Tuesday, 14 July 2020
 
 
Web Design For Search Engines PDF Print E-mail
Search engines don’t give higher rankings for a pretty site, but they do pay attention to what you say and how you say it – make that your priority and the rest will fall into place.

There’s an old saying, “People vote with their pocketbook.” I’d like to suggest they also vote with their apathy.

Current popularity choices are in a constant state of flux. There are times when site visitors seem to respond to flash technology while other times the simple site of flash will cause them to use their back button. They just don’t have the enthusiasm they need to venture through yet another animated flash design.

Sometimes visitors enjoy a stripped down site that is easy to navigate with limited bells and whistles while other times it appears sites with surprises and a graphic intense format captures attention.

The problem is knowing which format is popular at any given time. Sometimes your site design should operate independent of what seems to be gaining the most immediate attention.

I had been told about a site that had information I was interested in. I went to the site was met with a broad range of bells and whistles. I had no idea which function did what, but it looked cool and the sounds were great. I left with a sense of appreciation for complex site design, but never returned because I couldn’t easily find what I needed.

You can develop a site design that is both inviting and easy to navigate. Many web designers feel that you must sometimes sacrifice one for the other, but I’ve never found that to be true.

Web design is a simple mechanism that takes all your work and strains it into a comprehensive, yet condensed, representation of your greatest dreams and fondest hopes.

Sometimes the focus of the site can shift from what is most important in the overall understanding of your business idea to glamorous ways to present the site.

If you take a look you can find sites that seem to be more about looking good than they are about helping a visitor understand the business and products well enough to convert to consumer status.

Brick and mortar stores may give their showroom a facelift from time to time, but they also understand the decorations are not what makes the business. If the decorations are wonderful they may see more visitors, but they may only be interested in seeing what it looks like with little interest in what’s being sold.

In web design the first things to attend to are comprehensive content and easy navigation. Any dressing up of the site can wait until you know what your site will say and how you will get from one location on the site to the next in the fewest clicks (generally no more than two).

Search engines don’t give higher rankings for a pretty site, but they do pay attention to what you say and how you say it – make that your priority and the rest will fall into place.

 
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A Few Mistakes To Avoid When Designing Your Web Site
Be aware of these common pitfalls when designing your site:

• The home page does not quickly tell you what the Web site is all about. You should be able to visit the home page of any Web site and figure out what the site is about, what type of products it sells, or what it is advertising within five seconds.

• The poor use of popup windows, splashy advertising, splash pages (pages with neat animations and sound but which you have to watch for five to ten seconds before you are taken to the real Web site), and other Web design features that draw interest away from your Web site, products, and/ or services.

• Poor Web site navigation. This includes broken hyperlinks, hidden navigation, poor wording of navigational links, links that take you to pages with no links, links that take you to the same Web page, and pages with no links back to the home page (always include a link back to the home page so that regardless of where site visitors are, they can find their way back home!).

• Believing that because you have a Web site, you have a marketing campaign or overall marketing and advertising strategy. You need to understand that your Web site is not your marketing strategy. Your Web site is just a part of your overall marketing strategy, depending on your business goals; for example, if you have a successful restaurant but want to advertise and promote your business on the Web. Creating a Web site is great, but if it is not promoted and advertised, no one will ever find it. By passing out business cards with your Web site URL embossed on them, you are using a traditional marketing campaign to promote your Web site. If you offer a downloadable/ printable coupon from your Web site, you are successfully using your Web site as part of your marketing strategy to meet your goal of increased restaurant sales.

• Failure to attain Web site relevance and content updating. There is nothing more dissatisfying to a Web customer than visiting a Web site that is grossly out of date. Incorrect pricing, products no longer available, dated content, and ancient advertising all signify to the Web site visitor that your devotion to your Web site is suffering greatly. Cramming your pages with non-relevant material will detract the visitor from getting the point of your Web site (the five-second rule mentioned earlier).

• Avoid too many text effects. Forget flashing text, reversing text, gymnastics text, or other eye-popping and dizzying effects, which do nothing more than annoy your site visitor. Don't create a "loud" Web site that contain so many blinking, flashing, twirling, and spinning icons, text, or graphics that visitors are overwhelmed by the effects and under-whelmed by the site content.

• Limit the number of graphics on your Web site so that you don't overwhelm your site visitors with "graphics overload." Don't use animated GIF images on your Web site. These were cool ten years ago, but in today's professional environment, they are just another "loud," annoying distraction that site visitors don't want to see.

• Don't use Microsoft's themes (built-in design templates) when creating a Web site with Microsoft FrontPage. While FrontPage is bashed on a regular basis, we stand by the fact that it can be used to design great Web sites.

• Don't incorporate frames into Web site design. The use of frames within a Web site will drive customers away faster than anything!

• DO incorporate the proper Web site design elements to ensure that your Web site is ready to be found by search engines.