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Planning and building a navigation system for your website - the basics of good navigation
The lowdown

PART SEVEN: Designing with search engines in mind

» Index
» Introduction
» How it works
» Planning
» Keywords
» Optimise code
» Design issues
» Layouts
» Submitting
» Conclusion
» More info

« tech homepage

urban75 web project Boost your site's search engine ranking
Make the most of your layout
By Mike Slocombe for Internet Magazine, May 2004

1. Introduce your site
Improve your search engine ranking - introduce your siteWelcome search engine bots and humans to your homepage with a keyword-loaded explanatory introduction and place it high up on your page.

Include as many two word key-phrases as possible - but make sure that you're still making some kind of sense!
More info: Search Engine Optimization.

2. Keep those keywords coming!
Improve your search engine ranking - keep the keywords coming! Search engines rank pages by the number of words on a page, how frequently the keyword appears on the page (keyword density) and how near the start of the page the keyword appears (keyword prominence), so make sure your homepage positively radiates with keywords!

Search engines weigh text in header tags (<H1>, <H2> etc) higher than normal body text, so make sure that your headers are positively packed with keywords too.
More info: Search Engines Guide

3. Describe your links
Improve your search engine ranking - describe your links Don't put meaningless phrases like, 'click here' in your hyperlinks.

Instead, feed hungry search bots by including a full description of the target page, stuffed to the gills with lots of juicy keywords.

Happily, you'll also be making your site more accessible in the process!


4. Slap in a site map
Improve your search engine ranking - keep the keywords coming! Create a text only site map and link to it from every page on your site (including your homepage).

Keep it very, very simple and (I think you know what's coming next by now…) fill it sky high with keywords.

Use keyword phrases to describe sub sections and include full text descriptions with each link.

To greedy search engine bots, such pages are the equivalent of a slap-up meal at Billy Bunter's restaurant at Happy Hour.

5. Big up your subsections
Improve your search engine ranking - big up your sub sections If your site includes major subsections, treat their index pages as separate homepages, adding different keyword patterns and titles to reflect their content.

Submit each of these subsection homepages separately to ensure that all of the different keywords and titles get added to the search engine database.

6. Links galore!
Improve your search engine ranking - links galore! All search engines factor in link popularity when ranking sites, so encourage reciprocal links with similar, well ranking sites.

If a site asks you to link to them, check them out first before agreeing (linking to a real stinker won't do you any favours).

Encourage people to link to you by offering cut and paste code with keyword-loaded text/alt text.
More info: Tips for Getting Listed on Yahoo! and Google

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