Sunday, September 21, 2008

What Your Website Absolutely Needs

This section will go over some of the most important elements that a page
that hopes to get high research engine rankings needs. Make sure that you
go through this while section very carefully as each of these can have a
dramatic impact on the rankings that your website will ultimately achieve.

Just don’t focus on the home page, keywords and titles.

The first step to sales when customers visit your site to see the products
they were looking for. Of course, search engine optimization and better
rankings can’t keep your customer on your site or make them buy. The
customer having visited your site, now ensure that he gets interested in your
products or services and stays around. Motivate him to buy the product by
providing clear and unambiguous information. Thus if you happen to sell
more than one product or service, provide all necessary information about
this, may be by keeping the information at a different page. By providing
suitable and easily visible links, the customer can navigate to these pages
and get the details.

Understanding Your Target Customer

If you design a website you think will attract clients, but you don’t really
know who your customers are and what they want to buy, it is unlikely you
make much money. Website business is an extension or replacement for a
standard storefront. You can send email to your existing clients and ask
them to complete a survey or even while they are browsing on your website.
Ask them about their choices. Why do they like your products? Do you
discount prices or offer coupons? Are your prices consistently lower than
others? Is your shipping price cheaper? Do you respond faster to client

questions? Are your product descriptions better? Your return policies and
guarantees better than your competitor’s? To know your customer you can
check credit card records or ask your customer to complete a simple contact
form with name, address, age, gender, etc. when they purchase a product.

Does your website give enough contact information?

When you sell from a website, your customer can buy your products 24 hrs
a day and also your customers may be from other states that are thousands
of miles away. Always provide contact information, preferably on every page
of your website, complete with mailing address, telephone number and an
email address that reaches you. People may need to contact you about
sales, general information or technical problems on your site. Also have your
email forwarded to another email address if you do not check your website
mailbox often. When customer wants to buy online provide enough options
like credit card, PayPal or other online payment service.

In the field of search engine optimization (SEO), writing a strong homepage
that will rank high in the engines and will read well with your site visitors can
sometimes present a challenge, even to some seasoned SEO professionals.
Once you have clearly identified your exact keywords and key phrases, the
exact location on your homepage where you will place those carefully
researched keywords will have a drastic impact in the end results of your
homepage optimization.

One thing we keep most people say is that they don’t want to change the
looks or more especially the wording on their homepage. Understandably,
some of them went to great lengths and invested either a lot of time and/or
money to make it the best it can be. Being the best it can be for your site

visitors is one thing. But is it the best it can be for the search engines, in
terms of how your site will rank?

If you need powerful rankings in the major search engines and at the same
time you want to successfully convert your visitors and prospects into real
buyers, it's important to effectively write your homepage the proper way the
first time! You should always remember that a powerfully optimized
homepage pleases both the search engines and your prospects. In randomly
inserting keywords and key phrases into your old homepage, you might run
the risk of getting good rankings, but at the same time it might jeopardize
your marketing flow. That is a mistake nobody would ever want to do with
their homepage.

Even today, there are still some people that will say you can edit your
homepage for key phrases, without re-writing the whole page. There are
important reasons why that strategy might not work.

Your homepage is the most important page on your web site

If you concentrate your most important keywords and key phrases in your
homepage many times, the search engines will surely notice and index it
accordingly. But will it still read easily and will the sentences flow freely to
your real human visitors? There are some good chances that it might not. As
a primer, having just 40 or 50 words on your homepage will not deliver the
message effectively. To be powerful and effective, a homepage needs at
least 300 to 400 words for maximum search engine throughput and

One way to do that is to increase your word count with more value-added
content. This often means rewriting your whole homepage all over again.
The main reason to this is you will probably never have enough room to
skillfully work your important keywords and key phrases into the body text

of your homepage. This may not please your boss or marketing department,
but a full re-write is often necessary and highly advisable to achieve high
rankings in the engines, while at the same time having a homepage that will
please your site visitors and convert a good proportion of them into real

The Acid Test

Here is the acid test that will prove what we just said is right: Carefully
examine the body text of your existing homepage. Then, attempt to insert
three to five different keywords and key phrases three to four times each,
somewhere within the actual body of your existing page. In doing that,
chances are you will end up with a homepage that is next to impossible to
understand and read.

