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Web Site Optimisation
Often, one of the easiest and least expensive ways for most online businesses to attract targeted customers is through search engine traffic. Unfortunately, site optimisation, the process of preparing a site for search engines is often an afterthought and only brought up well after the site has been designed.

Studies show that search engine traffic can account for as much as 40% of a site's traffic. The main problem is that many sites are not designed to account for this traffic and usually draw in much less than 40%. In fact, most web sites are lucky if they pull in 10-15% of their visitors via search engines. And in many cases, the ones that do are often pulling in traffic based on keywords or phrases that are not relevant to the company's products or services.

Sadly, site optimization is seen as the ugly duckling of online marketing. It's valued by a few insiders who truly see how it fits into the big picture, but misunderstood or even ignored by the masses. As an online marketing tool, it is one of the most cost-effective ways to drive targeted traffic to your site. And besides attracting new visitors and providing a bigger bang for the client's buck, the process also improves the site for the visitors once they get there.

The truth is that people and search engines both want the same thing. Information! The easier you make it for them to get to the information, the more success you'll have. While, I'm not arguing that we should all revert back to the days of plain HTML text (although this has certainly shown to garnish very good results), you do need to have a good balance in your design. This means, it's important to limit the use of tools such as Flash, frames, splash pages, JavaScript, and other web technologies that we all like to use to make our sites look cool. While they may help us win awards, they often stop search engines in their tracks.

If you're just starting off for the first time, you have the opportunity to do it right from the beginning. For those who already have a site, a little tweaking can do a lot to improve search engine results and deliver targeted traffic month after month.

Skip the Splash Page
A favorite of many web designers is the Splash Page, a graphic or animation that displays when the visitor first reaches the web site. The common belief among most designers is that this technique builds or reinforces the brand of a site. While the jury is still out on the potential branding affect, splash pages have shown to drastically hamper search engine results. The main problem is that most search engines are unable to navigate past the splash page or treat it as Spam thereby ignoring the rest of your content.

Go easy on the graphics
Most search engines do not navigate graphic based web sites. Ideally, your web site design should contain a good balance of text, graphics, and white space. Not only will this help ensure that the search engines are able to navigate your site but it will also make it easier for visitors to get to the important information without waiting for full page to load.

Minimize the use of technology
Two common technologies found today on most web sites are databases and Flash (the technology that allows animation on the web). While both tools can aid developers and help build a better web site, they also tend to prevent search engines from reaching the content. In other words, if you use these technologies extensively throughout your site, there's very little chance that you will receive the search engine traffic you desire.

Avoid using frames if possible
The use of frames has historically caused poor search rankings as search engines often have difficulty navigating the various pages within the frame. Often, if a page happens to gets indexed, it usually ends up causing poor listings with missing titles and descriptions and navigation problems once the visitor reaches the site (as they likely won't see the other pages within the frame that contain the navigation). In most cases, with a little extra effort and planning, you can still achieve the same design without using frames and benefit in the long run from the improved search engine rankings.

If your web site is in need of targeted traffic, please contact us at info@mediakraft.com for assistance.