I’ve been working on a number of new web site designs lately and things are going well. I’m working with WordPress, mostly, creating child themes and being able to create web sites above and beyond what my clients are looking for. I’m using photoshop and illustrator, creating logo’s and manipulating photo’s so they’re web site friendly.
I get all this done and then I go live with the website. Great! Cool! The client’s happy, everything looks great, now to get the website ranked on the search engines.I feel like I’m under a microscope. There’s a slight sense of fear and intrepidation. What if the website doesn’t rank? What if google doesn’t see all the work I’m about to put into it my SEO (search engine optimization)? Well, it’s been a lesson in learning how to play nice. I’ll explain.
I’ve read a number of articles on the topic of search engine optimization and web design. I’ve watched videos and even spoken with some other web design experts. One of the resounding pieces of advice that I heard over and over again was: stop trying so hard. Don’t try to trick the search engines, just design your website to be search engine friendly. No gimmicks.
First, do an extensive keyword search using google adwords keyword tool using words that are relevant to the topic of the website. Then search those key phrases on google with the “all in title” search operator. After making a comparison of the global searches versus the “all in title” searches, winnow the list down to some great key phrases. Once you have a pretty decent sized list, go through all your copy and try to add as many of them in as you can to the page title’s, the website copy, the h1 tags and the image alt tags.
So what does this extensive amount of work do for the SEO? For starters, this site that you’re on right now went from page 26 on the search engines to page six in it’s first week. My other sites are seeing similar results. I just make the copy in the website relevant to what the website is about and what people will search when they are looking for what the website offers. It’s what the search engine’s creators want to happen too. It’s what makes them happy.
The lesson here: learn to play nice with the search engines and they’ll play nice with you.