The Basics of Search Engine Optimization
The formula for webmasters looking for
success with the search engines is ROMM (Research, Optimize,
Monitor, and Maintain). Here are some helpful tips and
details about each portion of the ROMM concept...
Before you even begin your website design,
give thought to the navigation, structure, graphic design,
and formatting of the URLs. Webmasters should not only
have experience as a graphic artist, but should also
be well versed in Search Engine Optimization. SEO should
not be an afterthought! Websites that are designed with
SEO in mind will have more success in ranking well in
the search engines.
The link depth in a website should really
not exceed 3-4 levels. Any links that are deeper than
that (requiring more than 5 clicks from the original
domain) will be more difficult, if not impossible, for
search engines to crawl.
Design the navigation so that it is intuitive
to the user, and will lead them through the website.
Use a navigation structure that will allow the website
to expand as the content is added. Once you have the
general website architecture worked out, determine how
often and where new content will be added to the website.
The color scheme of the website should
be designed in such a way that valuable content or keywords
are not hidden or obscured from the viewer.
Always keep in mind that each and every
page on a website should have a unique page-specific
title and description. The webpage title and description
should always relate to the content of the page. Webmasters
should make every effort to create continuity between
a web landing page and the keyword or keyword phrase
that the page is trying to emphasize.
If there are keywords or headings on the
webpage that require specific emphasis, use "header"
tags to emphasize the words.
Each page should have a different focus,
and contain unique content. Redundant content, with
only minor changes to emphasize specific keywords, are
frowned upon by search engines.
Webmasters are encouraged to use image
"alt tags" to describe the image or link that the image
refers to. Keywords should be used judiciously.
When formatting URLs, use hyphens rather
than underscores. Use related keywords and hyphenated
keyword phrases to name sub-pages on a website. In other
words, a page containing this article might be named
Try to avoid excessively long URLs. If
the webpages within a website are being dynamically
created, avoid using "ID=" in the URL, as many search
engines will not spider the pages -- they will often
assume that the 'ID=' refers to a session ID and does
not refer to unique content.
After launching a website, it is important
to evaluate the status of the site in the various search
engines. Keep in mind that major search engines will
often delay ranking a new website until the search engine
deems the website "trustworthy". Build links to the
website and monitor the site's progress in major search
engines for critical keywords and phrases.
Take a look at the web logs to determine
the popularity of pages within a website. Review the
website logs on a regular basis to determine any trends.
Maintain the website by optimizing webpages
that are not performing well, and by adding new content
on a regular basis. Websites should be constantly expanding,
and should be updated regularly.
If the new content is something you wish
to have spidered quickly, be sure to add it to a web
page that is already spidered on a regular basis.
Successful websites require constant monitoring,
maintenance and optimization.
About the Author:
Sharon Housley manages marketing for FeedForAll Feed
Editor software for creating, editing, publishing
RSS feeds and podcasts. In addition Sharon manages marketing
for RecordForAll audio
recording and editing software.