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Designing Your School Web Site

Designing Your School Web Site

Bringing Traffic to Your Site
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As you begin designing and writing your webpages, it is important to know which page elements you should especially pay attention to, so that your web pages can be found by users searching on the Internet.

1. Create a unique title for each web page.

Each web page on your site should have a unique title that identifies the content for that web page. As your site is "spidered" by search engines, those search engines that are "full text search engines" (e.g. Alta Vista, InfoSeek, Google, etc.) treat every page on your web site equally important as your home page. So it is more likely that people will enter your web site on a page buried within your site, rather than entering it from your homepage.

For most search engines, the title of your web page will become the hyperlink text visitors will click to navigate to your site. By using a unique title, this will help visitors identify whether or not the content is what they are looking for.

2. Place the most important information near the top of your web site structure.

In this tutorial, you were told to create additional folders that helped you group similar information into the same folder or category within your web site. Keep in mind as you add additional folders or directories and sub-directories within your site, many search engines will not index your site beyond three or four directories. Search engines are generally designed to regard information found at the top level of your site as your most important resources.

3. Watch designing web pages that cannot be indexed by search engines.

Search engines cannot index webpages if they contain any of the following designs:

  • pages that require passwords or registrations
  • pages that are created dynamically. Typically these pages have a (?) in the URL address.
  • pages that are created with a database

4. Write a well-written brief introduction of the content included on each web page.

In the body of your web page, include a well-written opening paragraph describing the content visitors will find. Full-text search engines remembers all of the words on your page and the order in which the words appear. By including a good description of the content for each web page and using key phrases repetively throughout that page, your web page will most likely be targeted for the best results when visitors are searching for descriptive words or phrases.

5. Include Meta Tags with your Web Pages

Meta Tags are hidden texts inserted in the heading of your web pages. They may help display the content of web pages in the retrieved results users get when searching for information that match their keywords.

Also, if you have a web page that is heavy in graphics with little descriptive text, when full-text search engines (Alta Vista, Google, Go.com, etc.) spider your site they can use the meta tag information to record the content of that webpage.

Most WYSIWYG HTML editors automatically insert some meta tags into your web page document. The typical meta tags generated by these editors include:

  • the program that the designer used to write the web pages
  • the author of the web pages
  • language that the web pages were written in

The most useful meta tags to add to your web pages are:

Key Words
<META name="keywords" content="site, meta tags, metatags, matatags, increase traffic to your site">
You should include synonyms of words that are not in your document, misspelled words, and short phrases. You may also add translated words into foreign languages that describe the content of your web site.
Key Description
<META name="description" content="This page offers you suggestions on how to design your webpage so that you can bring more traffic to your website.">
This is the description of your web page that some search engines include in their summary of visitors search results.
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