You Can Build it, But Will They Come?Written by Alan Stewart
We have all been there. Our masterpiece is finished, and we sit back and breatha sigh of relief. Finally, and even if you say so yourself, it is really good. So you load it up on your server, and sit and wait for people to come.First you wait for search engines to list your site. You wait a week.. nothing.. then you wait another week.. still nothing. A month goes by, and you see that engines have you listed, but if you do a search using your keywords, your site can't be found. Why is this? Actually, answer is easy. If your site is optimized for your content, and you are using best keywords, logically speaking you should be at top of listings. But, that is not case. Google, Yahoo, and just about every search engine worth mentioning, takes into account how many links point to your site. These are called incoming or backward links. With out them, you are just another web site amongst millions. There are plenty of ways to get links. Some are really good, some are not so good. One of programs on market today for getting links is called Arelis you can check it out hereArelis Link Promotion Or you can visit website after website contacting webmaster asking for a link. Most of these websites require a link back to them. Some are honest,while some are not. They put up a link, for you to see, then in about a week ortwo, take it down, but your link to them is still up there. So after you get links, you have to weekly, or monthly visit all these sites again, to make sure your link is still up there. This can be very time consuming, and if you have any type of life, can be very hard to do on a regular basis. The links you want to get, should be related to what your site is about. If you have a website about flowers, a link from a site about guns, doesn't help you very much. You do want more links pointing to your site, but they should be related links. Unrelated links do account for something in their philosphy, but not very much. EnterShared Link Traffic The idea behind this is so simple, it is amazing that others have not done it.
Ten Steps To A Well Optimized Website - Step 6: Human TestingWritten by Mary Davies
Welcome to part six in this search engine positioning series. Last week we discussed importance of internal linking. In part six we will cover obvious and yet often overlooked importance of its appeal to a real-live human being.
While not directly related to SEO it is so often overlooked in quest for higher search engine positioning that it has become a fundamental step in our ten step series.
Over this series we will cover ten key aspects to a solid search engine positioning campaign.
The Ten Steps We Will Go Through Are:
- Keyword Selection
- Content Creation
- Site Structure
- Internal Linking
- Human Testing
- Link Building
- The Extras
Step Six - Human Testing
The most important part of your website is to reach visitor. You have taken all steps to create a great design and added SEO elements to your site, you have created perfect online presence. Now to see if all that hard work has attained main goal, to reach visitor and steer them in direction most desirable.
First things first, now's time to check for careless errors that happen along way, things like spelling mistakes, paragraph breaks, incorrect wording etc. Once you have given your new beauty a once over pass it around and get others to do same, preferably people who have never read content before. The problem with relying on yourself to proof read is that you already expect what you are going to see and do not read it in its entirety way someone would at first glance.
Once text is out of way have some fresh eyes again take a look at site. Are there images that they find appealing, unappealing, distracting? Is there anything in layout of content that is too busy or confusing? Once you've done a check of visual appeal of site you will move onto navigation.
When having someone test your site navigation it is again very important to use fresh eyes, make sure these people have no idea what to expect or where to find anything - this way they will be free to follow your beautifully laid out website or fumble and stumble into some dark hole of your site, lost screaming for help. Okay, perhaps I may have given worst-case scenario however, how many of us can say we have never been in that horrid place? These human testers will be sure to let you know just how your site navigation works for them. They are average visitor and if they find what they are looking for easily then you can congratulate yourself on having such great intuition and move on to rest of tests to come. If there are problems in navigation I cannot stress enough how very important it is that you address these immediately. You must get desired information across as easily and quickly as possible.
While on topic of navigation let's discuss different possibilities of placement of your main navigation. The majority of sites out there either have their main nav on left or top of page. Is there one that is better? Well, they both have their perks, either is good, anything else is bad. The majority of visitors look in these two places to navigate because that is where it always is. There will be other navigation elements throughout your site that will not be listed in your main navigation area, these internal text and image links should be well placed and easily followed IN BOTH DIRECTIONS. It's great to give visitor option to check out information further into your site but you really want to be sure they can get back to where they came from, especially if you are sending them off to information and away from product pages. Ways to achieve this are to have information open in a new window, add a "back to previous page" link or add breadcrumb navigation. What you choose will depend on overall structure of your site as well as size of your site. If main nav includes all of your pages (as in some small sites) then there is no need to add these nav elements however in larger sites it is easy for a visitor to get lost if navigation has not been tried and tested and designed specifically for ease of use. All in all, play with navigation and test and retest it until there are no problems. The site navigation is so very important - your visitors MUST be able to browse through your site easily and without frustration.