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Is your Web Site Designed for Traffic?

by Nina Menezes

Traffic from search engines is considered the best and cheapest way to generate traffic to your site. It is the main goal of Web sites. Therefore, aiming for high search engine placement is always a plus. A good Web site should be designed to bring you the most traffic possible.

How can you design your site to bring you the most traffic possible?
Offer great content and a simple navigation on your site. Write copy for both visitors and search engines. If you get high rankings, you will get free traffic. However, high rankings won't be much use if you don't have a well-designed site - and a well-designed site can't bring you visitors if no one knows it's there. Both high rankings and good design go hand-in-hand.

How do high rankings and good design go hand-in-hand?
Here are some things to consider regarding design:

1. Excessive animations and dark backgrounds
Steer clear of excessive animations and dark backgrounds. These tend to confuse visitors and detract from the message you are trying to convey.

2. Navigation
Use simple and intuitive navigation. Simple navigation lets your visitors find pages within your site easily. Help your visitors find what they want quickly and easily.

3. Consistent and organized look
Don't confuse readers with links all over the place. Instead, direct your visitors to where you want them to go. Clearly state at the beginning what your site is about and what you would like them to do.

Here are some things to consider for the Search Engines:

1. Keywords
Target 1-2 keyword phrases per page. Don't stuff tons of keywords in every page. Use your keywords liberally at the top and bottom of the page and scatter a few also in the middle of the page. In other words, the keyword density should resemble an hourglass shape. It is recommended that you use at least 300 words on your page.

2. Links
Lately, search engines have been giving incoming links a lot of importance. They will rate your site by who is linking to your site, so it's important to establish quality, related links. When including links on other sites, be sure to include your keywords in your site title. For e.g. if your site is about Web site design, use "Click here for Web site design services."

3. Images
Search engines don't index images. However, you can enter the image description in the alt tags in the html code. Alt tags are the words you see when the mouse hovers over an image. Using keywords in your alt tags will improve your keyword frequency and thereby help your site achieve better ranking.

4. Site Map
A site map is a page that lists all the pages within your Web site. Search engines can easily visit your pages through a site map. Make sure you have the site map linked on all your pages.

5. Update your site often
Search engines love fresh, new content on Web sites. If you keep refreshing your site content, the spiders will visit your site regularly. I have found that my search engine rankings improve when I add new pages to my site.

Good search engine ranking can brings lots of visitors to your site. It often takes a few months to rank well but the reward is lots of qualified traffic leading to increased sales.

For a free 30 minute consultation on maximizing your Web site for search engines, call Nina at 416-250-1380 or email nina@interdream-designs.com.

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