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April 06, 2010 By Hendrik-Jan Francke

3 ways to tell if your website is search engine friendly

Even the best websites don't reach their full potential if nobody sees them.

One of Bright Orange Thread's unique strengths is our ability to increase traffic to our clients' websites via search engine optimization (SEO). We understand how search engines organize and rank their results and we can tailor your website with links, meta-tags, and other content that will rank your site higher than your competitor's. SEO is a low-cost "organic" way to increase traffic to your site.

How can you tell if your website is search engine friendly? We've outlined a few ways to tell.

Is important content high on the page?

On your browser, if you view a page without style (View > Page Source), you can see how a search engine views pages on a website. To search engines, the most important information is the information at the top of all this code. So a search engine will base its results on the keywords it finds there.

We not only organize your content so the high-value headline is highest on the page, but we also use semantic HTML tags to help search engines find it (this part is a bit complicated so we'll define semantic HTML in another post).

Are there pages that focus on one product or service?

Another search-engine-friendly strategy is placing only one product or service per page. Listing all your products or services on one page makes it harder for search engines to identify the most important keywords.

For each product or service, create a separate page that contains only the specific keywords. So when users type in these keywords, your page is more likely to be returned as a relevant result by a search engine.

Does the site use images to display text?

Sometimes designers use images to display text so they achieve a certain look they can't get with normal web-safe fonts. When they do this, they lose an important opportunity to increase SEO.

Search engines can't read images.

Search engines can't read images like they read actual type, so they won't return your site as a high-ranked result when users search for specific keywords. It's understandable that some designers want to use fancy type to draw the human eye, but by doing so they neglect drawing the attention of search engines.

As designers and SEO experts, we use other design tricks that attract visitors without compromising SEO.

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