I recently went to lunch with the Owner and VP of Sales for a local web development company in my area. My interest in meeting with them was two fold:
1. determine if they could develop a website for me that I’m interested in having built and
2. see if they had any design clients that would be interested in having my company do SEO for them.
In meeting with them I found the answers I was looking for, but also found that these two fellas were also very interested in learning what I know about onsite SEO. I find that is the case so often…design guys not knowing anything about onsite SEO. You see most developers, programmers, designers that received a degree in school never really learn about SEO. It’s not a subject covered in the course curriculum of most colleges so if they know it they have learned it on their own, and if they don’t know it then their design clients are getting the short end of the stick by ending up with site that is not search engine friendly.
With that in mind I suggest these 5 strategies below to help those designers that don’t know.
1. Include unique page titles and meta data for each page on the site. While meta descriptions and keywords don’t hold the clout they did years ago they are still important and should reference your targeted keywords for the given page. I always recommend keeping the title simple and just using the targeted words in your title such as: Money Management – Envelope Budgeting Software – Online Budget.
2. Make sure you use 301 redirects properly and apply them to all URL’s that need to be pointed back to your http://www.domain.com address. Doing this helps the SERPs know which domain you want them to index.
3. Don’t use only Flash! Designers love Flash and so do I, but if you want to get indexed and rank well you need to have plain old content and text on your pages. Using Flash to draw attention to a banner or something is fine, but make sure each page you want to rank well has at least 400 words on it. You can create subpages in your site that target specific topics such as money management and load that page up with relevant content.
4. Make sure your blog is search engine friendly as well by getting rid of the duplicate content issued that plague many blogging platforms. Don’t link to your archives section and make sure you don’t post the same text in on multiple pages of the blog.
5. Make sure to create an html sitemap that is linked to in the footer of the site. This is very important for SERPs.
I hope these 5 simple things help improve your builds and most of all help your clients succeed.