All our websites are designed from the very beginning to be search engine friendly
Location, location, location is what real estate investment is all about. A caravan in the hills or a palace in the slums?
The fact is that no matter how good your website may look, or how excellent your products and services, if nobody knows where to find it it may as well not exist at all.
It is therefore worth designing a business website to be 'findable' by all of the major search engines.
Search engine friendly design is about considering the needs of search engine technology when constructing your e-commerce web site, and engineering search engine accessibility into it from the start.
To give your website the best chance of getting good results we always ensure that:
- all pages are accessible by search engines
- important graphics have alternate text representations
- templates and form work use standard HTML
- important HTML 'tags' are used effectively
What search engines want
The single most important thing to know about search engines is that they can only see text; they cannot see any other kind of data. They cannot see graphics, colour, animations or videos of any kind and they can't hear music or sound. Even if they could they would then need to interpret the information which is even more difficult to do.
Knowing this we can build a website in such a way to minimise the use of graphics in critical key areas and replace them with text which the search engines can see and index (add to their internal databases of web sites and keywords).
The future of search engine technology
Many computers can now recognize speech, but they still don't understand what is being said. Some computers can recognize faces and even fingerprints but they really don't understand what they are seeing; they can only compare the faces with what's in their database.
In future, search engines will be able to see and hear and understand all kinds of media but this level of cognition will take decades (or longer) to develop. The Internet will also need to be many orders of magnitude faster than it currently is. Until then, we need to make it as easy as possible for the search engines to examine and build relationships with our web sites.
Building search engine friendly architecture
It is much easier to build a website which is search engine friendly than it is to rebuild a website which is not. Some of the things to consider are the way one implements:
- the navigation menu items
- the banner graphics which traditionally run across the top of pages
- footer information at the bottom of pages
- graphics and photographs
One simple way to cope with a graphics intensive site is to supply all of the graphics with special html code that translates the graphic into text for the search engines (and also for visually impaired visitors). This is not as good as using text but it's better than nothing.
Other things we can do is to have high-quality, consistent information architecture on the site using a carefully designed hierarchy. The deeper this hierarchy is the more difficult it is for the search engines to penetrate to the lower levels. It therefore makes sense to not put pages of critical nature in these lower levels, or better yet, construct the website so that it is not too deep to begin with.
Many websites today are constructed using database technology. In order to make this work you often see arcane symbols trailing on the end of the address such as: http://www.vidoni.com.au/dyna.php?id=654&ct=yes.
If these addresses are not constructed properly search engines balk at reading them, and so the page is ignored. Ignored pages are invisible on the Internet and if they contain important sales information, opportunities can be lost.
You will find that the majority of our websites use text in all search engine critical areas. For those that don't, we have provided alternative pathways to the different pages on the site which search engines can easily see and follow.
To us, a website should look good and be functional; it should, above all, be visible and accessible to search engines to generate the life blood of online business - traffic; this is where our clients ultimately get a return on their investment.