Building a site?
Do you know what you need?
Google has set a lot of traps for what they consider spam
and "Over SEO".
From thin content, to top heavy pages, to frames, to some exact match
domains, duplicate content, to poor performance issues, incorrect
markup, and improper presentation, Google waits to pounce on anyone not
living up to their standards.
There is only one format that is optimal, everything else has less
This applies to user conversions and search performance.
Google is your largest market segment with the highest ROI.
(Return On Investment).
If you are going to design to a template, make certain it is one that
"Design is not art,
it’s fixing problems for people.
I have to create things that are useful and simple."
Google's Jon Wiley,
Head of Search Design
Social Networking will bring you traffic and authority.
It won't do much for your search results. Google has seen to that.
It WILL increase your PageRank. All those chats, discussions, and on
topic links are directly attributable to PR.
PageRank is Google's link evaluation system.
It has been a stand alone metric for a few years
It is no longer based on a strictly mathematical computation.
This was changed in the Mayday update in 2010 WITH THE ADDITION OF
PageRank is now based on the relevance between linked <=> linking
Domain Name Keywords
Position of Keywords
Decoration of Text.
Linking Has Changed.
Google has rewritten their stance on BackLinking.
They have tightened their controls.
More closely defined their concept of spam.
They consider non-topical links spam and links on low value pages the
They insist on the presentation of information with little or no user
interaction. (Scrolling or defining ads).
"Top Heavy" filters are in place to monitor the use of ads and graphics
above the fold.
They want the pages to load quickly.
Other things to watch out for are exact match domain names (EMD), and
Over optimization is another trap for the unwary. Most
seem to think it means keyword stuffing, but I consider it to also mean
that one *might* be singled out for using EVERY SEO factor on a page.
If you optimize all the factors, title, URL, file names, headings, alt
tags, etc, etc, you could fall into the "over optimizing" trap.
One last thing to keep in mind is that Google has
targeted SEO as a (mostly) bad thing.
They have a filter in place that homes in on obvious SEO changes to a
site and then randomizes the positioning of the pages so that there is
no obvious cause and effect.
This filter can also be used to target repeat SEO efforts
and *could* remove all the site's search listings.
What can be done?
How do we safely satisfy Google and get a site that performs?
Google tells us "Design
For Users, Not For Search Engines."
While this is basically accurate, we need to add that
source code markup should define the semantic hierarchy in the same
fashion as the visible component defines it for the human visitor.
Google not only uses text position, size, and decoration
in it's evaluation of the visual presentation but they confirm by
markup. Heading tags, links, position in code, markup, all count highly
in defining a place in the structure of the topic's relevance. Graphics
can support these locations.
Google also relies heavily on semantics in text
processing using a form of
Latent Semantic Indexing.
Not only do the keywords count, their synonyms and
descriptors and their positions in regards to the main
keyword(s) also factor in.
Google has developed this factor to the extent that link references are
Once we understand that text size and position count, we
can start to look at how people read from a monitor, which is different
from a piece of printed material.
Eye Tracking Studies have determined that there is a
definite pattern to where people look.
Useit.com has a lot of valuable information studies, but
one can say that basically it is an
F shaped pattern that starts under the left side to the
top header space.
First 2 Words: A Signal for the Scanning Eye
Summary: Testing how well people understand a link's
first 11 characters shows whether sites write for users, who typically
scan rather than read lists of items.
Remember that for most people, only the first 11
characters on a line count.
Let this guide you when composing your titles and
The same principal holds true for the way people judge relevance.
The LESS information the better.
When people search to satisfy their quest for relevance the "Presumption
of Optimal Relevance" comes into play and it will be manifest to people
who are engaged in inferential communication that each other have the
notion of relevance in their minds.
This will cause each person engaged in the interaction to arrive at the
presumption of relevance, which is the notion that (a)
implicit messages are relevant enough to be worth bothering to process,
and (b) the speaker will be as economical as they possibly can be in
In 3 words, "Shorter Is Better".
They don't .
People rarely read Web pages word by word; instead,
scan the page , picking out individual words and
research on how people read websites we found that 79 percent of
our test users always scanned any new page they came across; only 16
percent read word-by-word. (Update: a newer study found that
users read email newsletters even more abruptly than they read
As a result, Web pages have to employ scannable
text , using
highlighted keywords (hypertext
links serve as one form of highlighting; typeface variations and
color are others)
meaningful sub-headings (not
one idea per
paragraph (users will skip over any additional ideas if they are not
caught by the first few words in the paragraph)
inverted pyramid style, starting with the conclusion
half the word count
(or less) than conventional writing
So we know that when presenting relevance you want to
make it available as the first thing the visitor sees when entering your
site. (In the header after the logo).
You want to decorate the text so the user understands the importance.
(Most important text in
and largest text on the page.
We also know from eye tracking that the left side of the
page is of great import and to take advantage of this, your primary
navigation should take up this space.
