Thursday, June 18, 2009

SEO for iweb

I recently purchsed RAGE SEO Software for my iweb sites ( and and have been struggling with google....Found great tips from Rage and thought I'd share!

1) iWeb Page Titles

As of iWeb 08 (and now iWeb 09), most built in templates have a large header caption at the top of the page. Your website’s title tag will actually reflect what you enter here. Many users simply keep this as the default caption, not utilizing the most important on-page optimization you can use for search engines.

The trick is to give your page a title that includes both the keywords you want to appear for in search engines and that accurately describes your website content. Your web page title appears at the very top of your web browser, and in a search engines results page. Search engines use your title tag to get an idea of what they will find on your website.

iWeb Page Titles are important for SEO

Update: With the free iWeb SEO Tool you can now edit your web page titles, meta tags and alternative image text after you publish your site. You no longer have to worry about how iWeb gets your title tag.

For templates without these header captions, or if you remove the caption, iWeb will use your page file name as its title. Give it a good title using the advice we provided above.
Add Custom Title Tags To Your iWeb Website

2) Navigation bars

One of the biggest problems with iWeb is the way it creates your navigation bars. Instead of using standard HTML which search engines can use to correctly find all files on your website, it uses Javascript which makes it extremely hard for search engines to scan and index your website properly.

Fortunately there is a way you can work around this problem. Select your main page (or the first page that contains your navigation bar) and open the Inspector window. Click the Page Inspector tab (second tab) and deselect the option ‘Display Navigation Bar’ as shown in the following screen shot;
Add Custom Title Tags To Your iWeb Website

Now you’re going to create your own navigation bar with proper links to each of your pages. Create a new Text Box field and place it at the top of your page, while moving all your other content down. To quickly move all content down, go to Edit – Select All. Hold the shift key as you drag all your content down which will help insure you don’t accidentally move the content off center. Put the new Text Box at the top of your page and add captions for each of your pages separated using tabs or spaces so that they look like a proper navigation bar. Then select each caption and go to the ‘Link Inspector’ tab in the Inspector window. Select ‘Enable as a hyperlink’ and choose ‘One of My Pages’ from the ‘Link To’ drop down menu. Lastly select the page you want to link to from the ‘Page’ drop down menu.
Proper navigation bars in iWeb

Although you should do this for each of your pages for best results, insuring you do it on your main page only is extremely helpful for search engines.

3) The Right Content

One of the biggest issues I see with iWeb created websites is users choosing non-standard web fonts for their website. Just to provide some background information, there are a number of fonts that are considered safe for use on the web. These are fonts that are guaranteed to be installed on a users computer no matter what operating system or web browser they use. If a font is not installed on a users computer and you use it on your website, it will not display properly for them. iWeb works around this issue by turning your text into pictures if you use a non-standard font. This is why your webpage always looks the same no matter where you view it. Unfortunately, search engines can not ‘read’ text that is turned into pictures and this will severely impact your potential search engines rankings.

You must stick to the standard web fonts, which are listed below for you. This insures that your website has the best possible chance of ranking high for the keywords you are targeting.

Web safe fonts include;

* Arial
* Courier New
* Georgia
* Times New Roman
* Verdana
* Trebuchet MS
* Helvetica

*Note: Some of the above fonts may not always be installed on a persons computer but will be easily replaced with a very similar looking alternative if they can not be found. That is why they have all been included in the above list.

You want to make sure that your website content contains the keywords you want to rank high for in search engines. It’s not good enough to “be in search engines”, you want to appear when a potential customer types in one of your keywords. Search Engines will not know what your webpage is about unless you include the proper keywords in your web page content.

4) iWeb Landing Pages

Lastly, something I see very often is users making a so called “landing page” as their home page. This is the type of page where it may simply show your company logo with a “Click here to enter link”. Basically anything that requires a user to take one more step in order to see your website is never a good thing.

This applies to search engines as well. Your home page is considered your most important page by default so make sure you are taking full advantage of it. Link to other important pages directly from your home page and make sure it includes keyword rich content.

Remember, search engines will not simply choose your site out of the billions out there and rank them at the top of their search index unless you give them good reason too. Getting high in search engines for the keywords your customers are searching for can be extremely profitable to you and will take some time to achieve. Don’t expect immediate results and keep learning about the strategies you can employ to get high rankings.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Fridays at Five - June 5th

Can't wait for this week! We are going to be at Lavelle Winery in Elmira - rolling lawns, beautiful surroundings, fantastic hosts....They are staying open late just for us!

Fridays at Five has really turned out to be a phenom (if I do say so myself). I think the reason it works so well is because it's absolutely CASUAL. Perfect fit for small businesses who are intimidated by those huge networking events or by the costs of some of those referral groups or even by the time commitment that is required by some groups. Fridays at Five is just a fun group of business minded folks who enjoy a glass of wine or a beer at the end of a long work week and who, by the design of this program, wish to help other small business professionals grow, learn and succeed. We've called ourselves "A drinking club with a business problem" which cracks people up- but the truth is, we are a fantastic networking group that WORKS! When a business is chosen to speak we encourage that person to ask VERY SPECIFICALLY for whatever it is he or she wants. Example: I want to meet the purchasing manager at the new hospital". Inevitably someone in the group knows that person or can put them in touch with someone who does. Additionally, we don't necessarily offer our product or service up at first pass - as it is done so frequently at other networking events....How annoying is that? You are left with a handful of business cards that you toss, and still have e bunch in your pocket (your own) that no one really cared to ask for....So try this - At your next networking event make it a point to NOT talk about your business - ask about others then ask for more info ("tell me more" works well) then ask how you can help that person succeed or grow. Then watch what happens. Givers Gain!

I love that Fridays at Five is working so well. I am also excited that the spin off group - CEO Roundtable, has been well received. In fact, I'm off to facilitate a roundtable right now. Just thought I'd pop down a few thoughts on this lovely Oregon morning...