Below are some of my thoughts about website designing, that might help you.
I get asked this question often. How can I get more visitors to my website? What can I do to stimulate website traffic? Below are some techniques I use, many of these you are probably doing already and others you might have never heard of. You can find many of these ideas on the internet already.
First understand how Search Engines index (include into their database) websites. Search engines send robot “spiders” to index the content of your webpage. You want to make sure your website is prepared for the search engine. In doing this you need to look at the HTML the title tag, meta tags, header tags, content, name of your link, and specialized keyword pages. The plan is not to trick the search engines, but to leave them abundant clues as to what your webpage is about, so you get indexed correctly.
This text will appear as the hyperlinked text on the search engines when pulled up in the search. You can change the title tag by going into the HTML. Don’t be scared, it is easy! Write a descriptive title for each page of your website of 5 to 8 words. Use descriptive keywords along with your business name and keywords. If you specialize in chocolate chip cookies and that’s what people will be searching for, don’t just use your company “Coco Creations, Inc.” use “Chocolate Chip Cookies – Coco Creations, Inc.” The words people are most likely to search on should appear in the title (called “keyword prominence”). Remember the text in your title tag is what shows up on the search engine hyperlink the more people see text that interest them the more likely they are to click on the link. So where to put this text in the HTML? Place this at the top of the webpage between the <HEAD></HEAD> tags, in this format: <TITLE>Chocolate Chip Cookies – Coco Creations, Inc.</TITLE>.
The description should be a sentence or two describing the content of the webpage, using the main keywords and key phrases on the page. It could hurt you if you include keywords that aren’t used on the webpage.
Place the Description META Tag at the top of the webpage, between the <HEAD></HEAD> tags, use this format:
Note: Some search engines include this description below your hyperlinked title.
<META NAME="DESCRIPTION" CONTENT="We make homemade chocolate chip cookies, fresh out of the oven. We are located in Longbeach, California.">
The keywords should be no longer than 255 using the same content on that webpage, using the main keywords and key phrases on the page.
Place the Keyword META Tag at the top of the webpage, between the <HEAD></HEAD> tags, use this format:
Note: The keywords META tag is no longer used for ranking by Google, but it is currently used by Yahoo.
<META NAME="keywords" CONTENT="promotion e-mail marketing web marketing e-commerce viral advertising search engine stratagies META tags reciprocal links PPC buys e-zines newsletters PR public relations e-mail marketing">
The sub heads and page headlines are considered to be important to the page, so make sure your most relevant keywords and phrases appear in on or two header tags per page.
<h1>Website Designer Coding Instructions</h1>
<h2>Designer Teaching HTML coding</h2>
Have your designer use CSS (cascading style sheet) to modify the colors and size to match your sites design.
Be sure to put your main keywords within your first paragraph. More keywords are not better. Google might expect a keyword density in the entire body text area of maybe 1.5% to 2% for a word that should rank high, so don't overdo it. Other places you might consider including keywords would be in ALT tags and perhaps COMMENT tags, though few search engines give these much if any weight. Also, hyperlink your keywords and key phrases, the search engines spiders are looking for clues to focus on your page. When you name the pages you are linking to try to name the page the same as the keyword such as Tambralyn_coding.html.
Create web pages on your site that focus on a different keyword or key phase. So, don’t list all your services on a single page develop separate pages for each service. These pages should be ranked higher for their keywords since they are targeted for specific content.
I feel it is a waste of money to pay someone to submit your site to hundreds of search engines, since most of the searches are done by the major search engines (Google, Yahoo, MSN).
If your site isn't getting indexed fully, make sure you submit a Google Sitemap following directions on Google's site (www.google.com/webmasters/sitemaps/login). Greg Tarrant's Google Sitemap Generator and Editor (www.sitemapdoc.com) is a free tool to build these. Be aware that some content management systems and e-commerce catalogs produce dynamic, made-on-the-fly webpages. You can sometimes recognize them by question marks in the URLs followed by long strings of numbers or letters. Overworked search engines sometimes stop at the question mark and refuse to go farther. If you find the search engines aren't indexing your interior pages, you might consider URL rewriting, a site map, and targeted content pages (see below). Commercial solutions include Bruce Clay's Dynamic Site Mapping (www.bruceclay.com/web_dsm.htm) and YourAmigo.com's SpiderLinker (www.youramigo.com).
The Title Bar provides us with an opportunity to spell out the content of our pages. It is also used by search engines to index pages. On search sites such as Google, Yahoo, MSN etc. the title of the web page is displayed as the link. This tip will show you how to write titles better, or rather, in a more logical manner. I have adopted this style and it has helped me in maintaining my web sites and in search engine optimization. Decide on the keywords for the page and then build the TITLE tag around them. Make sure you have all the keywords / key phrases in the TITLE tag.
The Internet has unleashed the designer in many of us, but don't forget to follow certain thumb rules. For example, try to keep a consistent theme for your site so that a visitor on any page knows that he is still on your site.Developing congruent pages should not restrain your creativity. Uniformity can be achieved with coherent graphics, icons, font size, colors, font face and general page layout. Make sure that you use compatible colors across your pages. Using the same or similar background images can bring consistency. Sites such as Webdevelopersnotes.com are mainly visited for their content. Hence a simple layout was applied giving more emphasis on the information content.
Use a contrasting color combination for the page background and the foreground text. Avoid bright colors (they give me a headache... it takes me about 3 seconds to understand this and press the back button) as backgrounds rather use subtle pastel shades. Also make it a point to test the colors of links, visited links and active links. Try to test the clarity of your foreground text. View your page from a distance of 3 feet. If the text is readable use the color combination. Furthermore, test your color combinations in monitors using lower color depths to make assurance doubly sure.
Headings are an important part of design. They provide a logical structure to a document and have to be rendered in the same fashion as specified by the designer.But how to you keep the consistent display of headings when you don't know the fonts installed on the client? A straight solution is to present headings in form of graphics rather than HTML text. You can then have the freedom to choose the font and the typography, without worrying about its final display.
Web site navigation is the science and skill which you apply to a web site that helps visitors move from one page to another.
Navigation on a web site is achieved by a collection of links (text/images/flash/java applets) that form the Web Site Navigation Menu or the Web Site Navigation Bar. This navigation menu or bar is usually placed vertically on the left or horizontally near the top of the web page – check the images below.Placing icons stacked neatly on the left side has become a kind of standard on the web. A row of icons (usually at the top) is also frequently used in web design, but, somehow, most web developers prefer positioning icons to the left. What does this mean to you? Keep your web site simple employing good navigational and visual guides for your visitors. Do not try out new kind of design if your audience is not ready to accept the changes. Yes, web site design and complexity, depends a lot on the audience you expect. Design accordingly. Many developers give an added emphasis to their left row of icons by embellishing them with subtle lines, background colors etc. All this is fine as long as the audience is kept in mind.
I cannot stress on this point more but you should strive to have good web site content... content which is meaningful to the visitor and makes their visit successful.
The free web site submission services are not perfect and you should also manually submit your web site to the Major Search Engines and Directories. In fact, you need to submit to directories only manually. I know its a long and tedious process of submitting your web site to tons of search engines and directories and if you do get a nice deal from a service provider, go ahead. Just remember to ask them a copy of the submission results and be sure to test your site on each of the engines they submitted to after about a month or so.