Building a Search-Engine-Friendly Business Website

By Jan Zimmerman

A well-structured, search-engine-friendly business website allows search engines to crawl or spider your site easily. As many as half of all sites are so badly structured that search engines never “see” them in the first place.

Planning a search-engine-friendly site from the beginning or during redesign is much easier than trying to retrofit it.

Sites structured with frames or dynamic pages from databases give search engines indigestion. On the other hand, footers, site indexes, and XML feeds are like dessert: Search engines eat them up!

By looking at developers’ portfolios and lists of services, you can tell whether they’re familiar with techniques for search engine friendliness. If not, ask them to visit the resource sites in the following table. If they can’t or won’t do it, you might want to ask an SEO company to assist your developer — or find another developer.

Search Engine Resources
Resource What You Can Find
Digital
Point
Search engine position tracker

Google Webmaster
Guidelines and suggestions for site optimization

ipl2
Search engine directory
LLRX.com Legal search engine specialty directory list

Marketing Sherpa
Free excerpt from “2011 Search Marketing Benchmark
Report”
Pandia Search Central Search engine news
Refdesk.com Search engine directory
Search
Engine Guide
Search engine articles, blog, marketing advice

Search Engine Journal
URL best practices
SearchEngineWatch
(ClickZ)
Articles, blogs, forums, SEO articles, tips, and tutorials
SEOmoz SEO resources, blog spam detector, membership
WebPosition SEO, submission, and page rank reporting software; optimization
suggestions
WordPot Keyword suggestion tool
Wordtracker Keyword suggestion tool