Category: Search Engine Marketing Guide
The goal is for your site to show up as high as possible in the search engine results for the keyword phrases you are targeting. To better understand this objective, one needs to understand how search engines interpret your website.
Search Engine Friendly Site Design and Coding
In simple terms, search engines collect detailed information from the millions of available websites and match that information against phrases entered by customers looking for goods, services, and information. Where your pages are listed in the search results and what content from your pages is displayed can make the difference between the potential customer clicking on your link, on your competitor’s link, or trying again with another search phrase. So an important part of an effective search engine marketing strategy is to understand how search engines gather information, how they rank that information, and how they display that information.
Below are a few of the specific implementation issues to consider when making your website search engine friendly.
Crawlable Site Architecture - Having a crawlable site architecture means that all of your important pages (pages you want the search engines to see) must be placed in the spider’s path. Do this by creating links to the target pages from other pages and by not burying the target pages too deeply within your site. Dynamically generated pages often pose additional problems which require special attention.
Page Titles - Page titles are a crucial part of page structure for scoring well in search engines. It is ideal to have a different title on each page of the website.
Description Meta Tag - Description meta tags are being used more and more by search engines to pull text for a results description.
Linking Within the Site - To be found by search engines and create relevance, all pages on the site should be linked to from the main page, or from sub-main pages. Search engines note the text that is used to link to pages and use that text to index the source and target pages. Using keywords in links will have a positive effect on rankings.
Domain Names and URLs - Using keywords in URLs can be very effective for search engine optimization. The terms in the URLs are indexed by search engines along with the text of the page. Additionally, the site’s URL is often used by other sites as part of their link text.
Clustering Content - Search engines interpret a page by looking not only at that page’s content, but also by looking at other pages linked to that page. Clustering your content such that similar pages are grouped under the same sub-main page and including sufficient links among these pages helps you increase the relevancy of all your pages, and thus your positioning.
Provide a Site Map or “Spider Food” - Spiders find the pages of your site by using links. The best way to quickly get a spider to look at all of your site’s pages is to incorporate a site map, linked from the home page.
Include Header and Introductory Text - Search engines look for and like headers at the top of the page. Text at or near the top of the page is more important than the rest of the page.
Navigation and Context - Internal pages need to present a clear reference for users on where they are on the site, what they can do, and what other sections are available.
Footer Text and Navigation - The footer provides an additional place to include target keywords and provide links to the main sections of the site.
Text versus Graphics - Search engines primarily use the text on the page when they index a page. Limit the use of graphics and use ALT text and keyword-friendly file names.
Content and Keywords
Use Keywords Often - The text on the pages helps determine ranking and shows up in the search engine descriptions. It is important that this text be optimized for the keyword phrases you are targeting.
Content for Target Keywords - Search engines look beyond just the words on the page. It is important that your site has valuable content specifically focused on the words that you are targeting.
Optimize All Detail Pages - Many important pages do not show up in the target keyword list. These are often product- or topic-specific pages. It is important to optimize these pages as part of the process so they show up high in search listing results.