Things I have learnt:
Keywords / Key Phrases
Keywords/Key Phrases are not just a matter of packing as many words or phases into a meta tag, that you can possibly fit. It is about careful work selection to ensure you content contains all the right words/phrases, words that describe and enhance your website. They must be relevant, useful, and descriptive, and ideally unique to your subject matter or web service.
I have discovered Google analytics and Bing analytics; these are tools to help measure your traffics and help you determine if your actions and updates are increasing your traffic and lifting you up in the search results. By ongoing interrogation of the data against improvements to the website, you can determine if your strategy is working and how well it is working.
Google analytics is a method by which you can determine the traffics statistics to you site. With these tools you can adjust and follow up with the analytics to see if your strategy was successful, and if not make further adjustments.
It gives you a clearer picture of who your uses are, where they come from and who your site is reaching.
Google provided the developer with a powerful set of tools to interrogate the site traffic.
Validation is an important part of building a customer base and increasing traffic. A well-built site requires the adherence to the correct semantic use of HTML and CSS. There are a range of validation tool that can be used to check that your HTML and CSS are correct.
You can check that your site meets the requirement of Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 3.0, validators are available, that allow you to check you site is up to the minimum standard of WCAG AA.
You can check the contrast of colour used in your website, to ensure you have the highest possible contrast, to aid those who are colour blind, or have some degree of colour blindness.
Accessibility is a very interesting topic, and to discover that 22% of the populate have a disability, is a surprise. It is important to properly structure your website using semantic HTML and CSS to ensure that specialty reader can interpret your site in the most efficient and effective way. It is crucial you use best practice when building your site and to make sure you page is not cluttered with styling that could be separated into and external CSS file.
Sitemap which is sitemap.xml, as XML text file. This file lists the URLs for your website, which then allows search engines to work their way through you site, otherwise known as crawling, and find all your links, especially the ones that do you get used very much. Some very large sites may have more than one sitemap file.
A robot.txt file contains information for the search engines, it can tell the search engine which pages to crawl and what pages to ignore. It also has permissions for which search engines can crawl your site. When a search engine bot crawls your site, it looks for this file. It works with the sitemap.xml file, and lists it at top of its content, if you have more than one sitemap.xml, it will list all your sitemap files. Both the robot.txt and the sitemap.xml go in your root directory.
The 404 error is displayed when a page cannot be found, this can occur when:
- A page has been moved and an old link is using the old path.
- A URL has been typed in incorrectly.
- Or there could be a temporarily server glitch.
Whatever the cause of the error there are a few things you should do:
- Create a custom 404 error page and make it look like your site, same layout, logos and menu structure, this way the use knows at least they came to the right site.
- You could make your custom 404 page, funny, helpful, or interesting or all of these.
- Do not just redirect them to your home page, sitemap, or support pages, this would be very confusing, and they would simply just try again, and get the same result.
This is a text file that sits in the root directory of your site and for such a simple file, it has a lot of power, you need this file if you have a custom 404 page, as this tell the server to use your error page instead of the boring standard one.
This file can also be used to do lots of things, some are:
- Redirecting one page to another either temporarily or permanently.
- Redirecting one directory to another.
- Redirection a whole site to another site.
- It can display a variety of custom error pages.
- Hide pages and directories from view.