Making your website ‘’searchable’’ is a combination of skills that can be broken down into two areas, broadly speaking:
- The web site design and infrastructure.
- The content of the website
Web design and infrastructure
The design of your website is critical, not all designs are search engine friendly. Websites (normally the kind advertised for R1999 for 6 pages) are templates and not search engine friendly. Not being search engine friendly means breaking the rules of the search engine and can lead to a poor listing, or exclusion from the search engine.
It is not just about how your website looks – commonly it is accepted that websites designed in Flash are the most interactive and attractive however search engines do not like flash.
Similarly, websites heavily weighed down by graphics and pictures are slow to load, this again can lead to search engines not loading the website and also visitors thinking there is something wrong with the site and clicking elsewhere.
When deciding on your web designer, don’t just look at examples of their work from an aesthetic perspective, but more so from a searchable perspective. If the website example is about a device to stop people snoring – type in your search box anti snoring device and see if the site ranks – if not you possibly need to keep looking for a different web designer.
Content is king. Search engines look at the quality of what your website is offering. A 6 page website with mainly pictures and very little text will hardly ever rank top of the search engines.
Your text should be relevant to the page title and URL, providing visitors with credible information that is written in a logical and easily understood manner.
Your content needs to be original (not copied from another site) – search engines know when content writers have cheated and penalize accordingly.
For guest houses, take the time to put useful information such as location, places to visit in your area, restaurants, activities, local sights and sounds as well as information about your guesthouse. Include a ‘meet the team’ showcasing you and your staff.
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