Subtleties of SEO and SEM – Layout and Design – User Friendly Sites

To date, there are very few Internet Marketers who have become successful without some major assistance from SEO and SEM. Search engine optimization and maintenance are two major factors involved in online success. Being able to rank among the top sites on the search engines is a dream of just about any internet marketer. SEO and SEM help to make that dream a reality when they are properly applied.Most of the talk centers on keywords, long-tail keywords, density and other such nonsense that usually hurts the budding entrepreneur more than it helps them. However, that is not the focus of this particular article. In this piece, we will look at how web layout and design actually play an even more important role than many common factors involved in optimizing a site for page ranking.Since search engine algorithms are a closely guarded secret, it is doubtful that anyone will ever be able to fully comprehend them outside of those select few who actually create them. One thing that is known however, and is frequently disregarded, is the fact that a site which is not deemed to be “user-friendly” will be adversely impacted on page rank because of this view by the algorithms.

So how does a mathematical equation which cannot see, read or think like a human decide if something is user-friendly or not? There are many factors which are taken into consideration and which should be considered when designing a web page. One of the first factors that are considered is the links.Dead links will hurt your page ranking and overall rating of your site. It does not matter if these are internal, external, inbound or outbound links. Dead links are going to result in a decreased ranking on the SERP. While it may be time-consuming to check all of your links on a daily basis, link-rot will occur.There are also programs available which will perform this rather mundane task for you. Some are free internet based services and some are paid scripts which the website owner must purchase to use. No matter what you are using, it is imperative to remove any and all of the dead links as soon as possible. Once that has been accomplished, you can move on to the next task in making your site more user-friendly.No page should be more than three links away from your primary home page or landing page. Pages which are rooted deep in the darkest corners of your web site are automatically held under a certain amount of suspicion by these uncaring and unfeeling algorithms.While their placement there can easily be rationalized by many intelligent human beings; the computer sees this as something indicating a possible problem and will hold it against you no matter what your reasoning is. This problem can be easily solved by including a selection of induces on your home page and linking each and every page to an individual and relevant index page. By doing this, most of your pages will be within two clicks of the actual home page and very few pages will require more than three clicks.Another very common problem is an over-abundance of graphics on a site. The algorithm cannot see the graphics and has no concern about how relevant the picture may or may not be to the site itself. Using the “Alt text” option will help to alleviate some of these difficulties but an abundance of graphics will still detrimentally affect the site’s rank. Perhaps even more important, for your visitors who do not have high-speed connections, they will quickly tire of waiting for your graphics to load and move on to another site rather than staying on yours. However, that is not actually relevant to the search engine algorithms so much as to your personal prosperity and success.

It is easy to get carried away when trying to optimize a website for maximum exposure on the search engines. Still, sites can just as easily be sandboxed for over-optimization as they will be ignored for not trying to optimize at all. A careful consideration of all of the known relevant factors is necessary if you really want to get the most from your website.