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Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization

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Search Engine Optimization

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  1. Search Engine Optimization Dawn PedersenArt Institute

  2. Introduction • All your hard design work will suffer in anonymity if people can't find your site. • The most common way people find websites—unless you've run a costly marketing campaign—is likely to be through search engines. • It pays to understand how search engines respond to various coding practices, and code your site in the most SEO-friendly way possible.

  3. Introduction • Here are some time-tested coding practices which have a strong positive impact on a website's page ranking in search engines:

  4. Domain Name • Select a domain name which is relevant to your brand and to the content of your site. • If there is a possibility of misspellings of your domain name, secure the most likely variations as well and have them redirected to your main site. • If you can, also register your domain name with all the common extensions: .com, .net and .org.

  5. File Names • Create file names which are descriptive and relevant to the content of the page. • Hyphens help separate words. • On any given site page, the URL displayed in the browser's address bar should be in ordinary language which gives a clue about the page content.

  6. Title Tags • Craft title tags which are descriptive and contain key words which are relevant to your branding message and content.

  7. Headings • Use heading tags (e.g. <h1>) correctly to indicate the hierarchy of your page and to help users quickly scan your content for what's important to them. <h1> <h2> <h3> <h3>

  8. Content • The actual content of your page should be well-written, informative, and consistent with the headings. • Write for people, not search engines, and you will find that people will link to your site. Search engines favor sites with well-written, original content. • Update content on a fairly regular basis—fresh content improves page rank as well. • Use proper spelling and grammar.

  9. Emphasis • Emphasize keywords and phrases within your text with text modifiers such as the strong (<strong>) and emphasis (<em>) tags.

  10. Images • Use an alt attribute for every single image which describes it succinctly—otherwise search engines have no idea what the image is (not to mention blind people.)

  11. Links • Write the label for each link within your site so that it is consistent with the page heading of the destination page. • Link in a hierarchy: the home page should link only to your main site categories, and those categories link to subcategories, etc.

  12. Valid HTML • Writing valid HTML not only improves cross-browser consistency, it improves the chances of a search engine making the most of your content.

  13. Meta Description • Write a meta description that describes your company directly and without jargon; it may include vital keywords but should be in a natural tone of voice rather than keyword-packed. • It will likely appear in a search engine result and should compel real people to click the link.

  14. Site Structure • Failure to have a properly structured site can make it difficult for search engines to properly index your site; this can lead to a search engine simply omitting your site from search results because you are not considered an authority on the subject matter of your site. • Keep all your related site content grouped into categories, and keep these categories in descriptive folders within your site structure.

  15. Site Map • Create a site map which illustrates the inner organization and navigation of your site's content.

  16. About Page • A company information section enhances your credibility. • Include content about your business's history, management team, and notable accomplishments which support your brand positioning.

  17. Privacy Policy • Create a privacy policy on your site; it adds credibility and authority in the eyes of both search engines and users.

  18. Hosting • Select a web host with near-100% up-time, so users and search engines are never faced with any errors. • Look for a host which also provides customer service around the clock.

  19. Broken Links • Use software to check for broken links on your site. • You can be penalized by search engines if too many broken links exist.