Search Engine Optimization…
There is so much information out there on this topic and many different offered avenues to take to increase a sites visibility. With these series of articles, I am going to delve into SEO and explore what exactly helps a site increase traffic and what can have the opposite effect.
Google seemed like a good place to start, after all, it is one of the largest search engines out there. Here is a condensed list of guidelines they suggest for increasing a site’s visibility. To read the entire article, visit http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?answer=35769.
- Sitemaps – Submit a Sitemap using Google Webmaster Tools. Google uses your Sitemap to learn about the structure of your site and to increase our coverage of your webpages.
- Make a site with a clear hierarchy and text links. Every page should be reachable from at least one static text link.
- Create a useful, information-rich site, and write pages that clearly and accurately describe your content.
- Think about the words users would type to find your pages, and make sure that your site actually includes those words within it.
- Try to use text instead of images to display important names, content, or links. The Google crawler doesn’t recognize text contained in images. If you must use images for textual content, consider using the “ALT” attribute to include a few words of descriptive text.
- Make sure that your <title> elements and ALT attributes are descriptive and accurate.
- Make use of the robots.txt file on your web server. This file tells crawlers which directories can or cannot be crawled.
- Test your site to make sure that it appears correctly in different browsers.
So far, these are all items that I’m already aware of and nothing really new. With the exception of using a text browser such as Lynx to examine the site. Makes sense to utilize this since it will provide a clear picture of what exactly the search engines are “seeing”.
Step One: The beginning of creating a search engine friendly site is developing it with “clean” code and making sure it contains pertinent and useful information on the subject of the site (e.g.: information-rich).