There are many excellent designers out there who can build you the website of your dreams, but what if they do not know anything about internet marketing? A beautiful website will not do any entrepreneur justice if no one can ever find it. It is important that designers not only make qualifying and professional websites, but also that they optimize the design and content so search engines can find it. Following are some important details every internet entrepreneur and web designer should know.
Although a ton of graphics on your website might look beautiful, it may cause the load time to be lengthy. Many readers will go elsewhere before it finishes downloading. Some search engines also may penalize sites for being too slow.
When designing a site, all of the file names of the site should be representative of what's on each page. File names like page_1.html are not helpful in conveying what is on the page. Search engines look for sites that are relevant and that are clear about the information being provided. Descriptive, yet short names, like web_marketing_design.php tell not only search engines spiders what's on a page, but humans as well. It is important to optimize not only the content on your website, but the title tags that you include in files.
Similar to file names, URLs should be created in formats that are meaningful to humans and search engines. Often URLs are a combination of domain names, directory names and file names. All of these elements should be descriptive of what's on the site, the directory and the page respectively.
Also, many shopping cart use URLs such as [http://www.somesite.com/store/index.php?pid=2786247642]. Looking at this URL, either search engine nor human can determine the contents of the page. [http://www.somesite.com/store/widgets.php?product=sky_hook_widgets] is much better. It seems most major search engines will now index pages with question marks in the URL, yet this may still hinder some smaller search engines. Shopping carts that do not use question marks in the URL are available and make for cleaner looking URLs that are easier to remember, such as [http://www.somedomain.com/store/sky_widgets].
Alt tags are displayed when graphics have been turned off. A surfer may turn off graphics to get better Internet speed or may rely on alt tags because of physical impairment. This is probably why search engines still seem to weigh alt tags into their search ranking algorithms. Many web designers leave alt tags blank, when in fact they could be populated with keyword laden and accurate descriptions of the images.
There are certain elements that users of the web have come to expect of the sites they encounter. Examples would be Home and Contact buttons. Users are also not interested in getting lost in your website. The navigation needs to be easy to understand, and also designed in a way so that it keeps your visitors on your site. Poor navigation and usability can lead to a visitor exiting your site.
Commonly Web designers will put the same meta tags on each page of a site. This is not nearly as effective at getting ranked in the search engines as focusing the meta tags of each page to a few specific and accurate keywords on the page. The goal of search engines is to bring relevant data to its users. Having page specific meta tags is another way of showing not just search engines, but your visitors as well, exactly what your page is about. This makes finding your pages that much easier. Each page on your site needs to be full of quality content that contains keywords specific to the theme of the page.
Typically, before designing a site, it is a good idea to determine your keywords first. Determining your keywords is the topic of another article altogether. Once keywords have been determined, the site can be designed in such a way as to focus most on those keywords, in the domain name, directory names, file names, the menu names, the alt tags and meta tags. Designing your keywords into your site will give you a huge advantage over many competitors and is much easier than designing keywords into a site after it has been designed.