If you are having a website built and you would like to rank at the top of the search engines then it is important to make sure you website is search engine friendly. This article will give you the knowledge to discuss this issue with your web developer to make sure they are doing it correctly.

There are a lot of things that need to be done to rank at the top of the search engines but the best place to start is when you build you website. You need to ensure that you are giving your site the best possible opportunity to get that high ranking. Follow the below rules and you are on the right track:

Frames

Let’s start with a simple one, please do not allow your developer to use frames on your website. These are really a thing of the past but some old fashioned programmers may still be using them. The important thing to consider is that frames cannot be properly indexed by search engines and should really be avoided at all cost.

Add Text to Images, Flash and Videos

Although, Flash is becoming more accessible to search engines there are still problems with it. The best way to think about things is that search engines can only read text and so they will not be able to index your images, flash files or videos.

For this reason it is important to add what is call an “alt” tag to your image files where you can put descriptive text about the file. This will allow the search engines to read what your files are about and index them appropriately.

Likewise, for sites with video files or Flash file, you should include additional text on that web page describing what your video shows or what the Flash file does.

Just a quick word on complete Flash websites, these can work with search engines but it is a good idea to do an HTML copy of your site for the search engines. Otherwise you run the risk of your site not being indexed at all.

Use Search Engine Friendly URLs

Many systems that generate URLs create them with generic numbers and symbols that give no indication what the page is about. This can cause serious problems, firstly because there is a possibility the search engines will not index it. The reason for this is they will see your content as dynamic and so changing too often to be worth indexing. It will also not indicate to the search engine what your page is about.

The best way to handle this is create descriptive URLs that contain only text and forward slashes. This is really important as it allows the search engine to know exactly what your page is about before they even read it. In addition these URLs are better because they do not include the extraneous characters that are so tell-tale on dynamic websites. These URLs are designed to appear like normal website directories when in fact they are dynamic URLs.

Use Straight HTML Navigation Links on Your Website

It is important to remember that although they look good Javascript and Flash menus may cause you a lot of problems with search engines. The reason for this is many search engines cannot follow these links. So a search engine will get to you home page and will go no further so they will not be able to index the other pages of your site.

The ideal menu would be text based and each text link would include the keywords you are targeting on the destination page. Remember, almost every page within your site has a very real opportunity to gain a top ranking; all you need to do is ensure that the design, content and site structure is optimized.

Finally, if you are at all uncertain whether your menu is search engine friendly then be certain to back it up with a text menu in the footer of your page using the same keyword targeting principles noted above. Alternatively you can add a site map to your site and have a link to it from your home page. Either of these will ensure a search engine can navigate and index all the pages on your website.

Create Meaningful Title Tags

It is important to give all of your pages relevant titles. These will be read by the search engines and will help them to determine what the content on each page is about. So remember to ensure your keywords appear to help you to rank at the top for those phrases.

If you follow the above steps you will have a search engine friendly website. In addition to that it will also be user friendly so you win every way. You will stand a chance of ranking highly and your users will be able to use your site effectively.

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