InternetUniversity: High Art and Rank
Designers and marketers aren't natural adversaries; they just act that way sometimes. Conversion is nothing but the art of selling better, while search marketing is the art of ranking better. Designers rarely know anything about either of these things.
The $64,000 question: How can you create attractive pages that convey your client's look and feel, have them rank well in search, and appeal to users? The $16 answer: It's really not that hard to do. Here are a few ideas:
n Use cascading style sheets (CSS) to make a heading or product name into an
tag. This makes the code appear more important to a search engine, but is invisible to the user. (Using CSS helps to keep your source code uncluttered and easy to update.) n Also use CSS to convert graphic text, (or text that's been turned into a graphic), to HTML. This speeds up page download times and makes them easier to read. If the text is a search term, it'll also improve your rating with the engines.
n Add search terms to your content as often as you can, but don't force them. You should never miss an opportunity to pitch your product or your brand (unless it makes you sound stupid). Instead of saying, "This product works well on floors," say "The Widgetizer Vacuum works well on floors." If you think you're overdoing it, read the copy back aloud. If it sounds silly or awkward to you, it probably will to users too.
n Include search terms in your title and description meta tags. Not only is your title tag a key determinant of how engines rank your page, it's also what users see highlighted when they look at search results. While your description tag won't always appear in search results, it's more likely to get used if it includes the search terms.
These tricks of the trade can help ensure that your pages appear high in search engine rankings, while avoiding slow download speeds and sloppy content that alienate users.