search engine optimization

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SEO and the Website Design Process:

balancing search engine optimization with user-friendliness

Search Engine Appeal

 - Text and Keyword Content
 - Clean Code Programming
 - Website Keyword Theme
 - Backlinks & Neighborhood
 - Historical Record & Traffic

User Appeal

 - First Impressions
 - Fast Loading
 - Professional Appearance
 - Visual Richness
 - Simple Navigation
 - Relevant Content

SEO, short for search engine optimization, is the process of increasing the amount of visitors to a Web site by ranking high in the search results of a search engine. The higher a Web site ranks in the results of a search, the greater the chance that that site will be visited by a user.

Search engine optimization is pure scientific experimentation.  There is no black box or magic involved. No tricks or gimmicks can be "pasted on" like a band-aid to a badly developed website. SEO must be built into the program (code) and website content from the very beginning.

The proprietary search engine algorithms that are used by Google and Yahoo are constantly evolving, so website developers must be continually on the cutting edge. Many SEO techniques used in the past may actually incur penalties from today's algorithms. This means that your website should be monitored and updated frequently.

Our chief web developer is experienced in customized search engine optimization, and has hundreds of non-client web pages that she uses for testing. Client websites are developed on the latest stable version, then adjusted as necessary for search engine updates.

SEO Techniques Search Engines Optimization for Websites

Page Content and Text Statistics

The most important factor in SEO search engine optimization !!

Search engine spiders can't read photos, graphics and movies. They MUST find text content on a website in order to place it in their index. Every single word on your website pages is examined and studied by the most sophisticated search engine algorithms.

Applying science to language patterns. The latest search engine algorithms have been programmed to ensure that the highest ranking websites contain appropriate grammatical elements and language pattern structure, in order to discourage websites that use keyword stuffing and abusive spamming. The search engines are looking for full paragraphs, with articles, nouns, verbs, pronouns, adjectives, prepositional phrases and a large number of commonly used "stop words", such as  "the, a, and, of, for, by, in, but, to, at, you, that, he, she". 

Keyword Statistics:

Density, Frequency, Distribution, Prominence and Proximity

A professional website design company should have on staff an experienced web copywriter. This person will understand the value of your text content. It should contain your targeted keywords and keyword phrases in a scientific and statistical pattern of carefully written language. Each page of your website should focus on information relevant to the overall theme of your website - your primary business focus for keyword target marketing and promotion.

The Importance of the Underlying Code

An important portion of the page content is the part that the typical user never sees - the programming code. Search engine spiders need clean streamlined programming code. They must be able to follow links and navigate easily through your website. Once again, they can't read photos, graphics and movies.

"Heavy code" elements, such as Flash, animations, Scripts, Java, CGI, should be used sparingly, if at all. There are a quite a few website templates and website creation software packages currently on the market, such as Microsoft FrontPage and DreamWeaver. Those programs can actually insert code that is detrimental to your search engine rankings!

The bottom line is that your website should be individually custom developed by an SEO expert who is aware of the many pitfalls and roadblocks that are search engine UN-friendly.

External Factors that Affect Search Engine Ranking

Back links, or link popularity, indicates the number of other websites that have included a link to your site. Theoretically, this should mean that someone reviewed your website, found its content useful, and wants to refer users to your information. In practice, however, link popularity has become the realm of abusive spammers. Today's search engine algorithms are attempting to compensate for this problem.

The road map that the search engines follow to find your website should pass through some good clean neighbors.  These days, "more" is not necessarily "better". Websites can actually be penalized or banned for participating in affiliate programs, link farms, automatic and massive submittals, and various other techniques that have been used in the past to artificially inflate backlinks. Normal, methodical growth of your backlink neighborhood should be undertaken carefully.

The search engines algorithms now include an evaluation of historical records of your website. This history takes into account previous versions of your pages, as well as a documented growth of your backlinks. New domains are often held in a suspended state known as a "sandbox", until a sufficient historical record of your website's behavior can be evaluated.

You should request other websites to include a link to you only after a careful evaluation of that website. Investigate their linking methods, ensure that their website theme is relevant to your topic, and that their website resides in a clean neighborhood. i.e. their penalties can actually trickle down to your website! If their website shares server space with known sites, contains link farms from spammer sites,  or uses cloaking, hidden content or hijacking techniques - your website cannot afford to be associated with them. Notice that the two words above are included as an image, not true text that can be read by the search engine spiders. Those words, and many others, can trigger penalties and spammers.

Our livelihood depends on customer satisfaction and referrals

We urge you to examine our portfolio! Do some research! Check us out!

Go to your favorite search engine, type in a relevant search term and see how our customers' sites rank. Contact our clients and ask them if our work has increased their business. Ask them about our ethics, turn around time, customer service, and personal attention.

Hint: How to find a web design company that can make legitimate claims about SEO skills:
Go to both Google and Yahoo, and try the search term "Costa Rica Web Design". The returns on the first page are the companies who care enough about promoting their own business to be able to do a good job promoting you.

At the date of this posting, is 

#1 on Google, Yahoo, MSN and AOL

for the search term "Costa Rica Web Designers".

Search Yahoo for Costa Rica Web Designers
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