Blue Sun Web Design Weekly Twitter Summary

April 15th, 2009
  • I burned the roof of my mouth eating a piece of pizza…
  • I don’t have ad/h… on look, a squirrel!!
  • I was just sitting here when it hit me that I think Twitter is a Major Time Suck
  • Dude, honestly, there is no way you can compare Yoda to Gandolf
  • Who farted?
  • Six hours later and we still haven’t convinced him you can’t marry a goat
  • I don’t think I am ever going to master that Barre Chord
  • Who is doing all of the work while everyone is fiddle fuck tweeting around???

10 mistakes to avoid when designing your website to be search engine friendly

March 18th, 2009

In a previous article that I wrote concerning Search Engine Optimization I mentioned some of the more obvious blunders when designing your site for good natural placement.

Now, I would like to cover some of the other not so obvious areas where a web owner can make some improvements.

Additional on page factors that impact SEO that aren’t as obvious are;

  • Poor code to text ratio.
  • Content too far down in the code.
  • Low or excessive keyword ratios.
  • Low keyword prominence.
  • Excessive use of tables.
  • Use of frames.
  • URL Structuring for dynamic websites.
  • Duplicate Content/Canonical Issues.
  • No Site Map
  • Excessive Use of Java or other scripting.

What do all these mean?

1. Poor code to text ratio. - The Code to Text Ratio represents the percentage of actual text in a web page. The code to text ratio of a page is used by search engines and spiders to calculate the relevancy of a web page. A higher code to text ratio gives you a better chance of getting a good page ranking for your page. Not all search engines are using the code to text ratio in their index algorithm, but most of them do. So having a higher code to text ratio than your competitors gives you a good start for on-page optimization.

2. Content too far down in the code. - When designing your website, remember to try to get as much meat or substance to the top of your code just below the tag as you can. Having 300 lines of code (style information, java, etc…) before a search engine spider can extrapolate what you site is about may send them running away thereby harming your chances at good organic rankings.

3. Low or excessive keyword ratios. - Identify what you feel your visitors may type into a search engine to find you. There are many tools available for that and I will discuss them in another article. Once you determine what your most important keywords are (and I am only talking about 10 or 12 keywords or phrases here), then you should check to see what their density is. There are various debates on the exact density one should maintain to achieve optimal ratings, but I think everyone is just guessing at this point. I would find a good keyword density checking tool and check the keyword density of my competition. Use that as your benchmark for density. This tool will alert you if your density is perceived to be too low, or too high. Too low can lead to not being perceived as relevant enough while a very high keyword density can be perceived as being spammy.

4. Low keyword prominence. - Keyword prominence is a rating of how prominent a keyword is in your website and this is calculated by looking at your title, description, meta tags and other various on page factors. It is a general belief that you should use your keywords at or near the beginning of the above mentioned areas and also near the beginning of page text, sentences.

5. Excessive use of tables. - Excessive use of tables while doing your design adds additional coding to your page, dilutes the relevance of your actual content, and generally slows page load time which may not have an impact on the spiders, but sure does irritate human visitors. Lay your pages out using creative css techniques, and make sure to like to the css style sheet instead of having all of the code on page.

6. Use of frames. - Frames are just icky. Also, if you view the page source of a page that uses frames, you will notice there is very little code or text displayed. Good for hiding your copyrighted material (not fool proof though), but very bad for natural rankings and organic SEO. In short, don’t use frames.

7. URL structuring for dynamic websites. - If you are looking for an advantage to the millions of other pages on the web that look like this…

http://www.somedomain.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=category┬žionid=4&id=16&Itemid=27

Then make sure you do your homework. It is a good idea, if you are just starting your website, to rewrite dynamic urls using mod re-write and give them meaning.

8. Duplicate content/canonical issues. - Lets say you have a website of yourdomain.com Suppose you have a www and a non www version of your domain. - Each of these pages or urls are viewed to be separate urls by Google. Matt Cutts discusses this in length over at his blog.

9. No site map. - Lets say you are a spider and you are driving around and enter a town you have never been to before but you want to take in all of the sites. Wouldn’t is be great if someone handed you a detailed road map when you crossed the city line? That’s what a site map is. It is a detailed map of your site that helps spiders crawl around and find the important information sooner. There is also a consortium by the major search engines and it is located at Sitemaps.org that offers sitemap protocol and has support from Google, Yahoo, and MSN.

10. Excessive use of Java or other scripting. - I am not saying that using these scripts is bad, I am just saying put the scripting on a separate page of the site and call it into the intended page when needed. an example of that is on the home page of CAD Website Design where we rotate selected portfolio pieces on the home page. If you examine the source code, you can’t even see the portfolio script or code. That is because the code used to drive the rotating script is not relevant text and we have chosen to not include it in the body of the text.

