However, users/readers love interesting, fun, and eye-catching designs – as you can see, it’s a fine line to walk. So today I’m going to go over :
SEO: TRUTH #1 – DO AND DON’T
(Keep in mind that theses aren’t set in stone, but more like suggestions and things that I have learned or researched or figured out by trial and error. I am in no way a published expert. I just have a lot of experience. If you need to “bend” one suggestion, compensate by sticking to another and vice versa.)
>> DO Be Careful With Tables. Just like with the drop-downs, search engines have a hard time deciphering tables that are done incorrectly, therefore your information may be pushed further down the list. If you do use a table, remember to use CSS because of it’s “search-friendly”ness.
>> DO Keep Your Code Clean. Search engines do not like to navigate through useless code and can’t decipher between what’s important and what’s not. That’s your job as the site owner/designer. The last thing you want is for your awesomeness to be skipped because the SEO robots didn’t search through the entire site and you had too much garbage code in the way.
>> DO Use Internal Links. This works on two levels. First – your visitors will appreciate the ease of navigating to specific parts of your site. Second – creating internal links gives SEO spiders more opportunity to search through your site and find relevant information. The more info they can find, the higher your “important factor” will be.
>> DO Be Careful With Graphics. SEO robots are lured in by words, not graphics. They love to search for keywords at the top of the page, so if you have a super large graphic in the way of all those keywords, the robots will move on. Place nonessential graphics further down the page to guarantee that you catch the robots attention first.
>> DON’T Use Splash Pages. I know they seem easy and “to-the-point”, but they are usually more about graphic information and less about text. They also usually only link to one other page of your site, so the SEO robots don’t pick it up as super important.
>> DON’T Repeat Content. Don’t have several pages with the same information on them. Choose one URL and have everything directed to that site. Otherwise you’ll just be creating competition for yourself.
>> DON’T Use An ALL Flash Website. Yes, it does look really cool. And your visitors will probably enjoy it. BUT, not all systems allow it, so you’ll be cutting into your own visitor count. Plus, flash sites usually only have one page, and there’s no way that will compete with coded sites that have several pages, and tons of keywords. Your site will get lost in the SEO basement.
So there you have it. A couple of quick SEO tips for the basic designer and site owner. Please let me know if you have any more questions or would like me to cover anything else.