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Good web design is…

Having a website designed is a must for any business. But just designing a website doesn’t always guarantee that your site will be ranked high in the search engines. Chances are if your company is not nationally known or you don’t have the marketing budget like the big boys, you will need help in leveraging the power of search engines to deliver your website the traffic it deserves.

At VBL, we always say creating a website is 49% of the process and 51% is the marketing. It is becoming more and more important to take the time to market your site correctly. Not only is taking the time important to your website’s success, taking the time to do it right is equally important. We’ve seen many times when a customer has come to us, frustrated, wondering why their site is not ranking high or for that matter, not ranking at all. In some cases, we’ve seen work done that will actually get the website banned from some search engines. When that happens, it is a long and arduous road to recovery. It’s very difficult to get that ranking back.

For the sake of explanation, there are 2 types of optimization, “on page” and “off page” optimization. On page requires using correct meta tags, optimizing the content, load time and many more. Basically, it is anything you can do to the actual files residing on the server. Off page optimization is getting traffic back to your site by using things like bookmarking sites, social media and press releases to name a few. There are literally thousands of avenues to get more organic traffic back to your website.

Below are some steps to investigate the possible reasons your website is not ranking high with the major search engines:

  1. Your content isn’t optimized. The content on your website should include the keywords you are trying to target. Each page should be tailored around one or two quality, long phrases. If you don’t have those keywords in your on page content, search engines will not know what your website pertains to and thus not be able to find your site. In retrospect, do not fill your site with these keywords because one, the content will not read well and two, you could get banned by the search engine gods.
  2. You haven’t built enough quality links back to your site. This is essential in ranking well with the search engines. You have to get links back to your site from other websites such as Digg and Propeller. Preferably, you want links with keyword-rich anchor text. For example if you were selling rum cakes, you would want to use those words when linking back to your site. The more links that you have back to your site the better.
  3. Your website is not compliant with Google’s guidelines. Google created a set of quality guidelines that internet marketers and web designers are to follow. This ensures that you have a well structured website fitting those guidelines in terms of design and optimization. Google wants to make sure that your website isn’t trying to manipulate the search results. Not adhering to their standards can get you banned. Here is an article about ways that your website will get banned by Google, Click Here. Google also looks at your sites structure and design to see if you are compliant. A self proclaimed website called the “worlds worst website” done all in fun, can be seen here, Click Here. Google’s indexing avoids sites like this like it has the plague.

These 3 steps are just a few ways to improve website ranking, but ones that VBL feels is the most important to start with. Creating an internet marketing program for your website is crucial in making that website successful.

By Brett McIntyre, Web/Creative Director

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