Organizing Your Page Contents
All successful web pages have certain key components in place to ensure that all visitors (human and computer) can see what is on offer.
This has nothing to do with the colours, fonts or even layout of the page. It is all about getting the information on the screen in the right order and making sure your message is transmitted no matter where the visitor looks.
So forget all about what it looks like for now, just make sure you have all the following in place on each and every page.
Introduce the Document
Page Title – the bit at the top of the browser
When you use a search engine, the first line of any result is the page title. If you are hoping to attract customers via a search engine, you need to write relevant page titles. And try to use proper sentences, it’s more friendly:
Quick and easy chicken recipes from chickenshop.com
Self install water meters from bloggs.com.
But make sure you do it in less than 60 characters as that’s all the search engines normally display. For more information on titles here is an excellent article from seologic.com.
It’s the only metatag you really need to worry about. Keep it to a maximum of 150 characters and describe the contents of each page. Most search engines will use the description at some point during the indexing process.
It has no SEO advantages, but a well written description used in the snippet can boost your visitor numbers. So instead of this:
The widget store offers range of widgets at competitive prices.
you could have this:
Flexible widgets in range of colours, each one delivered by flying pigs at the low, low price of 2 moonbeams. Call us on 0800-12346 to get yours.
Which one is more likely to attract a potential customer?
Introduce the document either just before or just after the navigation. Use the main header to tell your visitors what to expect:
Welcome to my Homepage
Help and Assistance on Opening Doors
is much better.
The indexing robots use the main header to get a feel for the page, so don’t waste the opportunity to get in a few keywords.
Your navigation is one of the keys to an effective website. It is part of the page content so make sure you choose the best place to put it: across the top, down the left or down the right, it doesn’t matter too much as long as it’s the same on every page.
is better than
And do not ever use ‘Click Here’.
Lots more navigation advice here.
The Main Content
This the main part of any webpage and shouldn’t be left to the last minute. All those carefully written titles and headers count for nothing unless you have something for your visitors to do when they arrive.
No matter what sort of page you are building you should always have an opening paragraph. Again, you should introduce the subject and make sure you repeat the keywords used in the title and header.
Become an expert
Successful websites have lots of content, it gives the search engines something to index and your visitors something to read. It demonstrates that you know your stuff and it won’t take long for people to rely on you for expert advice.
The perfect place to repeat the main navigation links. Add your contact details and say goodbye. Sign off the page with a reminder of the purpose of the page – use your title or header for inspiration so that it is the last thing anybody reads.
Each page needs a: title, description, main header, navigation, introductory paragraph, content and footer. These make up your page content and if thought out before you build the site will allow you to organise your pages without too much effort.
Use each to promote your keywords, yourself and your services. If the visitor can’t find what they want they will leave.
For a more indepth look at site and page organisation take a look at Bruce Clay’s excellent article.