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Thursday, February 28, 2008

This morning I started out watching Shari Thurow discuss Search Engine
Friendly Web Design. I have seen Ms. Thurow speak before and always enjoy
listening to her! She has a wonderful book called, “Search
Engine Visibility
.” It’s a must have for your library.

Shari started out with the 5 basic rules of web design.

1. Your Web site should be easy to read

2. Your Web site should be easy to navigate

3. Your Web site should be easy to find

4. Your Web page layout and design should be consistent throughout the site

5. Your Web site should be quick to download.

Shari also stated that although these rules seem quite simple and easy, she
finds that most sites do not follow these simple principles.

Here are some other great facts that Shari added:

• Navigation difficulty is the number one reason (31%) people leave and buy from
your competitor.

• The 3 click rule is no longer applicable. As long as your customers feel that
they are getting to where they need to go. Check out the Scent of Information by
Jared Spool.

• Make sure your most important information is above the fold

• Most important information on your website is your contact information. This
helps to build credibility. Make sure that you add this information to your
about us page as well as your contact us page.

There are 2 factors that are important to ranking in the search engines. The
primary factors include what search engines read to determine relevancy. This
would include your title tag, text, and links. The secondary factors include
meta-tags, alt tags, and domain names.

When focusing on keywords, make sure that you use words that your customers will
use. Include these keyword phrases in your title tag, body, anchor text links,
meta-tags, alt tags, and remember 100% relevancy.

Shari Thurow also stated that there are 3 types of search queries. These

• Navigational

• Transactional

• Informational

Your site must help your user to accomplish all 3 equally.

Next she discussed the differences between the old fashioned doorway pages and
the new SEO friendly informational pages.

The new SEO friendly information pages are primarily made for information; they
match the rest of the website, and reside on your server. They do not require
extra clicks, they contain high quality links and end users and spiders see the
same thing.

Doorway pages on the other hand are only built for the search engines. The text
is all gibberish, the pages reside on another server, the pages typically
require extra clicking or they redirect the user, the end user and spiders do
not see the same page.

Another great tip offered by Shari is to add keywords to your about us page. Add
a photo and give them a call to action as well.

Finally she ended the session with some red flags you need to be careful of
which include:

*Doorway page

*Hallway page

*Envelope pages

*Mini or micro sites

*Satellite sites

*Attraction pages

*Magnet sites

*Channel pages

*Shadow domains

*Theme based sites

*Advertising pages

*Instant links

*Permanent positions

*Guaranteed positions

by: Shawna Seigel

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