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SEO Web Design Techniques to Optimize your Website

Nov 15, 2007
It takes more than wishful thinking in order to land one of your pages in the top 10 of Google, but once you understand the criteria of what is involved, you can increase the likelihood for each of your pages if you start with the goal in mind.

Rankings are based on algorithms, therefore if you are operating within the guidelines of the formula, certain results are produced consistently as a by-product of what comprises your pages.

Outlined below are a few examples of Seo Web Design including clearly defined on-page SEO principles known for producing top 10 results. The first component to ranking in the top 10 results in major search engines is:

Meta Tag Optimization:

Keyword stuffing (adding all of your keywords in the title, description and on the page) is a thing of the past. Not only will it blatantly get your red flagged from search engines, the human readers will have such a difficult time attempting to get the gist of your topic, you may as well say "please click the back button and leave my site" to save them the hassle.

Don't stuff your keywords in the meta tags, keep your title on topic and short and sweet succinct title always works better than trying to stuff every possible keyword under the sun in one long / truncated title.

There is nothing more unattractive than words getting cut off in mid sentence, or even worse having to look at the dreaded pipes | keyword stuffing | stuffing even more keywords | even more ridiculous keyword stuffing, etc. No name calling here, but if you are using still using this technique for search engine optimization, it's time to cut the mullet and move into 2007 where things have changed a bit and people actually click on the title based on the emotional response they receive from the message.

In this way, it's not always having to be first on the page that matters (despite popular opinion), it's who's title is the most compelling that gets the click.

The Description Tag:

Depending on the strength of your website, you can rank for a keyword that is (a) in the title of the page (b) on your pages (in the body text or links) or (c) in the description tag alone. It's more about the overall combination of these on-page factors that determine the ranking potential within each search engine, as they all have their own criteria for awarding relevance and relative positioning when a query is executed.

Your web page description should be concise and try to use actual search terms in your description (something most SEO companies won't divulge). Any SEO worth their salt knows, that if you want to rank for a specific term, having the "exact match form" of that key phrase in your title and description increases your ranking potential for that term.

Keep the keywords with a higher priority closer to the front of the sentence and try not to go over 250 characters. This keeps your pages focused as well as makes each of the words more potent for ranking. The more words you use, the less potent they become. So once again, the short and sweet version works wonders for a two-fold purpose (1) the visitor, because it indicates to them what they can expect once they arrive and (2) the web bots and search engine spiders, that place a great deal of emphasis on the words in the title or in description data.

Optimizing your Hyper links:

First of all a hyper link for those who are unfamiliar with the term is a fancy way to say link that includes the URL (universal resource locater) otherwise known as website or web address inside. Links can be used for internal purposes (within your site otherwise known as navigation i.e. link architecture) or for external purposes such as linking to another website you enjoy or endorse.

If the links are leaving you website and going to another site they are considered forward links or if your website receives a link from another site they are called back links. In either capacity the way that the strength of a link is assessed is from the anchor text or text comprising the link states. So, instead of using click here for a forward link an optimized version of that would contain a keyword which carries tremendous weight in search engines when referencing what the topic of the page the link leads to, as well as add addition ranking potential to the page that the link is located on.

Hyper link optimization plays a major role in SEO. By understanding the role that links play in search engine optimization, you can understand how to improve the rankings on each of your respective pages, by following a few simple guidelines.

If you can envision your website as an island, the only thing bringing in traffic are the bridges that connect it to the surrounding land masses. Without those bridges (inbound links) to connect it then then how fruitful can you expect it to be?

If you have links coming into a page, say 20 for example and 30 links leaving that page, you are in essence dispersing the link juice or ranking power for that page to the 30 pages you link to. Having a good internal to external link ratio is one of the foremost aspect of SEO, but realizing that you should try to keep your links on topic and use keywords you wish to rank for in the text of the link to make the most of each link on your pages.

Optimization of Alt Tags | Alternative Text Tags:

Since web bots and spiders can not parse the data in an image or flash to determine what the image is, Alt tags allow webmasters to create a clear description of what the contents of the image are. If you have an image showcasing your company headquarters an ideal way to utilize the alt tag from this image would be a company name headquarters, city, state. This way you could obtain the maximum value for this image as a contributing factor to your overall rankings with regional references as well as using the company name to reinforce your brand.

In the past, this was one of the most abused forms or search engine optimization and fell more along the lines of search engine manipulation. Companies would stuff every keyword possible in the alt tags in over inflate relevance for their keywords instead of simply creating content with value. Filters have been added to search engines to eliminate websites utilizing such tactics, but you would be surprised to note how many webmasters still use this technique. Fortunate for us and unfortunately for them, it nearly results in penalties in rankings every time pushing them lower on the totem pole for achieving top 10 rankings if even top 100 results.

Optimization of your Website Content:

Optimization of your website copy otherwise known as content or words is the most important factor for ranking. Without going into too much detail, it is safe to say that the higher quality of content your pages have, the better they rank in search engines.

The reason is simple, think of the web spider as your friendly neighborhood reporter who is always looking to be the Johny on the spot to report the latest and greatest headlines to the web at large. These programs are more than just reporters, they have been designed to emulate human behavior and crawl through your pages much like a real human would. They follow links, take notes and even more so, if they like your content they come around more often to see if you have refreshed your data.

Knowing this it is important to write your pages for humans, since they actually pay the bills, but also to understand that you can create compelling text for the search engines to index as well. This is accomplished through word density, which is another fancy pants way of saying how many times a word appears on a page, and how close it is to other keywords that you have outlined as important within the document (using your links, titles and descriptions).

To add even more emphasis to a group of words for on page optimization, you can employ the header tags h1, h2, h3, and so on to reference the priority for those phrases or keywords on your pages. We explore specific uses of header tags at a later time, but the purpose for now is just to provide an overview of the basic elements involved in SEO Web Design.

Content truly is king, so the best way to grab the attention of the Google bot is to write world class content and sprinkle in optimization tactics for optimal effectiveness.

Site maps - What they are and how to use them:

A site map is essentially an index of the pages comprising your website. There are two different types of site maps;

(1) An HTML site map that is used for human visitors to find relevant pages and (2) an XML site map that is designed for spiders to connect the dots and find your entire website when it is performing indexing to create a snapshot of the contents.

Every page on your site should have 2 things in order to be taken seriously from the major search engines. Your site map and your privacy policy. Another thing you might wish to note, that if your physical street address is missing in action (in your contact page) on your website, your listings will probably have the same effect from Yahoo and some of the other engines. Penalties come in different shapes and sizes, so to avoid them it is better to be proactive and incorporate these three elements right from the start.

An HTML site map is nothing more than the link to your page with a brief description following it. This alone can affect where and how your page is ranked in the grand scheme of things. An XML site map on the other hand is something which is placed at the server level that spiders and web bots access (much like your robots.txt file) when looking for data to report back to the web.

I think that about wraps it up for this overview of the basics fundamentals of SEO Web Design, stay tuned in the future when we outline specific ranking strategies and methods that you can apply to your pages to optimize them using the principles that search engines are keen to respond to. The last thing you want to do is omit creating engaging content, after all, what good is SEO if after they arrive they just click and run as a result of lackluster content. But that is another article in it's entirety.
About the Author
Jeffrey L. Smith is an seasoned search engine optimization strategist and founder of Seo Design Solutions Seo Web Design Company in Chicago. Jeffrey has been involved in internet marketing since 1995 and brings fresh optimization methods and marketing solutions for businesses seeking organic search engine placement.
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