The product of search engine optimization (SEO) is rather simple. A properly optimized site will show up on the first page of a search on pretty much every search engine. It’s an easy-to-understand result, but it takes a lot of work, know-how and components to get there.
SEO is a lot more than keywords and content. How your website was constructed also plays a major part. Search engines run a bit like an assembly line. Each part of your website should reach a certain standard before it gets moved along the line, or further processed for ranking. There are myriads of reasons why your site may get stopped in the queue – and therefore not score as high in searches as you would like it to – and they range from such details as failure to properly identify the market you are after (such as Calgary or Alberta), not providing a site map and getting lazy with ALT tags.
Although their name is pretty cool, search engine optimization experts are not Internet wizards that know secrets nobody else knows. Good SEO requires a lot of research and adaptation, but it is not a mystery. Information on how to properly optimize your website for specific search engines is readily available, and is transparent and relevant. Search engines also supply lots of support, and so if you can’t find an answer to your question simply fire off an email to their team.
The reason why search engines are so helpful isn’t entirely altruistic. Developments in search engines can make it easier for their designers, too, such as offering preference to slimmed down and clean URLs to keep speed up. If everyone employs the behaviours they promote, then the Internet should, theoretically, run even faster and smoother.
To optimize for search engines, ensure your website provides information to search engines in a clean and coherent manner.
Habits of Search Engine Users
Although their competition keeps trying to catch up, Google remains by far the most widely used search engine on the planet. In July 2012, Net Market Share released its findings for search engine usage around the globe, and Google came in at a hefty 83.13 per cent of the market share. Yahoo! came in at 8.4 per cent, Bing has 5.8 per cent of the market, and Baidu (which is the main browser used in China) owns 1.2 per cent of the market.
Interestingly, although Mozilla does not figure in Net Market Share results, an article published in June 2013 on webmastertips.net indicates that Firefox is used by one fifth of Internet users as their primary web browser.
Tools For Web Designers From Major Search Engines
Bing Webmaster Tools: Once signing in you will find advice and tips for getting traffic to your site through Bing. Their report system can scan and recommend work items and also offers research applications to assist in site expansion.
Google Webmaster Guidelines: Runs the gamut through design, content, technical and quality guidelines, then walks you through the proper way of submitting your site to Google (provide a Sitemap). Google appreciates sites with clear design hierarchies, those that make proper use of <title> elements and ALT tags, and those that do their best to keep improving speed and load times.
Microsoft Accessibility Design Guidelines for the Web: Microsoft focuses on the idea of “Accessible Design”, which they break down to five basic principles: flexibility, choice of input methods, choice of output methods, consistency and compatibility. They are generous with their information, and specify a comprehensive list of top tips that includes how to provide useful ALT text for graphics, link text that matters and good keyboard navigation.
Mozilla Style Guide: Although it’s not necessarily tips for designers, Firefox’s Style Guide does submit a good look at the mindset of those at Mozilla. This Style Guide was developed to assist those using Mozilla software to develop community sites, and if you drill down you’ll find such details as how to properly refer to customers (Mozilla prefers the terms “users”), and what should be capitalized and what shouldn’t.
Safari – Creating Compatible Web Content: Safari clarifies their priorities in this document, which stresses the importance of using current web standards (HTML 4.01 and HTML 5, XHTML 1.0, etc.) as well as employing effective security features. They ask that designers avoid framesets in lieu of columns and blocks and to make your pages as device-friendly as possible.
Yahoo! Content Quality Guidelines: Yahoo! also emphasizes the importance of quality content and design aimed at offering significance for human usage – not the actions of search engines. Some tips include avoiding pages that only redirect, pages with identical or virtually identical content and pages that use excessive or inappropriate keywords.
Emphasize Web Design
The Internet’s culture of openness demands substance, and we at Emphasize Design are as passionate about our business as you are about yours. We provide a complete online marketing package, and can optimize your website, improve your content, boost your search engine rankings, tweak your design and function plus earn you new clients.