Positioning your site in search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Msn, Altavista, etc. is essential so that all the effort you made for the creation of your company’s Web site is not a waste of time. Positioning your site is vital for your company to come to life. About 80% of Web sites’ visits come from search engines; it is unlikely that people know the address of the Web site they want to visit. It is unlikely that they even know the site they want to visit: they just know the subject they want to find out about on the Internet. A good positioning in search engines means appearing within the first addresses as a result of a certain search. This search is not at random; it has a direct relation to what the sites offer. For instance, a plastic packaging manufacturer’s Web site should appear when looking for «packaging», «plastic manufacturer», «PVC», etc. but there is no point in making it appear when looking for «tourism». Thus, each site has certain key words it responds to, within the first addresses that appear when using a search engine.
SEO’s (Search Engine Optimizers) are the ones who make this positioning in search engines possible. These experts, through different techniques and using different tools, improve Web sites’ positioning in search engines. SEO’s have an organizational task: they put each expert in charge of a certain task aiming at improving the Web site’s location. In general, SEO’s work on their own, but they also stand by the Web designers and programmers’ tasks.
In order to choose a site’s positioning within the results the search engine produces, the search engine robots read the HTML code they find in Web sites. They do not «see» the design, but they «read» its translation into programming language. The one in charge of the translation from a design into HTML language is the programmer. SEO’s work in the public relations field and they tell the designer to modify things so that the site has a better positioning. After doing so, the programmer will translate the changes into HTML. However, a site’s code may be auto-modified and not only in order to fit a change made in design. This means that the code can change and the Web site’s design will remain the same.
As regards code modification, usually Meta Tags or key words, which are the first thing robots read when searching, are changed. These key words tell search engines what the site they are examining is about. For instance, as in the previous example about the plastic packaging manufacturer, its Meta Tags will say «packaging», «plastic», «PVC», «sale», etc. SEO’s tell programmers whether they have to change or add a Mega Tag in order to improve the site’s positioning. Codes can also be «cleaned». Without getting into the programming field, we can say «cleaning» a code means making it tidier, less repetitive and easier to «read» for search engine robots.
As regards optimized design, which is the Web design that aims at improving a site’s positioning in search engines, SEO’s ask designers for certain changes so that designers carry out the Web design. For example, SEO’s can ask designers to focus on texts and not so much on images, as search engine robots pay no attention to images when reading a site. Sometimes, certain typographies ?type of typeface? used to write some sections of the site are inserted not as text, but as image and so robots do not read them. The same happens with Flash designs (this program allows animations in Web sites).
Plainer design programs such as FrontPage (Web design program included in the Windows package) create the HTML code in an automatic way and there is no need to translate the design into a code with a programmer. This results in a really «dirty» code that makes positioning in search engines very difficult. That is why it is advisable to hire Web designers to do this job.
Web design needs two essential allies: the programmer and the SEO. If one of them is missing, your site will not reach its full potential and its performance will be low. Programmers translate a site into a code that allows any computer to show users the same you see on your screen. SEO’s prevents a Web site from becoming a waste of money and from getting lost among the great number of suppliers on the Internet. A site that does not appear when you look for it is not an effective site, and thinking that people will remember you company’s site address is lame ?address is the URL; i.e: www.yourcompany.com? because it does not matter whether you broadcast it via radio, television or newspapers: the Internet has its own ad system and if you do not have a good positioning in search engines, all efforts will be in vain.
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