I’ve been a little slack of late with my writing, that and I have been busy working on other projects around the site i.e. NeedMoreHits (keep an eye on your inbox for more information)
So, I was walking down the street looking for some inspiration about what I should be barking on about this time around and then it came to be .. the fundamentals, the simple stuff we STILL sometimes miss when moving “online”.
As time goes on we’re all getting so caught up in the latest social networking buzz that we seem to forget the fundamentals that need to be covered before we run off and twitter about how we can better use Facebook to build our linked in profile with the help of blogging about WEB 3.0.
I’ve taken the liberty of compiling a
short list of the simple web things we must consider when and during
and after website optimization and development:
A site FULL of
flash – Sure flash looks great and can deliver a media experience
that’s far more interesting than static HTML, but there’s one
fundamental problem; Search engines still find it difficult to index
websites made entirely out of flash aka your site could be invisible to
the search engines. Options include embed some flash into your HTML
website OR provide both a flash and HTML version of the pages.
site FULL of images – apart from image optimization via naming the
image file correctly and using alt tags, how else are you going to
drive organic search traffic? You need raw text for the search engines
Unique page titles for each and every page of your
website, it frustrates me that I’m still finding great looking sites
that use the SAME URL title across all pages. A page or URL title is
designed to describe the topic of the page so use it – tell the reader
what the page is about in the title.
Simple and correct
formatting of page content – people, USE your heading tags <H1>
<h2> etc … and do it PROPERLY. I suggest ONE <H1> per
page! Follow the correct hierarchy for headings and sub headings!
– These are nothing but a pain in the bum. We don’t need them and they
look UGLY! Not to mention that search engines have great difficulty
indexing content with in a frame.
Do you have a shopping cart on
your website? Think about this: A visitor is browsing through your
website and see’s a great product for themselves, at the same time they
want to share this great product with a friend – how are they going to
copy and paste the URL for the product page if your website is using
frames? (If your site is using frames the URL does not change when you
navigate from page to page) Sure they can tell the user to go to
www.yourshop.com but then they have to find the product .. people,
we’re all lazy, make it easy for us and we will buy it!
based navigation – Images are used to click on to direct the user to
another page, often in a site menu. This is not so bad though text
navigation can be much more effective for search engine optimization.
Keep it simple people!
The “Enter Now Page” – people PLEASE what
is the point of having a “Enter Now Page”? (i.e.
http://www.hospitalityadventures.com/ ) so when your visitors get to
your site they have a choice of clicking another link to see what your
all about also giving them the option of leaving because they decide
“nah, I don’t want to enter actually, see ya”.
Long URL’s –
people, make sure your URL / domain is not tooooooooo long. Keep the
domain sort and sweet, it easy to remember and avoids typo’s thus
loosing traffic etc.
Content? – As we all should know by now,
content is KING. I’ve had many people asking why they’re not getting
any traffic to their web site and how they can increase it. YOU NEED TO
WRITE STUFF! Adding new fresh pages to a well structured website is a
great way to attract the attention of the search engines, if they like
it you, you get the traffic!
And finally the two click rule (I
live and die by this simple rule) – From any page on your website you
must be able to access any other page within the site within TWO CLICKS
of your mouse button!
What about an example you ask? How’s about this one: https://www.robotcowboybydj.com.au/
- This website uses frames
- The navigation on the left hand side is image based (with no alt text)
- The domain “robotcowboybydj.com.au” could be shorter plus hard to remember
URL’s lack any meaning e.g.
https://www.robotcowboybydj.com.au/order_frame.html a better example
could have been https://www.robotcowboybydj.com.au/order-form.html
- Each URL title is the same *ggggrrrr*
my rant and in conclusion, I trust that these simple yet valuable
points will prove beneficial, jogging the memory about the fundamentals
of web architecture and search engine optimization.
All web elements
such as flash, frames and glossy images are great, in moderation, if
it’s search engine traffic you’re after often the simplest HTML way is
the best, leave your twittering and social networking till last!