20 SEO and Web Design Points Every Webmaster Should Consider

January 10, 2011
by Conor Treacy

    SEO and Web Design_Big Red SEOAt Big Red SEO, we are huge believers in education, and ensuring our clients have all resources needed to provide a searchable website that is user friendly. Several business owners make the mistake of only paying attention to the visual aspects of their website design. The following are some of the more important items to consider when it comes to Omaha SEO and web design for your site.

     

    1. Site Maps.  This is one of the most overlooked items on a website!  Google and other search engines use sitemaps to navigate through your site and find information.
    2. When you’re reading articles, check the date of the article.  There’s so much information that has changed in the past ten years.  Something which was true in 2000 may no longer be true today.  Check the dates and use your judgement.  Get a second source opinion.
    3. Don’t use flash for the entire website! While flash looks good, it is of no use to Google.  Much like a picture, Google just doesn’t index it with SEO or Omaha SEO in mind.
    4. Turn off the audio.  How many times have you had your speakers on, click to a website, and get blasted out of your chair with intrusive music or audio?  If someone wants to hear music, give them the option but don’t force it down their throat.  And if you do want to have your three year old’s rendition of Happy Birthday played by force on your site, at least have a mute button.  Many people surf the web while at work.
    5. Popup Windows.  Turn off the Pop-up or Pop-unders.  Search engines are smart enough to detect these and will ignore them, so all you’re doing is annoying your visitor!
    6. Title Meta Tag.  The title should be after the post title.  Have a look on our site for examples.  You want the post title first so that it captures your visitors attention.
    7. Make sure images are optimized.  Your home page shouldn’t be more than 200kb.  Images should be used to accent the website and information.
    8. Use CSS. It’s a standard in 2011 and allows for easy scaling of your site for those that want to zoom in and out.  It also makes your overall page size smaller and faster for downloading.
    9. Periodically test links going out and coming into your sites. Google webmaster can be a good resource. Another good, free resource that can be used is XenuLink Checker.
    10. Always give an image some meaningful name and don’t forget the alt tag. Image name is used for Google Image search, this can bring in some traffic for you.  Also, if for whatever reason the image can’t display, at least the description will display.  Remember, search engines can’t view pictures, so if you describe your image you get bonus points.
    11. Slugs in blogs.  This is the URL for your pages.  Use the Post title in your URL, and maybe the Category, but leave off the date.  The date does no good in SEO.  Have a look at our URL and see that we use the page title in the URL and no dates or page numbers.
    12. Google has abandoned Meta Keywords. However, it’s still good to do them as other search engines use them and it allows you to focus on the page, too.  Other Meta Tags such as Title and Description are still important on Google.
    13. If you’re running an online store, you should have several payment methods and not just Google Checkout or PayPal.  Many websites who offer only PayPal as an option are often looked at as a “cheap” or “very small businesses” which overprice their items for sale.  Get a merchant account, it’s less than $30/month!
    14. Navigation.  Your navigation should be easy to use and see.  Bread Crumbs are also a very nice way to handle navigation.
    15. Google has a Starter Guide for Search Engine Optimization (Omaha SEO).  At the very least, you should read through this guide – Download SEO Starter Guide.
    16. Article submission is good, but only if you have enough articles and valuable content that article directories want.  If you don’t have at least 30 articles, don’t submit.
    17. PageRank and Link Juice is the same no matter what the domain extension is.  A link from a .COM website has the same inherit value as a link from a .US domain.  What’s important is how popular the website is.
    18. Make sure your website is cross-browser tested. I don’t know why, but some webmasters still do not fully test their sites in various browsers. This is extremely important in any SEO or Omaha SEO Campaign.
    19. GeoTargeting (Geographic Targeting) is used by Google every day.  Google displays LOCAL results first when possible.  When you’re using languages and different sites, set them up as example.fr, example.co.uk, example.de.  It’s easier for a search engine to rank you in the various countries.  Domain extension is preferred over subdomains or folders.
    20. Submitting your site to directories are good but FFA (Free For ALL) pages with thousands of links does you no good.  You want quality links pointing to your site, the fewer on a page, the better.

    One Final Bonus

    If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is! Don’t buy into the hype of “guaranteed first page” or “$5,000 in 24 hours through adsense” type claims.  Sure this MAY have worked at one time or another, but the reality is this; there’s hundreds of scientists at Google who monitor and invent ways to stop people from exploiting search engine results and methods.  There’s no secret to SEO, it’s a lot of hard work and a lot of time.  Taking shortcuts will likely get your site banned from Google.

    Contact Big Red SEO Today!

    Big Red SEO is listed as one of the front runners for SEO Services in Omaha, Nebraska. We maintain websites for users all over the United States, but due to regular speaking engagements and activities in the Omaha Community, most of our SEO business is localized.  If you’re considering SEO in Omaha or elsewhere, check out Big Red SEO! Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have! We would love to help.

    Conor Treacy

    About

    Conor Treacy has been in the SEO game since the mid-90's when SEO hadn't yet come into full fruition. He spends most of his days performing website audits, reading and writing SEO blogs and industry related material. The rest of his time is consumed with correcting people on their invalid and blackhat ways. The SEO world has changed in recent years, there's a lot of disinformation on the web!

    6 comments

    1. Conor
      |

      We had a question about Bread Crumbs and what was meant by them;

      Remember the story of “Hansel and Gretel” and how they used a trail of bread crumbs to find their way home. This is the same in SEO and web design. Often you’ll see at the top of a page for navigation such as “Home > Marketing > Tools > Free”. FREE is the page you’re currently on, and each of the others are navigation landing pages. This method is also sometimes referred to as the “trail of crumbs.”

      Using this method will give you an extra bonus in SEO as you’re getting keywords from your navigation on individual pages also.

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    3. |

      I’ve also noticed that a lot of webmasters do not test cross browser. One question – how far back would you cross test in IE versions?

      I do agree that the best long term SEO strategy is to demonstrate consistent organic growth.

      Thanks for the tips.

      • admin
        |

        When we do testing on websites, we go back 2 versions of browsers. IE6 had a long run but thankfully these days, there’s very few people using it. As of August 2011, IE6 currently has a 3% share of the browser market and IE7 has only a 5% share of the browser market. While IE9 is out now, IE8 still has more than 25% market share. Here’s a site that I use regularly to check versions and density in the market – http://gs.statcounter.com/

    4. Grism Adams
      |

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