By Amrit Hallan
Needless traffic may be important to websites that seek advertising revenue
(well, they too need targeted traffic) but you need traffic that caters to your
requirement. So for a successful website, both are important.
Search engines send relevant visitors to your website and visitors do business with
you. Both should be an important factor when you sit down and plan the architecture
of your website. The misconception that lots of senseless traffic is good for
business has been shattered.
Your website should read convincing both to your target visitors, and the
search engines. In fact, you should treat search engines too as your visitors
because if you optimize for your visitors, you automatically optimize for the
Once you follow the steps listed below, there is a big chance
that you'll create a website optimized both for the search engines and your
Both visitors and search engines like well-written content. In fact every one of us
appreciates an interesting read. There used to be a time when lots of crap took
place to please search engines. Lots of keywords and phrases were stuffed
needlessly into the web pages to make them rank higher.
Scores of "doorway" pages were created to lead visitors to websites. They made search
engines happy but confused the visitors, nullifying the advantage and ultimately,
forcing the search engine companies to alter their search algorithms.
But what really matters is the quality content. If you have no content, or irrelevant
content, what's the use of getting hundreds of visitors daily? You need to have
website content that is user-focussed; you need a web copy that talks to the
The copy on your website needs to supply the information your visitors
need to arrive at some decision. The content should be written in an interesting
manner, in an absorbing manner. All the information that your visitor should get,
should be there on your website, in a straight, non-cryptic language.
This re-affirms that professional content developers are as important as
professional web developers, if not more. Badly written content can prove costlier
than you can imagine.
All your pages should be accessible to both people and search engines. When
the search engines visit your website, they should be able to jump from link to
It should be like an inter-connected network where one can go anywhere
from anywhere. Many web developers create a sitemap that contains links to all
the pages on the website so that once the search engine finds that page it can go
to all the links on the page.
Anyway, irrelevant pages have no business being on your website and relevant
pages should be within one or two clicks away from your visitors (unless they are
Less use of frills
Frills like Flash and DHTML look cool but if they don't solve any purpose other
than let you show-off how you can make geometric figures dance around the
screen, you should avoid using them.
The search engine crawlers like the plain-vanilla text. Showcase frills only if
you're selling them (if you're a Flash designer or a graphic artist). A company
selling organic manure doesn't benefit much by having a Flash website that shows
bags of manure appearing here and there like apparitions.
Use keywords sparingly
The search engine companies have finally realized that actual content is better
than nonsensical repetition of keywords. Of course keywords are important, but
not because they are "keywords", but because they are needed there.
For instance, if you sell organic manure, you have this phrase on your website
because you need to specify what you sell (unless you belong to some underground
organization that uses coded language to communicate).
There is no need for a keyword or a key-phrase to appear more than three or
four times on your page. In fact on Google you spoil your ranking if you use
Let them appear at the top, somewhere in the middle, and
then in the end. That does the trick. Weave around them a nice context. There
are people who do this as a profession and it really pays in the long run to hire a
content writer who can write optimized content for you.
Both search engines and people like updated content. If your visitors expect to
see new content on your website whenever they come, they'll come again and
again, and they'll come with greater frequency. Search engines too want to show
content that is rapidly updated so that they can display the latest information.
Make it a routine to put something new every second or third day, even if it is one
Use clean HTML
Clean code loads quicker and gets crawled (this sounds creepy!) by the search
engines faster. If the success of your website really matters to you and if you
want to create your own web pages instead of hiring a professional web
developer, you should spend at least a few days learning HTML.
A search-engine friendly website doesn't need much HTML to learn and it will
show clean content to your visitors without unnecessarily increasing the load
time. Avoid using graphical tools and use a text editor instead. It sounds daunting
in the beginning but once your realize its benefit, you'll be more than eager to
write HTML rather than use a tool that produces lots of unnecessary junk code.
The efforts mentioned above take time to show result, but they are long lasting
and they fetch you the desired results.
About the Author:
Amrit Hallan is a copywriter and a writer. He writes content for web sites, articles
for various publications and he writes search engine friendly, customized web
page content. You can check out his web site at http://www.amrithallan.com. If
you want to read weekly, thought-provoking essays and articles with a tinge of
humor, you can subscribe to his column at amrithallan.com
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