Tools & How-To's You Can Use

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Common Mistakes = Hinder your web page ranking, visibility, and usability


Common Mistakes Graphic ElementNOT UNDER CONSTRUCTION !

The goal of improving your ranking in Google is to cause the least amount of errors during the periodic search of your pages for indexing by the web-crawlers (robots). In the algorithmic universe, imagine that your page gets positive points for good code (properly executed) and negative points for bad code, or incomplete code, or extraneous/irrelevant code pieces that wastes the robots "attention."

It also irks human users to stumble across sites marked

Under Construction or variations on that theme. 

So - don't do it.

Who is your intended audience ?

As you plot of out the draft of what information the site will provide, spend time thinking about your intended audience. Why would they be interested in viewing your site?  Is the same info presented on other web sites in a better way with better exposure/web traffic less stuff to wade through to get at what they are looking for? Is your information useful or unique, entertaining, well presented?  Why do I want to see your pages?

Test your writing skills

Read the text of the page you just coded out loud. Be really honest with yourself - would you want to hear someone reading that information to you if you were sitting on the bus near them and couldn't move to sit somewhere else?

Run on sentences? Hack 'em down to say more with less words. use better adjectives and cut out the baloney.

Type the text of your page in a word processor first and use the spell checker and the grammar checker. Once you are happy with having no bad marks in either spelling or grammar, copy that checked text into a plain text (notepad document) scratchpad, or into your HTML editing software.

Who What Why Where How When.....

Pretend you are submitting a writing assignment for your 5th grade language teacher...

If the page is not done, Don't post it

on the live web server until it is.

Read that sentence again, and paste it inside of your forehead.

Page Titles Too Long

keep to 22 characters or less,

and do not use HTML or XHTML reserved characters

or Page Titles containing these words

  • Under Construction
  • untitled
  • Page 1
  • document

Also don't title your page: My Web Page - search engines, and humans viewing the pages All Know The File is a Web page.

Keep link text short

Use as few words as possible on link text - linking whole sentences displays poorly on mobile devices - and differently in various web browsers.

Mobile devices are the fastest growing

user segment in viewing web pages.

Take the time to learn about making your pages web usable to mobile devices - or at the very least, making your web site NOT un-usable for mobile devices. Use of Flash programming, heavy java scripting, and using large graphics (photos particularly) will make your pages less usable, and in some cases totally un-usable by mobile web-users.  Page backgrounds are automatically deleted by many mobile web browsers, as are colored table cell backgrounds.

Use ALT tags on images and graphic elements

Use alt tags to accurate describe your images and graphic elements so web crawling robots can identify them and not mark your pages as automatic disregard <ignore>because they encountered too many unidentified objects

Navigation on your site

Creating clean and bump-free site navigation also improves your site page ranking in the search engines. Consistent Navigation Bar Links on all pages are important. Don't make the users' eye wander (and wonder) to find how to get to the other pages on your site. At the bare minimum, make sure every page has a clearly marked link back to the main page, and place in the the exact same position on each page of the site - so the user knows where to look for it.

Test your code

Clean, well-created code keeps the internet working better for everyone.

Every time you change/edit or create a new page - not while your are working on it, but before you post the page for live consumption, go check your code with any one of the free code checker utilities on the internet.  After checking it, fix the errors then check it after fixing.

Updating your site content frequently keeps visitors returning to see what's new. Consider if the information you are providing would be better served in a BLOG format rather than a web page.

A bit of fun...

Join Linked In!

Using your Linked-In profile to list your web site will get you better results in Google than a lot of other things. They have about a bazillion hits a day - try it and see where your web page gets listed.

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