One mistake some people do is to force their prospects to wade through
endless key phrase lists or paragraphs, in an attempt to describe their
features and benefits. The other reason they do that is in trying to please
the search engines at the same time. Writing a powerful and effective
homepage around carefully defined keywords and key phrases is a sure way
you can drive targeted traffic to your web site and keep them there once you

If some people still say re-writing a homepage takes too much time and
costs too much money, think of the cost of losing prospective clients and the
real cost of lost sales and lost opportunities. In the end, writing a strong
homepage that will achieve all your desired goals will largely justify your
time invested and the efforts you will have placed in the re-writing of your

We discussed the importance of the Homepage. This section presents a
recommended layout for your homepage in order to make it as search

engine friendly as possible. This is where you set the theme of your site.
Let's suppose the primary focus of your site is about online education. You
also have secondary content that is there as alternative content for those
not interested online education. There is also other content that you would
like to share with your visitors. For example, this might include book
reviews, humor, and links.

The top of your homepage, as discussed earlier is the most important. This
is where you set the keywords and theme for the most important part of
your site, the thing you really want to be found for.

Step By Step Page Optimization

Starting at the top of your index/home page something like this:

(After your logo or header graphic)

1) A heading tag that includes a keyword(s) or keyword phrases. A
heading tag is bigger and bolder text than normal body text, so a
search engine places more importance on it because you emphasize
2) Heading sizes range from h1 - h6 with h1 being the largest text. If
you learn to use just a little Cascading Style Sheet code you can
control the size of your headings. You could set an h1 sized heading
to be only slightly larger than your normal text if you choose, and
the search engine will still see it as an important heading.
3) Next would be an introduction that describes your main theme. This
would include several of your top keywords and keyword phrases.
Repeat your top 1 or 2 keywords several times, include other

keyword search terms too, but make it read in sentences that
makes sense to your visitors.
4) A second paragraph could be added that got more specific using
other words related to online education.
5) Next you could put smaller heading.
6) Then you'd list the links to your pages, and ideally have a brief
decision of each link using keywords and keyword phrases in the
text. You also want to have several pages of quality content to link
to. Repeat that procedure for all your links that relate to your
7) Next you might include a closing, keyword laden paragraph. More is
not necessarily better when it comes to keywords, at least after a
certain point. Writing "online education" fifty times across your
page would probably result in you being caught for trying to cheat.
Ideally, somewhere from 3% - 20% of your page text would be
keywords. The percentage changes often and is different at each
search engine. The 3-20 rule is a general guideline, and you can go
higher if it makes sense and isn't redundant.
8) Finally, you can list your secondary content of book reviews,
humor, and links. Skip the descriptions if they aren't necessary, or
they may water down your theme too much. If you must include
descriptions for these non-theme related links, keep them short and
sweet. You also might include all the other site sections as simply a
link to another index that lists them all. You could call it
Entertainment, Miscellaneous, or whatever. These can be sub-
indexes that can be optimized toward their own theme, which is the
ideal way to go.

Now you've set the all important top of your page up with a strong theme.
So far so good, but this isn't the only way you can create a strong theme so

don't be compelled into following this exact formula. This was just an
example to show you one way to set up a strong site theme. Use your
imagination, you many come up with an even better way.

One Site – One Theme

It's important to note that you shouldn't try to optimize your home page for
more than one theme. They just end up weakening each other's strength
when you do that. By using simple links to your alternative content, a link to
your humor page can get folks where they want to go, and then you can
write your humor page as a secondary index optimized toward a humor
theme. In the end, each page should be optimized for search engines for the
main topic of that page or site section.

Search engine optimization is made up of many simple techniques that work
together to create a comprehensive overall strategy. This combination of
techniques is greater as a whole than the sum of the parts. While you can
skip any small technique that is a part of the overall strategy, it will subtract
from the edge you'd gain by employing all the tactics.

