Many web design companies are strong on the graphic
interface but weak on their understanding of technology and the Internet, leaving you with the option of hiring a separate
Search Engine Optimization company down the road, or trying to do it yourself.
We have assembled a short checklist to help
you evaluate the work of the companies you are considering hiring.
When you visit their site, and the sites
listed in their portfolio, these are the items you DON'T want to find.
- Text embedded in images.
Why: Search engines cannot read text that is built into an image.
How to check:
Place your mouse over the content areas. If your cursor does not change from the arrow into the text selector state (the
elongated "I"), then the area is an image. This is acceptable for small blocks of text (for example for navigation
- Ineffective page titles.
Why: Search engines view this as the first
usable block of text on the page and most use it as the first line of the search results. Each page should have a unique,
useful, and short description of the page contents.
How to check: Read the text in the very top area of
your browser window - that coloured bar where it says the name of the browser ("Microsoft Internet Explorer," "Netscape
- Flash or Forms-based Navigation.
Why: In order for content to
be included in the search engine, it must be able to access the page.
How to check: If navigation bar is a
drop-down form (requires you to click a "Go" or "Submit" button) or if you use your right mouse button while hovering over
the buttons and it says "About Macromedia Flash Player…" on the last line, check to see if there are also plain text links to
each of the pages included within the content, or at the very bottom of the page.
These last two items are
for the more experienced browser users:
Why: Frames, when used properly, can
be a very useful tool. Unfortunately, search engines can only index one area at a time, and when the content is returned in
the search results, the link is only to a part of the page.
How to check: Go to "View > Page
Source" and see if it contains the tag <frameset>.
Why: The search engine does not view the page the way you do through your
browser - it only sees the source code. With this extra text included, it sees the important content further down, and
assigns it less priority.
How to check: Go to "View > Page Source" and see if it
contains the tags <script> or <style> with a large block of data that is invisible to the final
For more information and tips: visit NaturalHealthcare.ca and see the "For Practitioners"
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