First Step In Optimizing Your Web Site

Files and Site Map



Ok, so you have checked all your content for typos, checked and re-checked all your links to make sure that they work. You are happy with the way you site looks and works for the visitors you want to get, now all you have to do is get them. You will be glad to know that this is not rocket science. In fact compared to Quantum Theory it really is childs play.

File Names

Your home page is going to be called index.htm, but after that the naming convention is all up to you. Now search engines don't just check and register the content of your website, they also register the file names for example the page you are on now is http://hostbg.eu/articles/filenames.htm so even if you were just given this link and didn't have a clue what was on the page, you could guess that it was an article about filenames maybe?

Compare this to Amazon I picked a random page from the site the url was http://www.amazon.co.uk/books-used-books-textbooks/b/ref=sa_menu_bo0/277-9899994-1997149?ie=UTF8&node=266239 Any ideas?

Ok we know the site is amazon, we are in a section called 'books-used-books-text-books' then maybe the 'b' means books starting with 'b'. After that we might as well go back to solving wave equations for Quantum Mechanics 101. It was actually the first page of their books section but you knew that right?

The point I am trying to make is, not only can your filenames and structure help visitors around the site, it can also help the search engines when they crawl your site.

Throughout the series of guides we are going to use a fictional website that together we will optimise for the search engines. www.thegudlife.com. Which in fact not so ficitonal but my other passion in life of trying to grow my own food and be a bit more self reliant (I don't like the word sufficient).

Here is a picture of the files in the root of the thegudlife.com's web server.

www.thegudlife.com file list

Apart from the index page there is also, an images folder, no guesses whats in there. There is also a folder called 'Grow' this contains all the articles I have written about my difficulties of growing certain types of food etc. Not only does this type of layout make adding more pages and links to those pages easier, it is logically set out so the visitor, and the search engines can easily navigate and crawl the pages.

Do not use generic page names, like page1, page2, page3, etc these are meaningless not only to you and me but also to search engines, just think of all the other Page1's you will be competing against. Do you want your page be displayed like this on google:

A google listing showing uninventive File names

Now we've tidied up our file names so they all logically fit together, we have changed all our links in our page. The next step is to check the title of the page. This is the bit in the code that reads (from www.gudlife.com)


The Title Code from www.TheGudLife.com



Compare that to 1 of many thousand that I found, not only that but this is the lead line in your search engine display.

1 of Many who just haven't bothered

Will you be visiting their site? Maybe not. You should try and make the title of each as you want it to appear in the search listing. Make it relevant to the content on the page. Do this for all your pages.

Sitemap

The creation of a sitemap is a good way of letting search engines know the names of all the webpages and images that are contained in your site. This does not guarantee that they will list them, but you know for sure that they know they are there and will be included when the search engines crawl through the net.

There are many free bits of software out there that will do this for you, as I am old fashioned I prefer to list mine in a simple text file called sitemap.txt which sits in the root of the web directory (where your index page is), I then let the search engines know where this is and they automatically upload it periodically. For example the sitmap for this site is here. It is just a list of the pages within the site. You will edd to inform the searchengines where it is and what it is called. Just search for submit sitemap in the search engine. They may require you to place a metatag to prove you own the site on you index page though. More about metatags coming up!

Next up Metatags


 

 

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