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Sunday, May 11, 2008


I was recently asked by a blog reader about launching a new website to support the release of a brand new product launching this summer. The question was, "What can I do to our product website to ensure that it is 'optimized'?"

Well, there are a variety of things you can do to optimize your site - but be patient. So many people I work with expect #1 rankings within days of launching their site. Start with a strong foundation, well designed internal linking structure, and link development programs from authoritative sites, and the rankings will come. Here are just a few of my 'basics' for launching a new website.

Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
Streamlining code allow search engines to more easily spider, index, and rank web pages

Javascript
Put all your JavaScripts in external files and link to them. If external file is not an option move the code to the end of the document under .

Tables
Avoid unnecessary tables where possible. Limit your table embedding to a depth of three. Where possible avoid the whole table thing and start using div tags and CSS to define position.

ALT attributes of an image tag
Place ALT attributes (alternative information) to all images, call the image what it is. Do not repeat keywords more then once. If no use of an ALT attribute leave it blank. Use no more then a 100 characters.

Title attributes of a link tag
Should add additional information that compliments the linked text. Call it what it is, do not repeat keywords more then once and keep to less then a 100 characters.

Robots.txt file
This file tells crawlers which directories can or cannot be crawled. Make sure it's current for your site so that you don't accidentally block the Googlebot crawler. Also use robots.txt to prevent crawling of search results pages or other auto-generated pages that don't add much value for users coming from search engines.

Optimize your URLs
Use Search Engine Friendly URLs (for dynamic sites)

Use keywords in your URL
Use dashes or underscores to separate words in your URLs (keyword2-keyword3.html or keyword1_keyword2.html)

Dynamic URL Parameters
Multiple parameters in a dynamic URL can often mean that a search engines spider will choose to ignore the document. SE reps have long urged site creators to limit dynamic parameters to 2, optimally to 1 so that spiders will easily crawl them.

URL Length
The overall length of a URL may be used as a component in trust or value - exceptionally long URLs might be viewed as unusable and more likely to be spam. Keep to one subdirectory (folder) from the root if being structured.

Absolute URLs
Use throughout the site i.e. http://www.yoursite.com/pagename.htm

HTTP Response Headers
Check via www.marketingscoop.com/httpview.html - for proper use of 200/301/404

Files size
Keep to 100k or less, this helps with page load

Again, these are just some basics when launching a new site. There are many other factors you should consider and evaluate on an ongoing basis. My recommendation is that you look into a third party to help you manage all the details. Feel free to use my Marketing Service Provider

Lastly, don't forget to be patient. SEO takes time - especially with a new website. When I launch a new site, I expect that it will take at least 4 - 5 months before I see solid rankings!
Search or simple do a Google search for the type of vendor your seeking.

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