What Does 'Search Engine Friendly' Mean?
Search engine friendly design ensures that all the important
parts of your site are easily accessable by search engines. When
a search engine visits your site for inclusion in
a search index, it doesn't actually 'see' the site. Search engines
automatically read the code that is behind the visual interface
and use this information to log what your site is about. This
code can be easy to get to or difficult and in some cases
impossible. If your site code doesn't contain information
that is relevant to what your site is about then your site
won't be very effective in search engines.
An example of this would be with a navigation menu. In general,
search engines find it much easier to figure out plain old
html text vs. graphical images of text.You may have noticed
that many sites these days are using plain text for navigation
rather than the fancy 'roll-over' button images of the past.
This is happening as web designers begin to understand the importance
of search engine marketing. If the graphics used as text are
named appropriately (in the code) then a search engine will
still be able to understand what the button is for but it's
likely to place more emphasis on a text link over the graphical
link. If you absolutely must have an image based navigation
bar then it's wise to also include text links at the bottom
of your page. This is just one example of how design can influence
your search engine accessibility and position.
Is Your Website Search Engine Friendly?
If your site isn't search engine friendly and optimised for
relevant keywords, chances are your search engine position
won't be too good and your target audience might not be able
to easily find your site. Do a quick test right now:
1) Think of a phrase that describes the main product or service
your business provides. If you service a particular geographic
area, include the name of that area, eg. brisbane suit hire.
2) Visit the Google
Australia website, type your phrase into the search box
and click the 'Google Search' button.
3) Next, try a Google Search using your exact business name.
Note that it should be easy for you to rank number one for your business name (unless it's something very generic no one else should be more relevant to those words than you!).