Follow these tips and other website design tips when designing your website. These are all on page items that you can control and will make natural improvements in your search engine rankings.

5 On Page Elements To Pay Attention To When Designing Your Website For Search Engine Friendliness

March 18th, 2009

I posted this article before, but these factors are still very important when designing your website for search engine friendliness. These 5 on page elements, if not done properly, can destroy your efforts to rank well. They are as follows;

  1. Using images in place of text.
  2. No use of alt text in value added images.
  3. Over use of images.
  4. Lack of headings tags.
  5. Poorly written title and description tags.

What do these all mean?

1. Using Images in Place of Text - Often, you will see a logo in the corner of a website with a company slogan, or a bulleted list of services on a website that are no more than an image. A search engine spider can not read the text in an image, it sees it as nothing more than an image. To see what your website looks like to a search engine spider, go to seochat.com/seo-tools/spider-simulator/

2. No Use of Alt Text - When writing your html and inserting images, you will probably enter code that looks something like this… img src=”images/website_hosting2.gif” alt=”website hosting” width=”16? height=”16? border=”0?

Notice the alt= part. This is an opportunity to associate the image with a valuable keyword, but be aware of keyword stuffing as alt tags are intended for ease of navigation for individuals with disabilities.

3. OverUse of Images - This has more of an impact on the visitors browsing experience and has an impact on load time of your website. Overuse of images can dilute your keyword density as well. Remember, content is king.

4. Missing Heading Tags - Headings tags are used to give emphasis to certain words or paragraphs within the context of your website. This is typically done by using a H1, H2, H3 or other H tag. These tags tell the search engine spiders that particular emphasis should be put on this term when evaluating what the website is about.

5. Poorly Written Title and Description - This is just what it implies. A poorly written title or description of your site can have a devastating effect on your seo efforts.

Additional on page factors that impact SEO that are not as obvious are;

  • Poor code to text ratio.
  • Content too far down in the code.
  • Low or excessive keyword ratios.
  • Low keyword prominance.
  • Excessive use of tables.
  • Use of frames.
  • URL Structuring for dynamic websites.
  • Duplicate Content/Canonical Issues.
  • No Site Map
  • Excessive Use of Java or other scripting.

The lists above do not address all potential SEO killers. Addressing these items alone does not guarantee successful placement in SERPS (Search Engine Placement Results), but one can not have a successful seo campaign by ignoring these. When designing your website, make sure that you are observing SEO Best Practices. Doing so will make your seo campaign much easier in the long run.

Updating Web Design Forum Profiles

March 9th, 2009

I have spent the better part of an hour updating most of my forum profiles to include my new web design site in my profiles and signatures.

So far, I have modified;

Cre8asite

SEOmoz

V7N

WebmasterWorld

Webproworld

I still have yet to do Search Engine Watch (had to re-register), DigitalPoint (re-register), and I’m sure there are a few others. Not to mention all of the blog areas I have to change. Is there not one area where someone can manage all of this stuff in one place?

Blue Sun Web Design - Open For Business

March 6th, 2009

After 16 months of retirement, I have decided to go back to work, so to speak. I have decided to do this for several reasons, but first, a little about myself;

My name if Jeff Phillips and I was the owner of CAD Enterprises LLC until November of 2007 when I sold it to Scott Harris. Actually, let me back up just a bit. I sold Classadrivers.com to Internet Brands for a large sum of money, and I sold CADWebsiteDesign.com to Scott Harris for a very small sum of money.

After the sell of the businesses, my wife Lucinda and I decided to retire. Well, I can only take so much of retirement at my age of 45. So the reasons I have decided to throw my hat back into the ring are as follows;

1. I am bored. I need something to keep my mind sharp. Designing websites is what I felt that I did best along with search engine optimization.

2. Have you seen the beating the market is taking? Half of the money we invested just vanished. I need to generate some income to keep from going broke in 20 years.

3. I keep getting calls from desperate past customers who claim Scott Harris is not taking care of them the way he should. I am not taking any shots at Scott because I know he has bigger fish to fry since he is sitting at the #1 spot on Google for the search term website design (kinda wish I had held onto that business). So, I am going to take care of some of the smaller projects here locally and nationally if I get the opportunity to prove myself.

4. I don’t want to go to work for someone else. After owning my own business for seven years, it would be hard to think of someone else as my boss (customers aside).

So, here I am launching a new web development business. I don’t know how long it will be before anyone finds this site via search engines, but what will be really cool is to see if I just got lucky with the first one, or if I really know what I am doing. Only time will tell.

In the meantime, if you are looking at me for a potential project, I will give you the customer service, professionalism, price and delivery you deserve.

Welcome to Blue Sun Web Design! We’re Open For Business!



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