Why Your Web Designer Should Know About Web Marketing

Why Your Web Designer Should Know About Web Marketing



Many excellent web designers know next to​ nothing of​ web marketing,​ and this can be a​ big problem. Marketing a​ site in​ search engines requires that the​ site be designed in​ a​ search engine compatible format. Many beautiful sites do not fare well in​ search engines at​ all simply because of​ the​ way they have been designed. Here are some things web designers should know about web marketing.

Load Times

Beautiful sites with lots of​ graphics may look awesome,​ but are often so slow to​ download that web visitors,​ particularly on​ dial-up connections,​ will simply go elsewhere before the​ site even finishes downloading. Some search engines also may penalize sites for being to​ slow.

File Names

When designing a​ site,​ all of​ the​ file names of​ the​ site should be representative of​ what's on​ each page. File names like page_1.html are not helpful in​ conveying what is​ on​ the​ page. Search engines look for sites that are relevant and that are clear about the​ information being provided. Descriptive,​ yet short names,​ like web_marketing_design.php tell not only search engines spiders what's on​ a​ page,​ but humans as​ well.

URLs

Similar to​ file names,​ URLs should be created in​ formats that that are meaningful to​ humans and search engines. Often URLs are a​ combination of​ domain names,​ directory names and file names. All of​ these elements should be descriptive of​ what's on​ the​ site,​ the​ directory and the​ page respectively.

Also,​ many shopping cart use URLs such as​ http://www.somesite.com/store/index.php?pid=2786247642. Looking at​ this URL,​ neither search engine nor human can determine the​ contents of​ the​ page. http://www.somesite.com/store/widgets.php?product=sky_hook_widgets is​ much better. it​ seems most major search engines will now index pages with question marks in​ the​ URL,​ yet this may still hinder some smaller search engines. Shopping carts that do not use question marks in​ the​ URL are available and make for cleaner looking URLs that are easier to​ remember,​ such as​ http://www.somedomain.com/store/sky_widgets.

Alt Tags

Alt tags are displayed when graphics have been turned off. a​ surfer may turn off graphics to​ get better Internet speed or​ may rely on​ alt tags because of​ physical impairment. This is​ probably why search engines still seem to​ weigh alt tags into their search ranking algorithms. Many web designers leave alt tags blank,​ when in​ fact they could be populated with keyword laden and accurate descriptions of​ the​ images.

Usability

There are certain elements that users of​ the​ web have come to​ expect of​ the​ sites they encounter. Examples would be Home and Contact buttons. Have you​ ever been to​ a​ web site and found yourself digging for the​ Home or​ especially the​ Contact button? I don't know about you,​ but I find this quite annoying. Ahh… What a​ breathe of​ fresh air to​ go to​ a​ web site and find the​ menu in​ the​ same location on​ every page and have the​ first button be Home and the​ last button Contact. Mmmm,​ I get warm just thinking about it. Yet,​ designers are driven by aesthetics and beauty. "How boring to​ always have the​ same menu format!" might be one web artist's cry. Boring - perhaps. Easy to​ use? Yes. When it​ comes to​ marketing and web sites,​ easy-to-use goes a​ long way toward making a​ sale.

Meta Tags

Commonly Web designers will put the​ same meta tags on​ every page of​ a​ site. This is​ not nearly as​ effective at​ getting ranked in​ the​ search engines as​ focusing the​ meta tags of​ each page to​ a​ few specific and accurate keywords on​ the​ page. the​ goal of​ search engines is​ to​ bring relevant data to​ its users. Having page specific meta tags is​ another way of​ showing not just search engines,​ but your visitors as​ well,​ exactly what your page is​ about. This makes finding your pages that much easier.

Generally,​ before designing a​ site,​ it​ is​ a​ good idea to​ determine your keywords first. Determining your keywords is​ the​ topic of​ another article altogether. Once keywords have been determined,​ the​ site can be designed in​ such a​ way as​ to​ focus most on​ those keywords,​ in​ the​ domain name,​ directory names,​ file names,​ the​ menu names,​ the​ alt tags and meta tags. Designing your keywords into your site will give you​ a​ huge advantage over many competitors and is​ much easier than designing keywords into a​ site after it​ has been designed.




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