SEO by Design

SEO: Optimizing Sites for Search Engines

SEO means Search Engine Optimization. All successful websites are “optimized” to help search engines find your site and for the searchers to want to come to you. If your site has been built with SEO in mind, the search engines will find your site, you will make page one and the searchers will click the link to your website.

SEO is Easy

So, want to “optimize” a web site to be search engine and visitor friendly. GREAT IDEA! If you can keep the searcher in mind in every aspect of building a website, you can climb the ranks of the search engines quickly and easily. If you follow the steps listed here, you can build a web site that is traffic driven and search engine optimized.

SEO Takes Patience

Of course, if everyone used good SEO, we all would have a 100,000 (or better) ranked web site. It takes time, patience and, above all, perseverance. Here we will try to help you to not get overwhelmed by the process. Take it one step at a time and don’t get ahead of yourself. Website development involves a lot of steps and you don’t want to take shortcuts to building your e-business.

Questions You Need to Answer

As your own “website builder”, you have found the inspiration for your e-commerce website, here are the steps in the design process:

Develop a Concept: How are you going to serve your visitors’ needs?

Compile a Keyword List: These searched terms are essential content to get your traffic.

Blueprint your Site: Make it logical and flowing from general to specific needs.

Decide on a URL: This rose HAS to be named well.

Monetization: How are you going to make money?

SEO is Service

Before we begin, we all know that everyone searching the internet has one thing in common: they want information. Therefore, serving your visitors the information they want is the best way to make them stay. By giving them the knowledge they desire we gain trust and respect. Wouldn’t you like to have someone you respect and trust in all your business dealings? So would they.

SEO is a Virtue…

If taking the time for good SEO isn’t your “cup of tea,” then you can try other avenues of designing an e-commerce website. Even so, You’ll still want to structure your site so it flows smoothly from point to logical point,

Let’s get started.

Developing a Keyword List

Blueprinting Your Site

Don’t be Pushy

When designing a website, remember that it all flows downhill.   As the visitors go from top (your home page) to the bottom (asking for the money), they develop trust and respect for you. Never be pushy. A great web site design will lead the customer to understanding the processes, and consistently make low-pressure offers of your services.

Help Your Readers

Your home page will have general information about your business, and will only offer answers to questions they might have. Help them understand what’s involved and let them decide where they need to go from there. Here’s where you point them to more solutions in other places in your website. These are your “tier 2” pages.

Example: I want to sell stone tipped spears and arrows to hunters. “Stone Tools” or “Hunting Tools” might be my main concept for the home page. I will only discuss general information here, and only about why stone tipped tools are better than wooden tipped. Most of the links on this page will be aimed at getting the visitors to find complete answers to questions they might have (found elsewhere in my site).

Proper Links

In tier 2, you will have a number of pages, all of them logically divided into categories.  These should answer needs, explain processes, or describe aspects of quality in your products and services. Links from here will usually be to other areas of interest or, if necessary, explain in more detail certain aspects of your business.

Example: My Stone-Tipped Spear and Arrow business “tier 2” sites would be on how to make your own arrow heads, shafts, spears and spear points. Of course, I remind the visitors constantly that it takes practice to produce quality tools, and let them know I can provide these services to them. My links here will be to my supplier’s pages for straight, durable shafts or, perhaps, tools needed to make your own spears or arrows.

In Depth Information…

The last tier you should need in a simple web design will be tier 3, where you take a visitor through some in-depth processes. These aren’t always necessary, and can be excellent places to put more monetization links and tools.

In my tier 3, I explain to my visitor the processes involved with straightening the shafts as well as where to find the best sources for the wood and stone. Most clients won’t get this far, but it is there for those who want to learn. Of course, I offer to take the work out of the process and repeatedly offer them my arrow and spear shafts.

Decide on a URL

Search Engine Optimization begins with a keyword-based URL. The search engines “see” the web address first, and having a name that’s relevant to your marketing concept will cause you to get a higher rank than, say “Alphabet-Sales.com”. The search engines (as well as the visitors) won’t have a clue about what your site is about, and many will just pass it by. Since this aspect of web design is so critical, choose your website URL carefully. It should be short, relevant and, if multiple words are used, separate the words with hyphens. 2-3 words is best.

Almost Done:

The last thing you’ll need to do is make sure all your metadata is in place.  Make sure your page titles, page descriptions and alt text tags are relevant to each page, use a couple of keywords in them, and are written in a manner that encourages further reading. 

That’s All There is!

Once you have this all these basic SEO steps in place, all you’ll need to do is generate some great content for your site and have laid out in appealing ways and filled with keywords that are about your industry.  Google now claims to index the entire internet every day (as of July 2009), so your site will probably be indexed within 24 hours.  If you did your job well, your site should jump in rankings within 1-2 weeks of completion.

Still Not performing Well?

I suggest a third party evaluate your site by getting an SEO Visitor Impact Analysis done, then applying what the professional recommends.

Good luck!

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