Search Engine Optimization
No matter how good your website looks, it won't do you any good if no one can find it. Here are a few things you can do to help make your site more visible to the all important search engines:
- This is a tag in the head section of the site, and appears at the top of the browser.
- Use specific, descriptive terms of your product or service. Think of what potential customers will type in to find a site like yours. Include the city and state if you are a business in a certain area. Place keywords earlier in the description.
- Make sure each page has a unique title.
- Meta tags are also in the head area and list keywords and a description for each page.
- Description—Make sure each page has a unique description with specific key phrases. Again include geographic region if you are targeting a specific region. Avoid general works like music; use specific keywords like original movie scores.
- Keywords—Choose keywords and phrases that someone is likely to enter when searching for the products and/or services you offer in Google or Bing. The key is targeted keywords, not general ones. Try to keep your list to a dozen or so; otherwise you may look like you are spamming and will be ignored.
- Robots—Allow robots to index your site and request they revisit however often you plan to update your site.
- Do not use a splash page. They were cool in the 90's, but useless now. The front page content is important. List the major products and services you offer. You may even want a few testimonials.
- Important headings should be used and placed in header tags, <h1></h1>.
- Place unique keywords and phrases in these that you used in your page title and description.
File Name and Content
- Google places importance on file names. Don't use generic names like main.htm, orderinfo.htm, and just an email address for contact. Creating a unique page for each product, service, or aspect of your business, and name it after that aspect specifically (such as woodwind_reed_repairs.htm, musical_instrument_sales.htm, etc.)
- Don't make them sentences or too long, but what potential visitors are typing into the search box to look for.
Then on each page have a two or three headings (Like Early Double Reed Service) in <h1></h1> tags and put a paragraph or two under each heading using lots of keywords (woodwinds, clarinets, flutes, oboe, french horn, etc.) talking about how they work, where they are available, how they can break, how often they need maintenance, etc. so the page is a really good resource for that topic, almost like an encylopedia article, but much more interesting.
Links and Visits
- Google places a lot of weight on links to a site from other sites. Try to get other sites to link to yours, either by asking them or by having such good content they just add you.
- Links from more popular sites rank better than links from less popular sites.
- The more visits your site gets, the higher he will rank which is a bit of a catch-22.
Avoid classic tricks that Google looks out for such as long lists of keywords and frequent uses of keywords that are forced into the paragraphs. Make sure the paragraphs sound good to a human reader and make sense. Make sure the headings are relevant to the content and make sense and are not just strings of key words.
Google doesn't tell anyone what their algorithms are, and they change them often, so there's no formula, but these suggestions should help.
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Elements of Art
Principles of Design
Essential Reading & Online Resources
Web Design & Development
Lettering & Typography