Category Archives: Spiders

Website Basics: An Introduction to Important Terms and Concepts-Search Engine Optimization

PART II: WEB DESIGN

1. Search Engines and Search Engine Optimization

In the previous post, we discussed that there is a second audience besides humans that your website should consider–robots!

Robots are the programs that search engines send out to gather and scour information on the Internet and report back to them. These robots are also called spiders and their activity is called “spidering.” Spiders, of course, “crawl” the World Wide Web.

This collected information is then evaluated by criteria set forth in search engine algorithms. Algorithms are a set of procedures created to solve a problem or get to a desired result in a specified manner. The results of the algorithm process determine search engine rankings. This is the order in which websites are displayed when a search is made.

Search engine algorithms are constantly changing and can be different from search engine to search engine. When the algorithm changes, your website’s rankings may fluctuate up and down for a time as your website is affected by the new weighting of different criteria, and so are your competitors’. This fluctuation is called by some the “Google dance.”

If you are using the Internet to help advertise or increase your Internet presence for your business, organization or area of interest, rankings are very important. This is because many people do not go past the first few results or pages, so what is on top has the best opportunity of having Internet users visit.

Search engine optimization specialists will often research and study many more pages in order to have a more in depth understanding of the competition to help clients rank better. While search engine optimization specialists study many things and employ a variety of techniques to help a website be and rank its best, no one should ever guarantee a high ranking. Ranking high is like doing well in the stock market or a horse winning a race. While much can be done to ensure success, there are so many different and uncontrollable variables and competitors, even the best specialist cannot and should not guarantee results.

Having some basic understanding of these busy spiders is key to encouraging them to visit and report back that your website is indeed worthy, in the minds of those who created the latest algorithms, of a higher ranking than your competitor’s. It is important to create good solid websites that are useful to humans, which is what companies like Google state is their intent for the algorithms.

It is also important to realize that what is considered tasty by a spider, whether it is program or arachnid, is very different from a succulent meal or “eye candy” to humans.

The art, or practice, of making a better website by using and creating tasty morsels for the spiders to feast on and report back favorably to their masters is called search engine optimization (SEO).

Search engine optimization will be covered in a future installment of our series, “Website Basics: An Introduction to Important Terms and Concepts.”

All rights reserved. This article, all articles, images, etc., are copyright Little Mountain Web Design.

Website Basics: An Introduction to Important Terms and Concepts-Web Design

PART II: WEB DESIGN

Web design should give cohesion to all your thoughts and ideas for presenting your information to the Internet public in the form of a website. This next chapter will be broken into many parts. Today, we will explore some basic factors to be used for creating a website, some goals and types of audiences.

1. What Factors Should One Consider In Designing a Website?

When you are considering your design, it is important to consider the following factors and strategies:

  • Purpose/Goal of your website
  • Audience for your website
  • Company/Organization name
  • Functions/action verbs associated with your company/organization
  • Branding strategy
  • Colors
  • Themes
  • Text

Choosing the right design and content for your website is very important and depends upon two major factors, your goals and your audience.

Here are some questions to help you get started.

What Are the Goals/Purposes of Your Website?

Websites can have many purposes, as stated earlier. They can introduce/sell a new idea, product, service, business, or organization. They can be used to communicate with, connect with and provide functions to clients. They can also be used to help your team, business, organization, Internet community work or engage more effectively.

The type of goals, whether they are internal, for your employees, or organization members, affects how the website can be designed. For example, your goal could be to increase the level of collaboration among your team, explain new products or services to existing customers, or introduce your business to new customers.

For websites whose purpose is more common, that of reaching the unknown Internet user, different strategies are employed, including more explanatory text and search engine optimization (SEO).

When you begin to create your website, you should start with your specific goals in mind and any other factors that may be important to you and create your own special list of goals. As time passes, you may change this list to better reflect your needs and direction. It is best to set up a time frame to periodically reevaluate your website, its goals and audience as you do your business plan, to make sure your website is working hard for you to do what is needed.

For more details on goals and purposes, please see our earlier article dated 17 January 2011. You can do that by clicking this link, http://402webpage.com/website-basics-an-introduction-to-important-terms-and-concepts.

Who Is the Audience for Your Website?

There are many ways to look at your audience. One is to break it up into three categories: general, intended, and robots.

General refers to anyone that ends up finding your website. This person may or may not have an interest in finding your particular website, but they have located it. It is important when designing the website and creating your text to realize that not everyone may know as much about your area of interest or specialty, so some broad explanations are needed to help fill in some of the gaps, even if your website is only geared towards professionals in your area.

Intended is the specific group of people that you hope to attract. These may be customers, buyers for department stores, government entities, suppliers, volunteers for a non-profit, or just people with a common interest in your field.

The last type of audience you have are robots, programs that collect information from the web. This is important if you want others to find your website when using a search engine.

We will explain more of this in our next installment, “Search Engines and Search Engine Optimization”.

Please return later or read on for the continuation of this series and more on web design, where we will cover an overview of search engine optimization.

All rights reserved. This article and all articles are copyright Little Mountain Web Design.