Basic Tips About SEO and Website Usability

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Search engine optimization, or SEO, is very important in today’s online world. Basically, it is the way how your website is picked up and categorized by the search engines.

How does this work?When it comes to SEO, keywords are your best friend. The search engine crawlers, or spiders, trawl through contents on the web, picking up keywords and meta tags (these are tags that appear in the HTML code), so when a search is made, the search engines compile a list of search results and rank them by relevance and popularity. Every web page should be created with specific keywords in mind.

Of course a website cannot be made up of just text – because that would be boring. Adding images or videos makes your website more visually appealing. A good tip for adding video is to first upload it to YouTube, and then to use the embed code to add it onto your website. This serves two purposes.

Firstly, you will get views from both the search engines and YouTube, and secondly, uploading from external websites means that the loading time for your website will be quicker and it won’t eat up your bandwidth or server space (if you do not have unlimited server space).

Social Networking

Another great way to increase your website’s popularity is to add social networking buttons to it. Addthis is a quick and easy way to add buttons. Sharing buttons make it easy for your visitors to share information – people are more likely to share your links if the option is available!

Flash Animations


Another thing that a lot of websites have is flash animation. Flash effects can make a website look awesome, but beware – fancy animations can cause your website to have an extremely slow loading time. This is not desirable, as it is very easy for a visitor to click the “back” button and head right over to your competitor’s website.

Fonts

One other design feature that you may be contemplating is the font and color of your text. While you might be tempted to choose a fancy font, it is best to stick to something that is easy on the eye. Verdana in size 12 is said to be the best font to use.

Also, it is important to use colors that are easy to read and to always make sure that any links that you have are underlined and a different color. Hiding links by making them blend with the rest of the text or by making them the same color as your background goes against the search engines’ algorithm.

Keywords

Keyword stuffing, where keywords are excessively overused in order to be ranked higher by search engines, also violates search engine terms. This behavior is known as black-hat SEO (think of the old cowboy movies – white-hat is good, and black-hat is bad) and could get your website blacklisted by the search engines.

Layout Of Sites

The layout of your site should be easy for your visitors to navigate. It should be structured in 3 tiers. The homepage (tier 1) should lead to tier 2 pages, which then lead to 5-10 tier 3 pages. Generally, it should not take more than 2 clicks for a visitor to get to any page on your website.
Always remember that you have both human visitors and search engine spiders to cater to; so your website must be friendly for both!

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