Integrated Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
There are many SEO companies who claim they can guarantee your website the number 1 spot for your keywords on the major search engines. This is simply misleading as there is no guarantee. You should be aiming to engineer a set of keywords that give good exposure on the main search engines natural (organic) results pages. By resisting the temptation to buy keyword advertising and instead naturally generate traffic through good Search Engine Optimisation practices, you will over time, generate far better quality traffic to your site.
You should be aiming to get listed amongst the first 20 results (on the first or second page). Each search engine uses different algorithms and certain aspects of your website need to be taken into consideration, such as its age, the keywords you intend to use and the products or services associated with it. These factors may dictate how long it takes for your web pages to initially appear on certain search engines results pages (SERPS).
Fast Loading W3C Valid HTML Pages W3C or the World Wide Web Consortium has developed a standard for creating web pages that allow for maximum cross browser exposure. This allows your web site to look very similar on most, if not all web browsers on different operating system environments. Creating a website using W3C guidelines means each page will be verified as compliant. This also has additional benefits for search engine optimisation as your web page code will not be as cluttered and allow search engine spiders to deep crawl the content much easier. It is recommended you hand code your entire site and not use any kind of template wizard or Content Management System (CMS). This allows for each page to be manually optimised for both W3C and search engine compliance.
Visually Appealing User Friendly Layout
The use of a simple, clean design to guide the user through the content, coupled with making it visually appealing without unnecessary clutter is a must for your website. Menus that allow the user to easily link to various sections of the site without having to go back to the homepage are essential for a user friendly layout and gives the site a basis to be crawled easily by the major search engines. Restrict the site palette to 3 or 4 main colors, incorporate these colors into any images you may want to use and keep the graphics load time (size in bytes) down to a minimum. Generally, simple is best.
User Interaction & Custom Components
Having your users interact with your website can allow for specific content to be served based on their individual needs. Building custom components that allow this interaction with your site will give a better overall browsing experience. A search component or member area component are two common pieces of functionality that give the user interactivity and unique content based on their input. Other custom components could include email alerts, RSS feeds and online interactive tools specific to your target industry and website market. With web based technology constantly evolving, new techniques are been deployed all the time to improve overall visitor experience.
Graphical Design & Visual Enhancement
They say a picture speaks a thousand words and that is also true with websites. Well positioned graphics in and around the text areas of your site will draw the visitors eye to what you are trying to convey. When creating your images try and stick to a palette of 3 or 4 colors that blend in with the scheme of the web site. A good source of professional images can be found at Corbis where you can buy royalty free and rights managed images for your advert creatives and website. Alternatively you can enlist a graphical design agency or do the images in-house using a desktop graphics package.
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If your just starting out on a major web project or have one in progress or development then our 5 steps to a performance website article may assist you. Web Intellect is dedicated to creating performance websites that turn visitors into customers. With over 10 years in website and software component development, along with detailed knowledge on search engine optimisation, we believe you will be impressed with the results you can achieve by following our 5 steps to a performance website plan.