Friday, January 12, 2007

7 habits of highly effective websites

Do you have a website and want to make sure you are doing all you can to get the search engines to be your friend? Here are seven things I've found out over time that I'd like to pass along. I hope they'll help you, no matter what kind of website you have.

Put your contact information and phone number at the bottom of every page.

2. Have a Privacy Policy (seems ridiculous for some sites, but the search engines like it).

3. Have a SiteMap. I found a site that creates one for you easily and then you just insert the code...

4. Put "ALT Text" for all your photos or pictures of products (the search engines can't see pictures so you need the descriptions so your site will come up in searches.

5. Keep all text a normal size, not too small and not light in color. The search engines are suspicious of light or too-small text...don't hide any text by making it the same color as your background. Search engines basically kick you out for being deceptive if you do that.

6. Boost awareness by using a hit counter. is a free hit counter and you can use it to see what search terms are bringing people to your website...helps you figure out where they're coming from. Some site counter things have 'invisible' tracker code as an option, don't use the invisible type...again the search engines are suspicious of it and it'll bite you in the boo-hiney. I pay extra attention to the Exit Pages...the page a person has left from...because it often points out something is not good about that page or a link that's not working, and I can go in and fix it.

7. Don't have more than one domain name pointing to the same destination. Search engines consider it a duplicate, and they usually end up kicking out your entire site because they do not want a bunch of duplicated information. Makes sense, right?
I had two going to mine, didn't know better!

Keep in mind that you don't have to do all this stuff at once, just do one here and one there, and before you know it, you'll have your basics in, then you can keep tweaking it later. I don't think a website is ever truly 'done,' and it's probably good to update it every once in awhile so the information will be fresh for the search engines. They like that...and once you get your sitemeter going, you'll see when the metacrawler comes by and picks up your site. I think of it as some kind of critter that needs website info to chew on. :)

If you find any of this helpful or have another tip to add, please post it! (It's not necessary to create a blog in order to post here).


1 comment:

Barbara said...

I've found that adding text links within the text, not just navigation bars helps a lot.
I am also finding that although having an actual visible email address may be best for visitors, it means a lot of spam in your mailbox. Catch 22?

I just re-designed my website and found you sitemap tool awesome, I was putting it off because of the work involved of doing it by hand.


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