Whether your company is large or small, you must have a web presence that works for your business. Commanding a powerful presence on the World Wide Web has become a table stake. A company’s web design details and web presence has replaced a wide array of communication vehicles. Nowadays customers, suppliers, and even potential investors form a first impression from a company’s web presence.
And it’s not just the homepage – a good cover followed by unfriendly navigation, hard to decipher visuals, or simply too many graphic images will ruin a visit to a website.
Next, you have to be sure that the front end, “the market engine,” is tied tightly to all of your company’s back-office functions. Everything must work smoothly so that billing, customer care and relationship management, inventory, shipping, and even sales can use your web presence as an integrated business tool.
So in a nut shell, here is basically the steps to great web design when you tie it into SEO and SEM. Getting yourself a favorable listing in search engines is a matter of following these two steps when designing your website pages.
[dropcap]1[/dropcap] Use your TITLE Tag Properly!
Most search engines place a lot of weight on the content of your TITLE tag. Your page’s title is very important and you should design it properly. Do not set the title of your page to something totally unrelated to your site. For example: “Welcome!” or “Thank You For Visiting!” simply will not do.
When surfing the net I often see plenty of pages where the title is “Untitled Document” or “Title Your Page Here” – the page owner hadn’t even specified a title at all. It’s unfortunate because those pages are missing out on potential search engine ranking.
Your TITLE tag should clearly represent what your site is about. If you’re building a page that talks about your company’s products, the title should thoroughly reflect that topic. “Our Products” or “Product Listings” is a bad choice for a page title – people are probably going to be searching for your company by name or by the type of product you sell. Thus, using our website as an example: “Vancouver Web Design, SEO Vancouver, BC Web Design”. What ever business you are in, make sure your title tag reflects exactly who you are and what you do.
Also consider using keywords in your TITLE tag. For example, let’s say you’re selling real estate. You might want to make the title of your main page “Seattle Real Estate, Real Estate Agency in Seattle, Listing Homes, Property and Commercial listing for the Seattle Area!” As you can see, this title gets right to the point about the topic of the page. It also uses your keyword: “Seattle Real Estate,” and more specifically “Real Estate Listings in Seattle” (twice). Someone searching for “Real Estate” is more likely to find YOUR page than a page titled “Homes For Sale.”
[dropcap]2[/dropcap] Keywords aren’t just for META tags
Over the years, META tags have been hawked as “the” way to get good listings in the search engines. Early on, this was true – when META tags were first created in the HTML specifications, search engines put a lot of weight on them. Several years ago you could literally boost yourself to the top of the search results by including repetitive keywords in your META tags.
However, META tags have now become the most abused part of web pages. People routinely add META keywords to their page which have no relevance to their site’s topic. For example, many webmasters use META keywords like “pics” or “mp3” even if their site has nothing to do with those categories. They’re hoping that people who search for hot topics will stumble across their page and stop by.
Those tactics do not work anymore. META tags now carry a surprisingly low weight in all of the popular search engines. What is important now is the overall content of your page. Search engines have algorithms (methods) for determining what your web pages are really about. These algorithms are closely-guarded secrets, for obvious reasons. However, they all focus on one thing these days: the REAL content in your web page. If you create a web page about “The CompanyABC Business Opportunity ” but include META keywords like “free pics” and “download music,” your site’s not going to be indexed under the topics you defined in your keywords. In fact, it might be rejected altogether!
Not only should you make sure that your META keywords tag appropriately reflects the content of your page, you should ensure that the text content of your page contains a good distribution of your keywords. Mention your company name often (and evenly) throughout your site.
For Example: “Our Company is the best company around. Imagine working at home and being your own boss – Our Company makes it possible! Your potential for earnings with Our Company is unlimited. Our Company allows you to sell as much as you want or as little as you want. The amount of money you make with Our Company depends on how much effort you put into your Our Company business.” Using your company name strategically and through out your web page is going to get you much higher rankings when someone performs a search for Our Company.
As you can see, the keyword (Our Company) is evenly distributed. Don’t try bunching up your keywords at the end of the page, that doesn’t work and may prevent you from being listed at all. You should concentrate on using keywords as part of your site’s content, and spreading them evenly throughout your text.
As you can see, these two steps are pretty simple. It’s all a matter of incorporating them into the design of your web pages – or redesigning your pages to fit, if your site is already live and submitted. There is never any guarantees that your website will end up #1 in the search results, but I do guarantee that if you follow these two steps you’ll achieve better overall rankings.
Above all else, avoid common spammer tactics like grouping keywords at the bottom of your page, or trying to “hide” keywords by making the text the same color as your page’s background. Search engines look for these methods and will often disqualify your page if they encounter what they think is spam.