... and Search Engine Optimization
Websites don't automatically rise to the top of the search engines. It's not about submitting them to search engines, or casually mentioning to your web designer that you'd like your new website to be at the top of Google. In fact, this has nothing to do with web design at all — but it has everything to do with how your website is built.
The techniques that cause websites to "rank high" in search engines are called Search Engine Optimization — and are best done not as an afterthought, but while the website is being built.
First, what are search engine friendly web design and search engine optimization? Let's start here:
For most websites, search engines are a major source of website visitors. But, as many website owners have discovered, simply having a website does not ensure that people can find it in the search engines.
How to get exposure, visibility and interested people to your website
How to get visitors to a website can be a mystery to most people, particularly when they are let down by low visitor turnout from search engines, or when it doesn't happen at all. Unfortunately, the days of "If you build it, they will come" are over.
That's where search engine friendly web design comes in. Websites have to be built to rank well in search engines, and to rank well for the terms your potential customers will use to find what you have to offer. It doesn't "just happen" — and it's no help if your website ranks as number 2,000,001.
Unfortunately, search engine friendly design is not intrinsically a part of "web design" — in fact, it's unknown to (or ignored by) most web designers.
Help your customers to find you
There is actually something called the "invisible web" — websites that cannot be read at all by search engines. Unfortunately, this includes some database-based websites and shopping carts (that is, e-commerce), exactly the kinds of pages that need to be found online. So non-search-engine-friendly websites are not an option for most companies.
The interesting effect of search engine friendly web design is that it enables people looking for what you have to offer to find your website.
As obvious as that sounds, what is happening is that, rather than you pushing your message out randomly to the world at large, potential customers are actually finding you. Search engine friendly design means creating pages that will help them do just that.
This includes building your website from the ground up to help search engines identify what you are offering. It also includes crafting the portion of the pages that show up as search engine listings — the metatags. However, while many web design companies still believe that meta tags are the end-all and be-all of search engine rankings, that hasn't been true since the 1990's.
What it does not include is weird tricks and methods that can cause your pages to be penalized, such as white text on a white background. Caveat emptor — if anyone is recommending this to you, let the buyer beware.
Websites must be created from the ground up to be search engine friendly. But trying to make an existing website search engine friendly can be difficult, and can cost you far more than if it was properly designed in the first place. You may find that you've paid a pretty penny to have your website designed, only to discover months or years later that it should have been made search engine friendly, and your content should have been written with not only visitors but search engines in mind. And so you have two choices: leave it as is (and attract few visitors or be consigned to paying search engines for visitors forever), or pay to have it revamped. The work of designing for search engines should be done while planning the other two major factors of websites — design and marketing.
Your web pages will be carefully crafted to be search engine friendly, melding these elements with the marketing aspects of the website into an intrinsic whole.
If you're needlessly losing visitors — and potential customers — because you're not ranked well in the search engines, we believe that our Search Engine Optimization services will contribute to your company's increased exposure and growth.