Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Let’s face it, “googling” is now part of the English language.
Google is the top ranking search engine, so now the name of the game is to have your site top-ranked on Google.
It doesn’t hurt to have top ranking at Yahoo!, AOL, and MSN either.

But today, ensuring your site appears in top positions in search engine results isn’t a do-it/forget-it proposition.
It takes time and diligence to manually insert the right algorithms into your index and relevant pages
that will get your site noticed and picked up by the Open Project Directory and other major search engines.

It’s time consuming, tedious work that can pay off in big ways. It requires the skill to push the limits without pushing too far and having your site banned for life.

Why it’s important to website design

The objective is to ensure that your customers find you

Potential customers find your site before they find your competition

How we do it

SEO is a blend of technical savvy with effective copywriting. While nothing short of 24/7 vigilance can ensure a site will always come out on top, a few practical strategies can and do make a difference:

  • Create a ranking strategy that meets your goals
  • Write skillfully crafted and relevant site copy
  • Build effective site architecture
  • Create and encode relevant page titles and descriptions
  • Register your site with top search engines
  • Submit your site manually to the top search engines
  • Find relevant directories and submit your site

What can we do for you?

We can create keywords or phrases in page titles and headings with the proper keyword density and link usage, then create links from all respected search sources so you have a large number of links pointing to your site. We manually submit everything, and report significant changes in your listing on a regular basis. If your listings fall, we optimize your site to bring it back to top rankings.

Language

Tone, vocabulary and style can make the difference between ease of use and user irritation

Language is our most powerful tool. We use it to filter and define our world. It empowers us to make connections, get involved, and to influence each other. It also gives us the power to mislead, antagonize and irritate each other.

Speak to the User

Site builders commonly spend huge chunks of time defining architecture, implementing whiz-bang back-ends, and designing the graphical user interface. Rarely do they think about a site’s language and how it effects a site’s functionality and appeal to users.

Language (often referred to as “content”) plays second fiddle to interface design and (oh groan) spectacular graphics. Language is often underestimated and sadly undervalued.

Well-written sites speak the language of the user. Tone, terms, and word choice need to be consistent. Just as the graphic designer puts a great deal of creativity and sensibility into page layout, font treatments, size, color, kerning and margins, so too should the Web writer manage the language of a site on a global level.

Beware Pitfalls

It takes a watchdog to maintain consistency in tone, terminology, and word choice. A site whose content is written by someone who understands and speaks the user’s language can suddenly sour if other writers write too many updates. One solution is a Language Czar. This is the person whose word is law. Everyone producing content for the site passes copy through the Czar’s editing process.

Language is a critical part of the site metaphor, the user interface, and the user experience. It includes vocabulary, word choice, punctuation, and synonyms.

A key element is guidance. Guidance text is a tricky thing. Too many “click here” statements can send a message to the user that he must be an idiot, or that your designer hasn’t a clue about designing and building. Conversely, a user who doesn’t get enough guidance on a page can become lost, or fail to achieve his goals. A consistent, intuitive navigation scheme is the solution.

Punctuation has its pitfalls. Do you use quotation marks or italics? When do you use the exclamation point? Your exclamation point might mean that you’re excited about what you’re just said. To the user it may make him feel like he’s just been yelled at. Capital letters make some users feel yelled at too.

Another key area is the terms used to describe the functionality of the site. In a shopping cart, what’s the difference between Order and Invoice? Find, Browse, and Search do not mean the same things. They each have distinct connotations for the user.

Category titles and headers should say what you mean. Leave the cute metaphors to the artsy types and their ego sites.

Language is extraordinarily flexible. With tone, vocabulary, and style you can make the difference between ease of use and user irritation. Language can make or break the user experience. Or it can be the great foundation of a user-friendly site.

Summary

  • Speak the user’s language
  • Assign a Language Czar
  • Guide users with link text
  • Avoid confusing metaphors