Part of the role of a web designer is to design with the search engine spider in mind. This process, known as Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), must be implemented in order for a site to be found, indexed and ranked by the search engines (SE's).
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Search Engine Optimization Guidelines for Web Masters

Part of the role of a web designer is to design with the search engine spider in mind. This process, known as Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), must be implemented in order for a site to be found, indexed and ranked by the search engines (SE's). There are also good practice guidelines on how to prevent exclusion from the SE's. These guidelines should help in assisting you through the web design life cycle.

Idea Inception

Know Your Audience

  • Know your audience and establish the keywords that you will target.
  • Find out what will interest them and what kind of search patterns they usually have.
  • Look at studies online for demographic information, and visit other sites, forums or communities that your target audience use.

Keyword Research

  • Once you have found the keywords your audience will be looking for you can find the optimal key phrases to optimise for, by using research tools such as KeywordDiscovery, Wordtracker, Google AdWords, and Yahoo Search Marketing data.
  • Compile lists of the most relevant phrases for your site. These will be used later on to decide the content, TITLE tags and possibly filenames of your web pages.
  • Grouping of the key phrases in a structured way will help to determine the architecture of your site. Look for descriptive terms like colour, size, model numbers or brand.

Choosing a Domain Name

  • Try not to use a new domain name. Although Google does not publicly admit that a sandboxing filter exists for new sites, for some reason, new domains can take 9 to 12 months to be included in the main index for any keyword phrases that are important to them.
  • Choose the correct TLD for your geographical location as SE's sometimes localise searches.
  • Your domain name should be something short and punchy that describes the brand or product and conveys a message such as fun, music, adult or gaming.
  • Don't worry about lots of keywords in the domain name. They hold little or know value with the search engines.

Choosing a host

Make sure your host is in the audience's geographical location as search engines may localise their search.

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