What Makes a Good Site for both Users and Techies

There are new webmasters everyday, well i always imagined the webmaster industry like that:

Imagine you’re in a tunnel and people go in and out of the tunnel, well to become a webmaster you gotta make it across the tunnel. Some people can’t make it across, either because it is too dark, or, they’re alone or lazy! That’s the point, and what i mean is a lot of people don’t make it across.

Why? Mainly because the few things that made internet are misinterpreted by most of the general users. That thing is links and authoring content!

Links is the simplest aspect of the internet, links connects web site to each other, they pass the traffic so other sites can benefit from it, and users have different content to rely on within just a few clicks. That’s internet, that’s why there are links and such ‘highways’ on internet like the Google, Yahoo and Microsoft.

I can talk about the philosophy of sites linking to other sites on internet and why it is so for hours; But it’s all about search engine optimization and not being disturbed by the enormous different aspects of the internet.

1. Links

Let’s put it that way, you can be Matt Cutts and not have to build links, or be Mr Smith that nobody knows about and have to build links.

Get insights on how to get links, how to get insights? Visit the webmaster forums on the web, read posts, the longer you’ll stay on the forum the longer you’ll learn stuffs, don’t feel like rejected, it’s the same for all new members, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Rome wasn’t built in a day, most of the webmasters you will see on the forums are noobs that learnt even though they sound professional, i don’t say all of them are but most of them.

Basically from what google is telling us is that: if a site A links to site B (A > B), A Votes to B. The more Votes you get to your site, the higher you will rank on many search engines.

Pagerank Art by Felipe Micaroni Lalli

If you are wondering things about Pagerank and how to make your site having a higher pagerank. First of all you might be interested in reading the article about Pagerank on Wikipedia.

Here is an excellent explaination of Pagerank taken from Wikipedia:

PageRank relies on the uniquely democratic nature of the web by using its vast link structure as an indicator of an individual page’s value. In essence, Google interprets a link from page A to page B as a vote, by page A, for page B. But, Google looks at more than the sheer volume of votes, or links a page receives; it also analyzes the page that casts the vote. Votes cast by pages that are themselves “important” weigh more heavily and help to make other pages “important”.

You might would like to understand what PR0 means also.
PR0 is when your site is new, or doesn’t receive links, or violates google webmasters guidelines.

What i mean is try to get a high pagerank to your site, this is the way to rank high on google. Pagerank doesn’t work for Yahoo! and Live Search.

2. Google

Pagerank is important because Google is important. Pagerank isn’t the web at all, Google isn’t the web at all, don’t be fooled by them. But yet, Google is the major search engine in the actual period of the web (2000 > 2007).

I will not spend much time on google, you can look for yourself on the google site. But make sure google loves your site! Don’t be spammy.

3. Design

I wanted to put Content in 3rd, but Design is as important as the content of the site itself. You might have done a great promotion by getting good relevant links to your site, but yet everybody leaves it cause the Design is not User-Friendly.

The design represents the site’s products, informations, content, theme, subject, colors associated to it, symbols, shape and so on so forth…

I had a conversation with a friend, he was telling me, on the web there are ‘ pre-made box sites ‘ with absolutely no graphics or artistic rendering in it! He is seriously disappointed in the normality of the site on the web, he got some serious points on that, i also agree on the web, web sites looks like each other way too much!

Well there are 2 opinions:

- You are a user, you look for content on the web because you want to find it fast like most of the traffic from the USA. Well here design doesn’t matter much, people just want something and are not here to behold that magnificent design of yours!

- You are another kind of user, who looks for originality, general informations, playing games or even just walk around the web with no real purpose (in quest of being not bored!) . It’s more common to find users that look for something fast than that kind of users. Those users will appreciate good site designs!
Those users can be a future employees, students, parents, office workers etc…

I would say you should create a site based on those 2 opinions. It should help users find what they are looking for ‘fast’ (look also 5th HTML Optimization at the bottom), and it also should have a general User-Friendly design, no need to be a Picasso or a Manet!

If you don’t want to bother with design you can hire a/some freelance designers or just contact a web design company, there are plenty of that on the web!

4. Content

Most of you heard that sentence: ‘ Content is King ‘. What should this tell you?

That the content of your website determines its originality and importance on the internet, you might have copied the content of your site from other sites and search engines are smart enough to detect that kind of spamming.

The content of your site should be optimized for search engines and both users. It means that do not over repeat the same keyword imagining you will get the Ranking number 1 for that keyword. Users don’t really appreciate spammy things, remember when you were a user.

It must not be over optimized, remember not all people that owns a site on the web are ‘webmasters’ though they are. Well there are more passive webmasters than active webmasters on internet.
What i mean by active webmaster, is someone that get updated about how not to render a site spammy and how to make it get top ranking.
So not all webmasters have the same information, we all have an idea of how it works based on our imagination or facts, most of the passive webmasters are satisfied before they have to learn the other 95% of Search Engine Optimization and what authoring content means.

So don’t worry, whether you are an (active or passive) webmaster or a simple guy that wants his message on the web, google will not punish you for anything!
Just be sure you don’t fall in the dark side of SEO, do not spam!

5. HTML Optimization

I was previously talking about the fast traffic on the web, of course the design of a site does not matter much for that kind of traffic. But the optimization of HTML does matters a lot here, if your site is too big to load for those users, they’ll leave.

If your site loads slowly, it might be because you’re too cheap regarding your hosting, or also because there are too much huge portions of HTML code that’s completely useless in your site. I can’t tell you how to fix that in details but do not forget to use CSS as much as possible. Use simple logical structures when building your HTML, do not include Table in Table in Table in Table… etc…

HTML is a language, it is the same as english or french, it is even easier!
You don’t need to know all things about HTML when you create a site, i’m not going to talk in depth about HTML, you can look for design tutorial sites on the web that talks about HTML.

How do i optimize my HTML site?

I want to warn people that uses CMS (Content Managment Sites), some of them are definitely not search engine optimization (SEO) friendly at all! Cause well, we optimize the HTML of a site to make it more SEO friendly, that’s the main thing.

As i said i’m not going to argue about it but here is my few advices:

- Do not Use the DIV too much! Instead, uses TABLE. Or Alterns TABLE and DIV together
- Do not capitalize the HTML tags
- Use the World Wide Web Consortium HTML Validation to make your Site a VALIDATED Site. This include you correcting what the result of the validation test gives you! And it can be long, very long!
- Use the H1 and H2 tags for titles, include keywords in it
- Use the Description Meta Tag, forget about the Keyword Meta Tag. Do not bother about meta tags in general, they are old school methods not used anymore.

If you don’t understand the above thing, it means you still have a life. If you never started doing HTML site, don’t forget to come back here and finally know what it means.

I want to point out that this is just not all, there are more HTML factors, that we call that, On-site SEO, ‘On Site’ SEO simply because you optimize your site for search engine directly on your site.

Getting links is called Off-site SEO, cause you have no powers trully over your inbound links.

On-site SEO represents, i think, just 20% of the main job, while Off-site SEO is 80% of the whole Search Engine Optimization process.

Hope that gives you insights,

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