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4 Blunders to avoid your New Website from being Search Engine Unfriendly

Redeveloping your website can be a real challenge when you assume your web designers and developers understand search engine marketing. Unfortunately this is not usually the case. Most designers are great at making pretty pictures and developers are great at making great technology. But pretty pictures and great technology don’t necessarily give you great search engine results. I have come across many designers and developers in my time and following are the main problems I encounter when building a site that you want to rank well in the search engines.

  1. Too much Flash with keywords inside it – Websites with too much flash kill the opportunity to gain great results in the engines. The flash also contains all of the keyword text. This is exceptionally unfriendly to the search engine as there is no way to browse the text. The designer will tell you, “We will be using the latest technology in flash, you will be cutting edge!” I like flash but only moderate amounts used for promotion or product demonstrations.
  2. No text – Sites that have little or just 1 paragraph of generic text. Google only reads text, pdf’s and word docs. The designer will usually tell you, “Your web design has visual impact because of all the flash.” Unfortunately it will have no impact with Google.
  3. No Sitemap – There wasn’t a sitemap. Some developers will tell you that this is just old school and you don’t need it anymore. I assure you that adding a sitemap to your website will improve search results.
  4. No web page theming – Firstly a definition, Web page theming is structuring a website into different sections with specific themes so that a search engine can interpret and rank/categorise the pages accordingly. The search unfriendly sites I see are structured in a manner that is great for human browsers and ignore search engines. I always think about the search engines and the user at the same time and develop a structure which brings about a happy medium. Developing your site into themes and topics allows you to deliver the best site for human and search engine browsers. The read the words and browse and the search engine can categorise your site and browse.

3 Ways to Avoid Developing your New Website into a Search Engine Nightmare

  1. Check the designer and developers Competency of search engine marketing – Ask your web agency if they understand search engine marketing. All of them will say yes because you are talking usually to the main salesperson. Ask to see some result in the search engines of website they have redesigned. Type in the main keywords for the site and see where the site that was redesigned ranks. They are no good if:
    1. No listings – They cant show you a listing
    2. Non competitive terms – the terms which they used to show you results were just the brand name of the product and not a generic keyword. E.g. if they were showing you a Nike site and they typed in “Nike” that is no good. Instead if they typed in “sport shoe” and showed you number 1 listings, then you are on a winner.
  2. Check that the Content Management System is Search Engine Friendly – Ask your agency what CMS(Content Management System) they use. Get them to show you examples of websites they have built using the CMS and what sort of rankings they have achieved in the search engines. A CMS system can make or baek your searhch engine results by the following things:
    1. Too much junk in CMS – If the CMS is dumping huge amounts of content and code into the page, this can ruin your results since Google doesn’t understand code its looking for text.
    2. URL formats not compliant – If the CMS formats the URL and filenames of pages with too many query strings e.g. (ThisGreatPage.aspx?id=pinkelephany&Page=ContactMyMum&Query=NotSearchFriendly) All of those query strings will clog up the search engine and it will assume you are just content spamming and treat each of your webpages as a single page. I.e. the search engine will chop off the querystring elements and just assume that there is one page there, even though the query string elements allow you to see different content.
    Optimal website search strategy is to assign 2 -3 keywords per webpage
  3. Structure your site for the engines – I know the pain you have gone through developing your sitemap and thinking through all of the content that you want the use to look at. What I want you now to do is look at your sitemap and think about all the content you want the search engine to look at. Key things to do:
    1. Choose your keywords – First you need to figure out which keywords you are targeting. Your agency should be able to help you with this if you haven’t done any search engine marketing before.
    2. Choose your high ranking pages – Since you know which keywords you are targeting, you now need to decide which pages you want to target these keywords and rank highly in the search engines. These will need to be specially developed and your internal linking needs to be structured to give these pages the highest number of backlinks.
    3. Homepage vs Subpage organization keyword assignment – The strategy with keyword assignment for web pages is to choose 2 – 3 keywords per page. The normal trap people fall into is assuming their homepage will target all of the keywords. Your homepage needs to be treated just like another page it should have some main generic keywords assigned to it and just target those. (See diagram below)

Optimal strategy for Keyword assignment of website pages

Choosing a competent online marketing agency to build your website

If you are encountering any of the above problems with your current web agency I would suggest building your website with an Online Marketing Agency. The difference is that a web agency can build your site but an online marketing agency can save you money by building your website to be search engine friendly. Save yourself the cost of rebuilding your website and work with an agency that understands how to build a website that is search engine friendly. Contact Freestyle Media, a competent Online Marketing Agency
(http://www.FreestyleMedia.com.au) or call Fred Schebesta on 02 9818 7300 to discuss your website requirements.

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