Keep your target audience interested
The best way to attract people to your website, and keep them coming back, is to fill your web pages with valuable content in which your target audience is interested. The following guidelines can help you create a more effective and popular webpage:
- In the visible webpage text, include words users might choose as search query terms to find the information on your website.
- Limit all web pages to a reasonable size. We recommend covering one topic per webpage. An HTML webpage with no images should be under 150 KB.
- Make sure that each webpage is accessible by at least one static text link.
- Don't put the text that you want indexed within images. For example, if you want your company name or address to be indexed, make sure it isn't displayed only inside an image of your company logo.
- Add a sitemap, which helps search engines to find all of your web pages. Links that are embedded in menus, list boxes, and similar elements aren't accessible to web crawlers unless they appear in your sitemap.
- Keep your website hierarchy fairly flat. That is, each webpage should only be from one to three clicks away from the default webpage.
Techniques that might prevent your website from appearing in search results
The following techniques aren't appropriate in terms of attempting to gain higher ranking within search engines. Use of these techniques might actually adversely affect how your website is ranked within search engines, and might even cause your website to be removed from the index.
- Attempting to increase a webpage's keyword density by add lots of irrelevant words. This includes stuffing ALT tags that users are unlikely to view.
- Using hidden text or links. Only use text and links that are visible to users.
- Using techniques, such as link farms, to artificially increase the number of links to your webpage.
Technical recommendations for your website
Use the following techniques to ensure your website is technically optimized for web crawlers:
- Use only well-formed, HTML code in your web pages. Make sure that all paired tags are closed, and that all links open the correct webpage.
- If your website contains broken links, search engines might not be able to index your website effectively, thus preventing people from reaching all of your web pages.
- If you move a webpage, set up the webpage's original URL to redirect people to the new webpage. Indicate whether the move is permanent or temporary.
- Make sure search engines are allowed to crawl your website and isn't on your list of web crawlers that are prohibited from indexing your website.
- Use a Robots.txt file or <meta> tags to control how web crawlers index your website. You can use the robots.txt file to prevent web crawlers from crawling specific files and folders.
- Keep your URLs simple and static. URLs that are complicated or that change frequently are difficult to index as link destinations. For example, the URL www.example.com/mywebpage is easier for search engines to crawl and for people to type than a long URL with multiple extensions. Also, a URL that doesn't change is easy for people to remember and bookmark. That makes your webpage a more likely link destination from other websites.