- Category: December 2011
A good rule of thumb, when determining how much content to include, is to insert between 200-250 words of rich search engine friendly content on each of your site pages. If you use more words, do consider that readers typically don't like having to scroll down. Plus make sure that your site loads quickly. If graphics are slowing it down, you'll most probably lose your audience before they get their eyes on your content because they have clicked the "back" button to look for another site instead. Therefore, only use graphics that are relevant to your site's purpose, and aim for a file size that is 12 kB or smaller. If you must include an image that is larger than 12 kB, then use a thumbnail image. In the context of search engine optimization, load-intensive graphics will hinder search engine spiders, since spiders' primary food is content. Use images sparingly, and instead, work on adding relevant content that will attract both users and search engine spiders.
Make sure that every single page on your site has clear navigation, so that users know exactly where they are and where they are going, and do also make sure that all of your links actually work. It's frustrating for users to click on something and encounter the dreaded "404 Error Page Not Found".
It is also very important that your site has no broken side links, as search engine spiders cannot navigate a poorly designed site, and search engine users in general also do not have the patience to navigate a poorly designed site, which means you are missing out on both. While it might sound like a no-brainer, sites with text that is hard to decipher tend to get less visits by search engine users, so also make sure that your text is readable, which means:
- Don't use fonts that are difficult to read on the Web;
- Avoid busy backgrounds that obscure the text;
- Use bold text, headlines, and bullets so users can scan your content quickly.
Don't forget to double check:
- Browser compatibility: Test what your site looks like in a multitude of different browsers, like Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Avant, etc.;
- The overall appeal of your site: What could be improved;
- Loading time: So if you choose to use multimedia technology, use it sparingly;
- Errors and mistakes: Spelling errors can drive away many users, so proofread your site and fix any mistakes;
- Logos or brand names: Make sure to include them on every page for recognition;
- Flash: Use it carefully, since it deters search engine spiders and increases loading time. Instead, focus on keyword-rich content rather than bandwidth-hogging multimedia;
- Frames: Try to avoid them as most major search engine spiders are unable to read frames;
- Sound: Automatically generated sound is usually perceived as extremely distracting and irritating;
- Pop-ups: Avoid using them for any reason as they are just plain annoying.