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Make Your Site Search Engine Friendly and User Friendly

Aug 17, 2007
Every web publisher wants to attain top positions in the search engines to increase traffic. To attain a high ranking, your site has to be search engine friendly.

Search engine spiders index your web site. They only read the HTML code in your web pages. They don't read graphics, JavaScript code and other scripts and features.

Just a few simple changes to your web pages can give your site a huge search engine boost. Even better, it can bring in ongoing FREE targeted traffic.

It's important to create a search engine friendly site while at the same time keeping your site friendly to your visitors. You want to structure your pages for maximum search engine exposure without compromising the content or look of your site. After all, what good is traffic if your visitors won't read your pages?

Keyword-rich, theme-based web sites will give you both targeted traffic and good search engine ranking.

Here are 10 easy steps you can take to make sure your pages are search engine friendly and user-friendly.

1. Selecting a domain name. There is a lot of disagreement about whether search bots give importance to the keywords in your domain name. I suggest that you select a domain name that indicates what your site is about. Even if it doesn't matter to search engines, it's important that it tells your visitors what the topic of your site is.

2. Focus on one theme. Search engines love specialized content. If you have several topics, then you should create several web sites. The more you focus on one topic, the more your page will be optimized for search engines and the more relevant it will be to your visitors.

3. Create multiple content pages. Make a separate page for each important keyword and key phrase. If, for example, you want your site to come up for the key phrases web consulting, web design, and search engine optimization, make three separate pages. Create a web page for each major keyword. Don't create automated pages just to get search engine exposure. To keep visitors at your site, you have to give them good content. Keyword-rich articles are a good way to optimize your pages for search engines while providing useful content to your visitors.

4. Optimize each content page for ONE of your key phrases. Put your targeted key phrases in your content. Include them in your page title, description tag, ALT image tags, comment tags, and in internal and external links. When providing a title and description in the META tags, your listing may be displayed in the search engine listing as you provide it. Make your titles and descriptions informative and compelling to attract potential buyers to your site. Provide a benefit or solve a problem.

5. Put your keywords in your content. Search engines are looking at how often your keyword appears on a page. That's how they determine relevancy. Short pages provide a larger percentage of keywords and are better for search engine optimization. The keyword density of a Web page is important for search engine optimization. How often you should mention your keyword throughout the text is different for each search engine, but it varies between 3% and 5% of your text. In other words, use your keyword 3-5 times for every 100 words on your page.

6. Naming files and directories. Put important keywords in all file names and directories/folder names describing the content. For example, to promote ebook covers, I name my files ebook-covers.html, cd-covers.html, box-cover.html, etc.

7. Naming graphics. The search bots don't see your graphics but they can see the description of your graphics and navigation buttons in ALT tags (alternative text describing your images for visitors who browse your site with the images turned off). If your navigation links are images, I recommend that you provide text links in addition to the image links for search engine optimization.

8. Navigation. Have your main navigation links on your home page so search engines can follow your links and index your pages. This is just as important for your visitors as for the search engines.

9. Link your pages together. You can easily link to all your pages by creating a sitemap.

10. Directory structure. Put your important files in the first level. Subdirectories that lie deep are more difficult for search engines to scan. Creating a sitemap for large sites and providing a link to your sitemap on your home page is a good way to get all your important pages indexed.

Search engine optimization does not give you overnight results but over time it will give you steady, quality, targeted, free traffic.

Make it easy for search engines to index your site. Apply these simple tips, and you will be well on your way to having a search engine and user-friendly web site!
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