Affiliate Sites & Dynamic URLs

In affiliate programs, sites that send you traffic and visitors, have to be paid
on the basis of per click or other parameters (such as number of pages
visited on your site, duration spent, transactions etc). Most common
contractual understanding revolves around payment per click or click
throughs. Affiliates use tracking software that monitors such clicks using a
redirection measurement system. The validity of affiliate programs in
boosting your link analysis is doubtful. Nevertheless, it is felt that it does not
actually do any harm. It does provide you visitors, and that is important. In
the case of some search engines re-directs may even count in favor of your

link analysis. Use affiliate programs, but this is not a major strategy for

Several pages in e-commerce and other functional sites are generated
dynamically and have “?” or “&” sign in their dynamic URLs. These signs
separate the CGI variables. While Google will crawl these pages, many other
engines will not. One inconvenient solution is to develop static equivalent of
the dynamic pages and have them on your site.

Another way to avoid such dynamic URLs is to rewrite these URLs using a
syntax that is accepted by the crawler and also understood as equivalent to
the dynamic URL by the application server. The Amazon site shows dynamic
URLs in such syntax. If you are using Apache web server, you can use
Apache rewrite rules to enable this conversion.

One good tip is that you should prepare a crawler page (or pages) and
submit this to the search engines. This page should have no text or content
except for links to all the important pages that you wished to be crawled.
When the spider reaches this page it would crawl to all the links and would
suck all the desired pages into its index. You can also break up the main
crawler page into several smaller pages if the size becomes too large. The
crawler shall not reject smaller pages, whereas larger pages may get
bypassed if the crawler finds them too slow to be spidered.

You do not have to be concerned that the result may throw up this “site-
map” page and would disappoint the visitor. This will not happen, as the
“site-map” has no searchable content and will not get included in the results,
rather all other pages would. We found the site had published
hierarchical sets of crawler pages. The first crawler page lists all the

category headlines, these links lead to a set of links with all story headlines,
which in turn lead to the news stories.

Page Size Can Be A Factor

We have written above that the spiders may bypass long and “difficult”
pages. They would have their own time-out characteristics or other controls
that help them come unstuck from such pages. So you do not want to have
such a page become your “gateway” page. One tip is to keep the page size
below 100 kb.

How many Pages To Submit

You do not have to submit all the pages of your site. As stated earlier, many
sites have restrictions on the number of pages you submit. A key page or a
page that has links to many inner pages is ideal, but you must submit some
inner pages. This insures that even if the first page is missed, the crawler
does get to access other pages and all the important pages through them.
Submit your key 3 to 4 pages at least. Choose the ones that have the most
relevant content and keywords to suit your target search string and verify
that they link to other pages properly.

Should You Use Frames?

Many websites make use of frames on their web pages. In some cases, more
than two frames would be used on a single web page. The reason why most
websites use frames is because each frame’s content has a different source.
A master page known as “Frameset” controls the process of clubbing content
from different sources into a single web page. Such frames make it easier

for webmasters to club multiple sources into a single web page. This,
however, has a huge disadvantage when it comes to Search Engines.

Some of the older Search Engines do not have the capability to read content
from frames. These only crawl through the frameset instead of all the web
pages. Consequently web pages with multiple frames are ignored by the
spider. There are certain tags known as “NOFRAMES” (Information ignored
by frames capable browser) that can be inserted in the HTML of these web
pages. Spiders are able to read information within the NOFRAMES tags.
Thus, Search Engines only see the Frameset. Moreover, there cannot be any
links to other web pages in the NOFRAMES blocks. That means the search
engines won't crawl past the frameset, thus ignoring all the content rich web
pages that are controlled by the frameset.

Hence, it is always advisable to have web pages without frames as these
could easily make your website invisible to Search Engines.

Making frames visible to Search Engines

We discussed earlier the prominence of frames based websites. Many
amateur web designers do not understand the drastic effects frames can
have on search engine visibility. Such ignorance is augmented by the fact
that some Search Engines such as Google and are actually frames
capable. spiders can crawl through frames and index all web pages
of a website. However, this is only true for a few Search Engines.

The best solution as stated above is to avoid frames all together. If you still
decide to use frames another remedy to this problem is using JavaScripts.
JavaScripts can be added anywhere and are visible to Search Engines. These

would enable spiders to crawl to other web pages, even if they do not
recognize frames.

With a little trial and error, you can make your frame sites accessible to both
types of search engines.


sasiraman said...

Many webmasters and inexperienced or unethical SEOs abuse the use of this attribute, trying to stuff it with keywords, hoping to achieve a certain keyword density.
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