Search Engine Optimization Tips

Build Your Site Right

If you haven’t built your site yet, you’ve got a great opportunity to make its basic structure SEO-friendly.

Choose a Good Domain Name

You need your own domain name. Sorry, MySpace is not search engine friendly.

No: www.metacities/users/

Beyond that, the only advice I have for you isn’t specific to SEO, but is just good business advice: Choose a name that’s relatively short so that it’s memorable. Also, make sure it ends in a .com or .org. Ending your domain name in a .biz will make you look like a small player, or even untrustworthy.

In the interest of full disclosure, it does help a little bit if you have your target keyphrases in the domain name, i.e. But this looks spammy. I don’t think it’s worth it.

Make Your Homepage Rich with Text

Your homepage should have at least 500 characters of text on it, so that search engines can see what your site’s about.

Avoid splash pages, those irritating introductory pages you encounter before you get to the “real” homepage of a site. They’re the equivalent of putting a bag over your website’s head. Search engines treat the homepage of your site as the most important page on the site, and what do they see? Since splash pages usually have little or no text, the engines see a blank page.

Also, avoid using images, flash, or javascript to display text. Text attracts search engines, and they can’t see text imbedded in video or graphics files.

Use Simple Text-Based Navigation

If Google can’t navigate the links on your site, it won’t be able to see anything besides the homepage, and you’ll be missing out on search traffic to those other pages. Web designers often use javascript for making snazzy-looking drop-down menus, but avoid this if possible. Even though Google’s getting better at deciphering javascript, you want to make your site as easy to crawl as possible. So use text-based navigation.

Image-based links are OK, but not ideal.

Continue to Help with Choosing Keyphrases