Leading Your Web Designer to SEOWritten by Christian Nielsen
Many SEO projects involve taking a site that has already been built and changing or adding optimization elements to help site rank well in search engines. For a site that has already been built, web designer is usually not involved in process.
However, there are two situations where designer should be very much involved in SEO process: when a new site is constructed, or when an old site is being redesigned.
When building a new site, SEO consultant should be involved as site concept is being developed. The perspective of SEO consultant is much different from that of design team and site owner. The SEO understands that a balance of keyword phrases and well-written marketing copy is what helps site attract traffic and convert visitors into buyers. The SEO can also provide advice on best way to add new content. For example, a site that is about food will draw many visitors if it has a section that offers recipes, and a site about music will see many more visitors if it also offers MP3 music files.
More importantly, SEO can provide advice on how to best construct site. SEO consultants understand that sites which have 100% of content in Flash, or which use frames will pose problems during optimization process. The consultant will also understand how to overcome some of SEO limitations that dynamic sites pose.
When design team is aware and involved in optimization process from beginning, a site can be optimized “from ground up” as it is being built, which will involve less time spent by SEO consultant later. This can also provide a level of optimization that is often not practical after a site has already been constructed.
When keyword research is completed before site construction has started, designers can use them when they create new pages and graphics files in order to derive benefit of keyword-rich file names. e.g., Instead of using words like “logo” and “header,” designer can choose keywords that are more descriptive. The SEO can also provide a basic Meta tag set which can be used for site. By including Meta tags in site templates, work of editing each page later can often be avoided.
Introduction to DIY search engine optimisation Written by Rachael Sankey
A lot is made of importance of search engine optimisation and rightly so. If you are serious about getting your website noticed, you will have to consider how your site ranks in search engines. If you decide to optimise your site, you will either do it yourself, or pay someone to do it for you. Doing it yourself can be time consuming but will save you money. If saving money is your priority and you have time, DIY page optimisation IS possible.
You will want to look at three aspects:
Search Engine Submission - This involves visiting search engine websites, finding 'submit URL / site' section - and keying in appropriate information. Some of them offer a free option but this doesn't guarantee inclusion and could take time to see results. The most important one is open directory which will help your ranking with Google, among others. You can also submit your site to Google, Lycos, Yahoo, AltaVista, MSN and many others. Before you do, make sure you know what information you want to give them. You may be asked for a description, so have one ready. No search engine will accept sales style copy in their listings - so keep it plain. Most importantly, read guidelines for each service - it may seem like a drag but could help your submission.
Page Optimisation - Now search engines know you are there, how easy will it be for them to index your site? This stage comes first, of course - so once you register you site, you can sit back and wait - if you do it for free - you WILL have to wait! The easier it is for SEs to index, faster your site will get noticed. So what do you need to take into consideration? Here are a few tips:
Meta Tags and Description: These are tags at top of your page (HTML code) which provide SEs with information about your site. Meta Tags are keywords and phrases, targeted to subject of your site. Make sure yours are relevant to your site content. The Meta Description should reflect what your site is about. Page Title: This shows at top of a browser when your page is viewed. Make sure it's relevant, has a few good keywords - and is different on every page on your site. Site content: This should go without saying - make your site content relevant, useful and accurate. Reflect this in your keywords and title. Links: Any internal links should have relevant link text or Alt-text tags if they are graphic. Page Rank & Back Links - This relates mainly to Google - possibly most important search engine on 'net. Once indexed, Google assigns each page a 'page rank'. You can see what page rank a site has by downloading Google toolbar. PR is given as a rank of 0 - 10, 10 being high. Page rank relates to number of links (votes) Google can detect that point to your site. You can right click (IE6) and select 'backward links' on a website to see who links to it. As a result, many sites now engage in sport of link building. This can have its drawbacks, if you end up linking to a 'bad neighbourhood'. If you want to build links - follow a few guidelines: