2. To succeed on search engines, consider the keywords and phrases that your potential customers might use to find information about you. It will be vital to get this right as they are central to optimising your website.
3. To improve your chances of being listed on directories (and to be generally 'user friendly' on the web) make sure that your site is easy to read, clear to navigate and fast to download.
4. Above all, content is crucial, providing users with relevant and useful information that will keep them coming back to your site and written in a way that is search engine friendly.
5. Try to avoid frames as well as redirect pages, software such as Flash, or dynamically generated pages. These can all impact how a search engine can, or will, index your site. If you have to use them then 'gateway pages' can be used to achieve a good ranking on search engines.
6. Build in a page for links to other relevant websites. This will offer value to your users but more importantly, allows you to build 'link popularity' through reciprocal links, which in turn will help enhance your search engine ranking and create traffic from other websites.
7. Don't consider using spamming techniques to improve your ranking as any short-term gain will ultimately lead to long-term loss if your site is blacklisted by the search engines.
8. Choose a web designer that understands your objectives and is not simply keen to demonstrate their skills on the latest software techniques. Even if your web designer does not offer a full search engine placement service, they should be aware of how to optimise your pages to achieve a good ranking. Don't be taken in by the promise of submissions to hundreds of search engines! This can easily be done and it is better to spend the time getting your website right for the top 10 or so main search engines and directories where most of your traffic will come from.
9. If search engine optimisation is not offered by your web designer, talk to a specialist. We understand the techniques required and keep up-to-date with the changing requirements of the top search tools on the web. We will work closely with you to achieve an effective search engine strategy and our marketing and technical skills will help to generate long-term and targeted traffic to your website.
10. And finally, remember that your web design and search engine optimisation should work closely together. Make sure that the content and design gives your potential customers an easy to use, attractive and useful web experience that will keep them coming back. The optimisation of your web pages will then work around your site to help achieve the best results possible.
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