Good Looking Web Sites that Search Engines Love

Yesterday I spoke at a MAP/MCN conference for nonprofit techies. Specifically I talked about 10 ways to improve your site ranking with search engines and improve usability. I thought I’d share that list with the Byte subscribers today. And for the new subscribers who were at the presentation – welcome and thanks for joining us – you might skip right to the bottom of the list where I answer the question that came up yesterday. For the rest, here are the top 10 tips…

  1. Use the Title. Select a few keywords to describe each page in your site and add them to your title tag – along with your organization name.
  2. Put a concise paragraph that describes what you do on your homepage. Use those same keywords.
  3. Create a site map that outlines the organization of your site. (You can see mine here.)
  4. Make sure users can access the sections of your site multiple ways. Many of us use buttons to navigate users through our site – you should also consider text links perhaps at the bottom of each page.
  5. Create separate pages for key topics (again think about your keywords; they might help dictate pages in yours site).
  6. Use bold and headers to highlight keywords in the text of your pages.
  7. Use concise yet descriptive meta-tags (Learn more about meta tags here.)
  8. Make sure that you have your organization’s name in text on the homepage – not just in a graphical logo.
  9. Learn about industry standards by checking out web sites of your colleagues and use those standards.
  10. Test your work sing a web site assessment tool such as Dr Watson.

Yesterday someone asked about how search engines handle dynamically generated information on web sites – I didn’t know, so I looked it up. I found a great article that introduces the idea of dynamically generated sites as well as talks about how to get them listed on search engines. The article is not recent – but it appears to answer the question.

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