Wednesday, May 28, 2008

What's the buzz about Search Engine Optimization

I like to share some of the more common myths about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) that I debunk during web development consultations. SEO is based on the fact that people read a monitor like a book: from top to bottom, and left to right. If your site is listed at the top of the screen, the more likely the site will be visited. Yes-the domain name of the site is critical! Its important to have a domain name that is relevant to the content of the site. Sometimes, I even recommend including the city in the domain name. No-a site doesn't have to have a certain number of pages to be recognized by Google. No-a site doesn't have to have 200+ pages to be considered a great site. Yes-content is critical, extremely critical. It's one thing to get users to the site, but if users leave the site quickly, it could mean that the content is poorly written or doesn't have any relevance to the users search. No-it doesn't matter what company is hosting the site. Yes-every site needs a "contact page". It's important to have this page so users can make quick contact. A user/potential customer shouldn't have to search for a tiny link to send an email or make a phone call. Yes-features like page labels, page descriptions, meta tags, keywords, etc. are essential for Search Engine Submissions. No-it doesn't help the site ranking if the site owner constantly "Googles" the site, visits to the site are grouped into two categories, new user or returning user. Yes-including links to professional affiliations is important. Yes-the technology used to build a site is important.