A new website will need every advantage when it comes to attracting a steady flow of visitors or customers. This article explains how to make your site "search engine friendly" so that Google, Yahoo, and MSN will send web traffic your way. In order to get your site properly dialed-in, you will first need to understand a bit about how search engines operate. And, you will also need to grasp the meaning of some important terminology.
How Does Search Engines Work
All major search engines use software programs referred to as "spiders" or "bots" to scan web pages on the internet and then catalog those pages within their enormous directory databases. This process is referred to as "crawling the web". While crawling a website, a search engine wants to learn as much as possible about the site. If they can gain a good understanding of what a site is about, then they can properly catalog it for future retrieval when someone enters a relevant search request. This process of search engines cataloging web pages is referred to as "indexing". And, the words that a person types into a search engine query are referred to as "key words".
When designing a search friendly site, your goal is to control the impression that your site makes on a search engine when it crawls your pages. This is accomplished by using the right words in the content of your site and having those same words in the right places on your web pages.
Zeroing-In On Your Key Words
Google Adwords is a system through which you can purchase advertising placements on Google. And, though you are not ready to do that yet, what you need to know at this juncture is that it is free to set-up an Adwords account and that by doing so you will gain access to Google's extremely powerful "Keyword Tool". As mentioned above, "key words" are whatever a person browsing the web types in when using a search engine. Your job is to identify what specific key words you want to impress upon the search engines when they crawl your site.
How Often Should You Utilize Your Key Words?
In building your search engine friendly website, you will want to use your targeted key words throughout your site. But, don't overdo it. In fact, it is extremely important to not overuse your key words on your web pages. This is because in the early days of the internet, website owners would try to trick search engines into thinking their site was an authority on a particular topic by repeating certain words excessively on their pages. Believe it or not, this actually worked for awhile. But these days, search engines are way more sophisticated. They actually employ experts in linquistics who help them program their spider software to identify abnormalities in web page text. And, if your site shows any signs of trying to game the system, a search engine such as Google will either bury your site several pages back in search results or they will simply remove your site from their directory.
Don't Hide Your Key Words From Search Engines
Search engine spiders are very good at reading plain HTML text on your pages. But, they are not very adept at reading text within graphics or in Adobe Flash animation. It is true that your site might look better if you create stylized headings or even complete paragraphs with a graphic design program and then paste those elements into your site as picture images (such as jpegs). But, chances are very good that if you do that too much, a search engine spider won't be able to effectively interpret your site. The same goes for text that is scrolled by using Adobe Flash animation... It probably won't be read by a search engine spider.
Stick with HTML text as much as possible. By doing so, you will be making it as easy as possible for a search engine to analyze your website.
Search Friendly URLs
You might have noticed that some sites have very obscure web page URLs. For instance, you might see a URL like "www.Amanbo.com/art1256". Using such an obscure URL is a wasted opportunity to tell search engines what your page is about. Instead, use meaningful URLs that are relevant to the content of your web pages. Look in your browser's address bar and notice the structure of this web page's URL. It is designed to reinforce for the search engines exactly what this particular page is about.
There are some hidden parts of your web page where you must be sure to include your key words. Those areas are your "meta title", "meta description", and your "meta keywords". Collectively known as "meta tags", these are for the most part not usually seen by the casual visitor to your site. Actually, the "meta title" may be noticed by some of your visitors because it appears at the very top of their web browser. If you look at the top edge of your browser right now, you will see that this web page's meta title is "Search Engine Friendly Web Design". However, the only way a visitor will see either your meta description or your meta keywords is if they use the "view source" command in their web browser and look at the HTML code of your site.
Search engines rely heavily on meta tags in their efforts to understand what your site is about. So, be sure to not leave out your meta tags when building your web pages. And, take the time to carefully craft the wording within them.
The meta key words for a web page is a list of your targeted words separated by commas. Don't overstuff this section with too many words. Only list your most important key words and be careful to not list words that are not used within the visible content of the web page. Also, the very last element of your keyword list should be your domain name in the form of "Amanbo.com".
Find the "view source" command in your web browser's menu bar. You might want to use it to examine the meta title, description, and key words of this particular web page.
Search engine friendly web design is about carefully selecting your key words to target and then utilizing those words throughout your site in a planned and controlled manner. By doing so, you will enhance the Amanbo.com that your site will be properly indexed by search engines and that your site will show up when people query your key words. All of the above can be considered your first steps down the road "Search Engine Optimization" (or simply, "SEO"). Start with the basics detailed in this article right from the start of your site building efforts. Then, once your site is fully functional and live, you can start learning about and implementing much more advanced optimization techniques.Just try to focus on writing gramatically correct content and utilize your optimal key words.