Friday, August 13, 2010

Making Your Site Work Well For Usability And Search Engine Optimization


12:22 AM |

When people are first creating their website usually there is very little consideration given to how your website should look or be laid out to make it perfect for SEO so here are a few quick tips to help set you off on your way. Firstly I am going start off on the SEO side of things because I believe this is the most important because if you don get the traffic you don get get paid.

I am going to assume for the purposes of this article that you have done some previous keyword research for your site and have decided which keywords you are going to target. To begin with you want to mention these keywords on your home page as much as possible without it looking silly. So usually I would recommend trying to make about 5% of the words on your page your targeted keywords. Also make these keywords emboldened, this may seem like a strange thing to do but it does slightly increase their weight in the search engines. This next point is one for both usability and SEO and that is that readers and google search spiders generally view a website in a Z pattern starting at the top left and ending towards the bottom right. It might be an idea to place your targeted keywords at these locations.

That’s all really for the layout but a couple of other onsite SEO techniques like changing your tag line at the top of the web browsers and choosing the right domain name will also help your cause.
How To Make Your Site Friendly User

Ok now a few general points on how to make your site easy to use for your visitors. This isn’t needed for all websites but I would recommend it for most and that is a google search engine widget or tool on your page. People are all about the easiest and best ways to search around the internet and if you give them the option to search from your site it just means that they stay there for a little longer at least.

When you are placing adverts on your website this can create a bit of a conflict between the usability of your site and the best placements for your adverts. To solve this problem I would recommend that you do a 50/50 split i.e use the premium space half for adverts and half for options which allow the user to navigate your website better. This of course can depend on how many visitors you are getting. The usual places where adverts make the most money are the 125×125 placement banners at the top of the first page so this place should have an ad. You could however sacrifice a placement on the right or left hand side for something like your most recent product/post/service etc.

The most important things to remember throughout this whole process is that it is an ongoing process. Once you have set up a site that you like the look of and think is SEO friendly, create another one and run a side by side campaign so that you can see which one performs better in terms of earnings. You should use analytics to see where people are going on your site and what adverts they are clicking on. There are a lot of things to keep track of but just keep in mind that this is an ongoing process and you have to target it to your customers not yourself.

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