Search Engines: Taking Phone Books Down

I was meeting with a client about their Web site redesign and we started talking about how important it is becoming to ensure that your Web site is search engine friendly. So many people (including myself) simply throw out their bulky phone books – preferring to search for companies online (in turn making their homes less cluttered and not quite as bug-friendly – yes, another bug reference, sorry it fits). posted the other day on “10 Tips for Search Engine Optimization”. While the article referenced is very sales-y, I think some of the guidelines are important enough to repeat.

  1. Optimize your site for your target audience, not search engines. [You know what you’d look for to find your site, but what would your audience look for?]
  2. Research your keyword phrases extensively. [Make sure your keywords have a purpose and will be used by your audience.]
  3. Program your site to be “crawler-friendly.” [If search engines can’t properly read your site, they won’t list your site… meaning no one will be able to find you from a search.]
  4. Label your internal text links and clickable image alt attributes (a.k.a. alt tags) as clearly and descriptively as possible. [A picture is worth 1000 words, but not to search engines. ALT tags are your way to tell search engines what that image is about.]
  5. Incorporate your keyword phrases into each page’s unique Title tag. [The Title tag is one of the easiest places you can include a variety of keywords. Don’t be afraid of variety.]