In preparing or a repairing a website for the Search Engines, cleanliness is king. There are many sites out there that are so cluttered with graphic and textual links and stuffed with overflowing information that you are left without a clue as where to start; where to go to first. Visitors do not like these sites, and not just the visitors… some directories such as Yahoo or DMOZ may reject them. It is important to recall that directories use human editors to add to their indexes so how your site looks does matter. A clean web page is not cluttered, has a good balance of content to white space, the page has a purpose or a focus for the visitor and they are also easy to navigate.
- Easy To Use Navigation and clean design
Portals and other large corporate sites have a hurdle to get over because they offer so much information. New websites have a habit of just wanting to create pages without first taking the time to outline what information they want to publish. Take your time with this step, develop a good plan for your website hierarchy, and the rest of the steps will be easier to follow.
- Clean Page Design / Layout
Your homepage should not look like a pile of links going everywhere; it should not take on the look of a sitemap gone crazy, and the same goes for internal pages. Instead, focus on what the core of your site is about on the home page, providing useful and simple means to show off this information with easy and logical ways of getting further information. Put the most important information on your main page, and that’s it. This can be things like important news about your site, promotions that your site might be offering, and information with a few links to your products, information, and other important offerings with a synopsis about each.
- Keep The Scrolling To A Minimum
Try to keep your home page length to a maximum of 4 page lengths. DO this by following Step 2. Minimize, do not confuse. You do not need to tell the story of the whole site on one page… this is why you have internal pages. You give an overview of what your site is about on page one, and describe in more detail on all of the other pages.
- Here’s Another Good Idea – Create Print Version Pages
Take your long articles and informative sections and create printer-friendly pages (Note: Remember to block the graphical represented page from the Search Engine bots so as not to display duplicate content). Not only are printer-friendly pages useful to users who would like to read longer articles on their own time or who just prefer turning pages to scrolling and scrolling, it’s also beneficial to Search Engines. These text only pages are full of the text, but without all of the graphical hindrances or ALT tags or scripts that can slow your pages down. This provides very search engine friendly pages and user friendly pages which is what the site should all be about in the first place.