SEO – Search Engine optimization- don’t forget the basics

Sometimes the most basic things can be overlooked when setting up a website.  I recently was called by a client who needed someone to help the site be seen when doing a Search Engine query.  The website that they were using has been designed by someone else and I was able to come in after the design was completed and optimize the site for web searches.

Making the transition to a new website can be complex but doesn’t need to be something that is overwhelming. I began with the basics, looking at the meta data, then looking at how the site was structured, creating a sitemap xml file then began to see if the new site had been submitted to the search engines.  Most of these tasks are not hard for a web designer once you know about submitting sites to google, yahoo, ask etc.  The other thing that a web designer would need to know is how to set up a google analytics account and set up goals for the site. This way the customer will be able to see not just how many clicks the site may get, but see how people are interacting with the site.

Setting up a google analytics account requires a gmail account and the ability to place code in your webpage.  These thing are not complex but cannot be missed for any web designer no matter if you are just beginning and create sites as a hobby.  While there plenty more task that can be done to improve visibility on the web, the basics have to be done first. Get a good book on SEO and keep up to date as things do change.  But unless you do the basics first all the other work, such as crafting content that usees good keywords, coming up with content people want to ready, will not nearly be as effective.

Next and the hardest part is creating content that people want to read and doing so on a regular basis.  But that is another blog.

here are some links  you may find helpful

Google Analytics

http://www.google.com/analytics/

Google Webmaster Central

http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/?hl=en

Yahoo! Submit Your Site

http://search.yahoo.com/info/submit.html

Ask – Webmasters

http://about.ask.com/en/docs/about/webmasters.shtml

Free Sitemap Generator –

http://www.xml-sitemaps.com/

Extension for Dreamweaver – Sitemap Everyday

http://www.adobe.com/cfusion/exchange/index.cfm?event=extensionDetail&extid=1180538