Site design is critical for quality indexing and rankings. There are pit falls that are not apparent. This session will take a top down approach to designing a modern website.
- Todd Friesen
- Mark Jackson, President / CEO, VIZION Interactive, Inc
- Lyndsay Walker, Web Analytics Coordinator / SEO Specialist, WestJet / Lyndseo
- Paul Bruemmer, Director Search Marketing, Red Door Interactive
- Alan K'necht, Founder & President, K'nechtology Inc
The first speaker of this conference is Mark Jackson, President / CEO, VIZION Interactive, Inc. Just like the man says, he will cover Keyword Research, Creating a SE friendly architecture and Building content.
Keyword Research: Mark feels that most people cannot even do this well.
- Know your audience and target them
- Don't only stick to popular phrases
- Create a list of target words that matter (Find words from the users not your boss)
- Decide relevancy
- Create a spreadsheet
- Find out who is ranking which keyword and why
- Create your own niche
- Determine factors to compete with words
- Develop your content
In terms of competitive analysis for pages, Yahoo! performs the best.
- Incorporate the keyword research
- Incorporate comp analysis then lay out your site
- Use keywords in pages
- assign tags, metas, etc.
SE friendly sites can be aesthetically pleasing too. Just remember the pointers:
- Allow space for content
- Use images sparingly
- Include "alt" and "title" in images
- Static URLs are preferred
- Design should be part of the third phase
A great example of this is Trip Advisor.
- Content should be engaging to both readers and search engines
- Start internal-linking
- Stay away from marketing fluff
- Use Anchor texts
- Blogs are great for getting out quick content
- Research well
Todd takes the example of Nike, as they rank great for footwear and not running shoes because they never use the word.
Next speaker is Alan K'necht, the founder & president, K'nechtology Inc.
- Search engines care about words and positioning of words
- Search engines give more preference to things on top than at bottom
- Use 2-tier design architecture
- Separate content from presentation
- Organize content logically
- Use H1 tag first
- Use CSS to position
- Headlines first
- Newspapers add links to inner pages. (Make sure these have your targeted keywords)
- Add graphical non-required items lower down
- Stick image/graphics at the end of the page
A great tip is to use the Firefox Webmaster Toolbar. This way you know what the site looks like. Remember content comes first and then navigation etc. Think of what's important and that should appear first.
All in all, make your site search engine-usable.
Next up is Lyndsay Walker, Web Analytics Coordinator / SEO Specialist, WestJet.
Design for your visitors:
- Clear navigation for both search engines and visitors.
- AVOID FLASH. This serves no purpose. Use CSS or Java instead.
- Pick content over images. Fresh content is best.
- Use Divs
- Use stats. Find out what people are using, learn from it and put it to your advantage
- Design for and test everything in Firefox. Afterwards, tweak it for IE.
- Keep in mind a mobile design too
- Title tags must be unique
- Meta description tag. These should be targeted to the specifics in the page
- Header tags Ã¢â‚¬â€œ place emphasis on the most crucial words
- Strong code-to-content ratio
- Use DIVs over tables
- Don't forget your keywords
- Links. Don't forget internal linking
It's finally the turn of Paul Bruemmer, Director Search Marketing, Red Door Interactive.
Organic site structure:
Server configuration: robot.txt, redirects, 404 error codes, internal broken links, duplicate content, dedicated IP address, alias URLs, transfer of keyword page rankings, etc.
Web Site Architecture: Pay attention to:-
- Inclusion ratio
- Directory structure and naming conventions
- Internal linking structure
- Dynamic and persistent URLs
- Site Maps (HTML)
- Privacy statement
- Keep a watch on your competition. You have to be on par or better
- Textual content types: articles, industry news, etc
- Think about content promotion while you're generating it- Blogs, RSS feeds etc
- Almost the same as Lyndsay's list of must haves.
- Natural Link Profile:
- Ensure your links are natural-looking
- Imagine you're in a neighbourhood and you want your links to look good
Deep Link Profile:
- Ratio of your links to subpages in comparison to your homepage's links.
- Paid search
- Local search/ mobile search (map locations, XHTML for mobile)
- Development and administrative staff etc.