Two important factors for good site – design & links

Design – Layout

Use photos, graphics, text, colors and positioning that pleasing to the eye and attract attention

When looking randomly at a page, the eye first travels to the area that contrasts the most with the rest of the page. For example; if everything is generally dark on a page, the eye will immediately seek an area of light. Other things being equal, points of interest are usually in the center of one of the four quadrants in a page. If you divide the page in half, both horizontally and vertically, you will have four rectangles. Good composition would place your key stuff in the center of any of those rectangles.

Pictures of people and your business or office are important to display on your entry page. Your site now becomes more personal to visitors and will generate a degree of trust that is instilled in them when they can see your face or business. The use of graphics can play a big part in creating an attractive web page, but there is a downside to them.

First, they load slowly and if there are a large amount of graphics, even small in size, it may take a long time for the complete page to be displayed. With that in mind, always save your files in the format that will give you the smallest file size. Usually that is a .jpg or .gif. Whenever possible, I would recommend using photos in a ‘thumbnail’ size and let the viewer click on the picture for a full size view.

Secondly, GoogleBot does not recognize any type or text embedded in a graphic. So, if your logo, for example is a .jpg you must complete the alt tag with a good description of the graphic. Many viewers, especially those on a dial-up connection will turn off graphics so the pages will load faster. They read the alt tags for the information needed.

Navigation is another issue. Your internal links to other pages on your site should always be located in the same physical space on each page. Usually at the top of the page or along the left border of the page. Try to make your links from text rather than graphics for the reason explained above. Links commonly are colored in blue. A mouse-over effect that changes the color is alright to use. We do that on these pages.

When naming the various pages on your website, do not run the words in the name together. Break up the words with hyphens or underscores. Also add a brief description to the page name. Ex: “portfolio-website-content.htm”. Bots will read those words and understand them. When you run the words together, the Bot sees it as a new word. The name then acts like a ‘key phrase’ and is helpful in the Search Engine descriptions of your site.

Link Exchange

Links may be the most important item for good PR

We strongly recommend that every page of your website should have links to all the other pages. GoogleBot needs to be able to navigate and crawl your site easily. Links to external sites, many times are embedded in the text on the page. The color of the link (usually blue) should be different than the normal text color, so link identification is easy. Search Engines believe that the quantity of websites on the Internet that link to you is an indication of the importance of your website. As a result of this, Link Exchange programs were started where you can send a message to another website that says you will publish their link if they publish yours.

Links to other sites may raise your Page Ranking with many Search Engines, however, the links should be useful to you and your target audience. Don’t publish a lot of links just to improve your page ranking. Look for other websites that might be of interest to your target audience. And beware of ‘Link Farms’. Your PR may plummet to zero with the wrong links on your site. The accepted practice is to only link with site that have a Google PR greater than zero, or as high or higher than you own PR. This means that you will probably have to build a positive PR before attempting any link exchanges. That means careful study using all the above criteria as guidelines for your website development.