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| Corporate? Quirky? Informational? Artistic? There are a LOT of ways to go with your web site. But if you're not designing your site with search engines in mind then why are you building it at all? |
And while there is no one right way to build a web site, there is a best way to build YOUR site. Here's how to know it when you see it.
By Stephen Worden / Illuminova Technical Services, (c) 2010
Web sites convey information by the written word, images, and (rarely) sound. To write a great site you need to know your audience, how they want to be reached, and how to make the search engine spiders happy at the same time. Not an easy job.
A great web designer would be an excellent writer, gifted with Fine Art skills, and understand at a very low level all of the technology that makes web sites work. In the real world, the designers I meet are strong in only one or at most two of these areas. I have never seen a single person with a high degree of skill in all three areas. To be successful in your web site project you need to determine which of these areas is the most important — search engine optimization, artistic feel, or content. Then you need to hire a developer with the same view or philosophy. (Large projects require a team of experts with deep experience in each of these fields.)
For my clients, the two most important aspects of our web projects are content and optimization. Look and feel is important too, especially for art-related sites like high profile events, Fortune 1000 web sites, museums, etc. But I would rather have an informative, easily cataloged site than a gorgeous one that is invisible to search engines.
Search Engine Optimization
Like I said, if you aren't optimizing the site for search engines, why are you building the site at all? Think of the Internet as a gigantic encyclopedia.
Search engines are the encyclopedia's index or table of contents. If you're not in the index, no one can look you up.