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the SEO strategy for your site, don’t get discouraged. You can make up for any domain-naming issues
by implementing solid keyword strategies, tagging strategies, and other elements of SEO.
Understanding usability
Usability. It means different things to different web site designers. It’s also been at the top of every
user’s requirements list since the Web became part of daily life. When users click through to your
web site from a search results page, they want the site to work for them. That means they want to be
able to find what they’re looking for, to navigate from place to place, and to be able to load pages
quickly, without any difficulties.
Web-site users are impatient. They don’t like to wait for pages to load, they don’t want to deal with
Flash graphics or JavaScript, and they don’t want to be lost. These are all elements of usability —
how the user navigates through and uses your web site. And yes, usability has an impact on SEO.
Especially from the perspective of your site links and loading times.
When a search engine crawler comes to your site, it crawls through the site, looking at keywords,
links, contextual clues, meta and HTML tags, and a whole host of other elements. The crawler will
move from page to page, indexing what it finds for inclusion in search results. But if that crawler
reaches the first page and can’t get past the fancy Flash you’ve created, or if it gets into the site and
finds links that don’t work or that lead to unexpected locations, it will recognize this and make note
of it in the indexed site data. That can damage your search engine rankings.
Navigation knowledge
When you consider web-site navigation, there are two types: internal navigation and external naviga-
tion. Internal navigation involves the links that move users from one page to another on your site.
External navigation refers to links that take users away from your page. For your navigation to be
SEO-friendly, you have to use both types of navigation carefully.
Look at a number of different high-ranking web sites. How is the navigation of those sites designed?
In most cases, you’ll find that the top sites have a left-hand navigation bar that’s often text-based, and
some have a button-based navigation bar across the top of the page. Few have just buttons down the
left side, and all of them have text links somewhere in the landing page.
The navigation for many sites looks the same, because this plan works. Having a text-based naviga-
tion bar on the left works for SEO because it allows you to use anchor tags with the keywords you’re
using for the site. It also allows crawlers to move from one page to another with ease.
Buttons are harder for crawlers to navigate, and depending on the code in which those buttons are
designed, they might be completely invisible to the crawler. That’s why many companies that put
button-based links at the top of the page also usually include a text-based navigation bar on the
left. The crawler can still move from page to page, but the user is happy with the design of the site.
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Building Your Site for SEO
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