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Bethers
08-21-2006, 03:36 PM
SiteProNews: August 21, 2006 Feature Article

Article printed from SiteProNews: http://www.sitepronews.com (http://www.sitepronews.com/)
HTML version available at: http://www.sitepronews.com/archives.html (http://www.sitepronews.com/archives.html)


The Importance Of Sound Website Design & Search Spiders To Internet Marketers
By James Opiko (c) 2006

Google currently is reported to have indexed 8 billion pages
and counting. Google utilizes an array of bots A.K.A. spiders
or crawlers.

Among the specialized bots Google uses include: The web spider
Googlebot, the Adsense spider MediaBot, the image spider
ImageBot, the AdWords spider AdsBot, the RSS feed spider
FeedFetcher-Google, and Googlebot-Mobile spider for mobile
devices. MSN & Yahoo, the other two of the 'big three' have
their own proprietary versions of spiders.

Why is it important for an Internet Marketer to know how
spiders crawl your website?

A search engine crawler is your best visitor. Giving a crawler
easy and uninhibited movement in your website is necessary for
good search engine rankings.

Your website must be spider (search engine) friendly if you
want any traffic from the search engines. A search engine
spider does not read your website the way we humans do. The
spider reads web-page source code (HTML) that renders your
page, therefore 'bad code' can be an impediment to the spider,
sometimes causing it to give up crawling your website.

Spiders love content (text) and do not read JavaScript at all,
therefore a website that is packed with images with no ALT tags
to assist the spiders, and heaps of JavaScript may not be
indexed successfully. So, when designing your website you must
incorporate structural website design principals that elicit
search engine friendliness.

An astute marketer should also desire to see how search engines
see his or her site. This may be accomplished by a Lynx Viewer
which is a text-mode web browser. Additionally, a Lynx Viewer
can help you determine if your web pages are accessible to the
vision impaired, an assemblage of visitors that should not be
ignored ---yes, there are millions of visually impaired people
surfing the Internet regularly.

A quick search in Google for "Lynx Viewer" will yield numerous
sources from which you can download this important tool for
your use.

Even though you must design your website with your visitors in
mind first, it is crucial that you accord the search engines
top level priority too, since the vast majority of these
visitors will arrive via search engines. Practice good SEO
(Search Engine Optimization) but not at the expense of your
visitors' experience -- it is a balancing act that must be
accomplished with prudence.

Also of significant importance is the fact that web browser
standards are not yet fully harmonized. A web page that looks
great in Internet Explorer might look atrocious in a Mozilla
based browser like Firefox or Netscape. Additionally, with the
proliferation of hand held devices for browsing the Internet,
compliance with W3C standards is becoming more and more
critical. A marketer must therefore be conversant with the
intricacies of cross-browser design -- designing for one
browser (IE) is no longer ideal, as the Google backed FireFox
is eating up Microsoft’s browser turf at an alarming rate.

Anybody can "whip up" a web page in FrontPage without
sufficient knowledge of HTML, but may not be able detect and
correct the messy code that FrontPage generates underneath the
page, some of which is proprietary to Microsoft. Consequently a
website that looks superb in Microsoft Internet Explorer may
look and load dreadfully in Opera and/or some other browser,
denying you visitor traffic.

Never use a Word Processor to design your website. Word
Processing software generates tremendous amounts of code that is
not search engine friendly. If you cannot hand-code using a text
editor then it is necessary that you use authentic and industry
standard web design software that incorporate the most up to
date design principles. Macromedia's Dreamweaver and the latest
version of Microsoft FrontPage are good candidates with
Dreamweaver getting my partisan nod.

A first-rate design strategy should include the use of CSS
(Cascading Style Sheets) and valid XHTML, the most current in
the HTML generation of standards. Websites designed in strict
W3C standards tend to be lighter, faster and cross-browser
compatible. This is not to insinuate that table based design is
going anywhere anytime soon, for it is my humble disputation
that if strict W3C standards were to be enforced in browsers,
95% percent of websites would go out of business, furthermore
the lack of inter-browser synchronization just worsens things.

According to some surveys, more than 86% of all people arrive
at websites through search engines. In 2006, PC World, arguably
the most authoritative and widely-read computer and business
magazine, reports that Google remains the site of choice for
most surfers.

"The double-digit increase in online search activity marks a
significant milestone in the evolution of Internet consumer
behavior," says Ken Cassar, senior director of analytics at
Nielsen/NetRatings. "Online search is the primary tool most
people rely on to do everyday research," he says.

So, from a marketing perspective unless your site appears in
the top 30 listings of the major search engines & directories,
you will hardly get any worthwhile traffic. Therefore, Search
Engine Positioning is vital to your marketing success on the
web!

A top ranking in the search engines can bring you highly
targeted traffic. If someone visits your site after searching
for a product or service that you are selling, it means that
he/she is interested in what you are selling and hence is a
potential customer for you. Thus, search engines send
pre-qualified customers to you.

You can sell virtually anything on the Internet, but in order
to succeed you must bring "targeted traffic" to your
website....people who are ready to buy your products and
services, the vast majority of who will arrive at your website
through search engines. If your website is not designed
suitably, Google and other search engines will disrespect your
website. Respect brings in traffic which translates into the
all important Dollars, "Kwacha," Euro or whatever you wish to
call money.

Remember, search engine bots are your most important visitors,
you must seduce, "open your doors" and accommodate them in
order to gain any measurable success in your Internet Marketing
endeavor.
================================================== ==============
James Opiko owns http://www.AfroArticles.com, (http://www.afroarticles.com,/) an article
marketing directory. Dig here -
http://www.afroarticles.com/article-dashboard/Category/SEO/239 (http://www.afroarticles.com/article-dashboard/Category/SEO/239)
AND here: http://www.apondosystems.com/marketing/ (http://www.apondosystems.com/marketing/)
Articles-on-Search-Engine-Positioning/ for more articles on
Search Engine Positioning
================================================== ==============


Copyright © 2006 Jayde Online, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
SiteProNews is a registered service mark of Jayde Online, Inc.

Collectors-info
08-21-2006, 06:31 PM
Very good article Beth!
At a future date I will be having a database that will have pass word/login protection, presumably the search engines won’t be able to access this part of the site nor is there a way for them to crawl this area & still keep the security of the pass word/login area. There must be lots of sites that have this dilemma & I wonder how they get round this type of problem. If at all. Some sites are totally password protected & i am not sure how they get rated. But I am glad to have read some of yours & other articles before I go properly live with my site. It’s a good learning curve to where we go wrong.
(And a pain in the backside as well) But still enjoyable.

Chris.

Bethers
08-21-2006, 10:07 PM
I suggest you only password protect necessary pages - not all pages - give your home page and some very well written pages about the product/service the full treatment - then - for ordering, or whatever, have members enter the password protected area. That way you can still get the se's sending you traffic and potential new customers.

Collectors-info
08-21-2006, 10:24 PM
I suggest you only password protect necessary pages - not all pages - give your home page and some very well written pages about the product/service the full treatment - then - for ordering, or whatever, have members enter the password protected area. That way you can still get the se's sending you traffic and potential new customers.

Thanks Beth. Glad I am still building & getting used to web sites in a practice mode & not gone in head 1st. Have a nice list of rules to go by when I hope to start building the site for real. Building a personal site is fine, but to earn a small income is something else.

Thanks

Chris.