On the right you can setup the cart displays, login, ads,
and secondary information.
Now you have your layout, where to position the necessary
relevance factors, your markup, and the general look and feel of the
On first visit you want the site to load in about a
second or under and your primary information available without
scrolling, flash graphics can be used, but they should be confined to
graphics of 320x320 pixels at a maximum.
Full page flash productions just do not work as they do not impart
significant information to the spider indexing the page.
Speaking of graphics, "Image or Banner Blindness" is a
very real problem.
Click to enlarge ->
In some cases, buckets, or images used
for internal marketing (that means, images to direct people within your
own website), are sometimes completely overlooked by visitors.
Why? It’s an
image, plain and simple. More and more, users are associating images
with generic and useless fluff. Some eye-tracking studies demonstrate
that images supplementing articles are often completely overlooked in
favor of content. They’re given the same attention as web banners for
competitors. Sure, some people do look at them, but not a lot of people.
searching for specific information on a website, users focus only on
the parts of the page where they assume the relevant information will
be, small text and hyperlinks
When you do use images, use them cautiously and to supplement the text.
Rather than purchase stock photos, try using some of your staff at work.
Photos of happy smiling people have little impact on your
readers, unless they relate directly to your content.
Watch out for rotating graphics.
If the banner displays an image not
specifically relevant to the page, it may push the content on that page
down in terms of value.
Pushing Navigation Down
The primary purpose of your home page
should be to create a high-level map of the world for your visitors so
they can understand the range of available products that you carry. The
giant banner will take up all of the prime real estate on the home page
and push this navigation off the visible top of the page - sabotaging
the page's primary purpose.
Rotating Banners? Just Say No!
Tim Ash | April 3, 2012 |
Motion in a scene triggers the reptilian
portion of our brain. This occurs at the level of automatic survival
instinct and cannot be avoided. Frequent motion changes in a part of the
page keep stealing the visitors' attention and make it difficult to
visually prioritize or to consume any other content on the page.
Inconsistent Messaging and Look
Often the individual frames of your
slideshow will look very different. They will use wildly divergent
messaging, visual imagery, and calls to action. Since they are so
visually dominant on the page, the experience of your site radically and
repeatedly changes within the span of a few seconds - creating a
schizophrenic identity for your site.
Building a website is not as simple as it seems on the
With the amount of competition in every segment of the
market it is imperative that the site be done in a manner which conforms
to how people AND search engines discover and assimilate information
It is not just a matter of putting words and images on a
page, it is the science of understanding and guiding the reader to a
conclusion that benefits both them and the site owner, be that a
download, sign-up, request for more information, or a sale.
Few "home made", DIY sites perform well, just
because of the complexity of supporting factors needed.
Businesses, if they are to succeed need to get their priorities straight
and have their website developed professionally.
Guidelines for Web Credibility 10 guidelines for building the
credibility of a web site. These guidelines are based on three years of
research that included over 4,500 people.
Paranoia as a
SEO Survival Trait With all the changes and
enforcements being made to Google's linking rules, it will pay the site
owner to be extremely careful in their SEO plans.
Mind Games (Updated 8/31) Google introduces
the "We are going to screw with the heads of the SEO people" patent.
Linking, Anchor Text a detective story.
The FIRST thing we have to realize is that correlation is NOT causation.
and Meta Tags Title and Meta Tag Composition.
Google puts a lot of weight on the title.
keyword research. As a business owner you must
understand what it is that your customers or clients are looking for
when they do an online search.
Users won't read your text thoroughly in a word-by-word manner.
Exhaustive reading is rare, especially when prospective customers are
conducting their initial research to compile a shortlist of vendors.
Website Building Questions To Ask Your Mentor From keyword research
to hosting to design and marketing. Do you know what you don't know?
for the web. Designing for display on a monitor is quite different
than designing for print.
Text on a monitor is interpreted differently than printed text.
Defining Relevance Steps needed
to comply with Google's desire for relevant copy.
The "H" is never silent. "H"
tags or heading tags, tell the search engines the importance of the text
enclosed in their brackets, which are normally keywords used in page
Evidence-Based User Experience Research
If you do not want to do it yourself, send me an email to
contact me in skype, I am vre-crash. NO charge for the inital
Marketing your developed website.
Hurray! I have
the top 1% most
profiles for 2012.
As one of the
top 1% of
LinkedIn's members and a 19 year veteran of online marketing, I
would advise getting involved and contributing in group sessions.
Get listed on quality sites like Yellow Pages,
business directories, city business indexes, and trade publications.
Don't worry if you have to pay or not. Google advises AdWords customers
that thyey should get a YellowPage listing as they will often come up #1
in an organic keyword search.
Make certain to include a local address and phone
in a well viewed location on your site. Make it a
Do NOT try to build links to influence your SEO.
Consider link building only for traffic reasons, or to increase the
quality of the topic's information silo.