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How people actually find and use my web site? And what is 'Search Engine Optimization' anyway?

Search Engine Optimization in Web Site Design

by Lynn Eriksen 

Search Engine Optimization is often referred to as a special service or a unique feature that makes your web site standout from the rest. However, must of this is just hype. In reality, Search Engine Optimization is a marriage of simple marketing principles and good web design.

Choose Your Words Carefully

Search Engine Optimization involves choosing key phrases to build the contents of your web site around as well as following a set of good practice web design principles. You want to search engine optimize more than just your home page, but every page on your web site where you want to attract visitors. Here are a few principles to follow:

  • Use search engine optimization participles on multiple pages of your web site. You can search engine optimize your home page, product pages, articles and more.
  • Each web page that is search engine optimized need to focus on a single key phrase. Using the key phrase several times helps the page get indexed correctly by search engines.
  • Use the key phrase in your page title, description, image labels and body copy.
  • Make sure you don't forget the page title and description. This is what people see about your page in search engines.

Keep Your Web Design Simple

While aesthetics are important, it is the structure of your web site that allows users to navigate your web site effectively on arrival. A site that implements search engine optimization principles will have users arriving on pages other than your home page, and these visitors should be presented with clear navigation choices. Here are a few principles to follow:

  • Always keep your navigation in the same place. If your main navigation is at the top, keep it in the same place on all pages.
  • Make sure your users can always find your home page and other common pages such as 'contact us' and 'about us'.
  • Use common labels for links. For example, use 'contact us' for your contact page and 'about us' for your about page.
  • Use 'breadcrumb' links where appropriate. (See the 'Home > Articles' link layout at the top of this page as an example. )

Your Web Site is Never Done

Once your web site is online you need to keep working to making it useful for your visitors and search engines. Work to keep your new items current, new products on the home page and share your knowledge with others via articles. If something is not linked directly from your home page, make sure it's linked to a page off your main navigation. Search engines will use the same links to find content that you give your customers, and you want to keep all your content available to found readers and indexed by search engines. Over time your expanding web site content can attract more visitors help move your organization or business forward.


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