The year was 1965 and I was four years old. The TV series, “Lost in Space”, captured my imagination and I dreamed of how cool it would be to live in space and own my very own robot! I thought it was possible and I bet if you watched the show, you did too.
Little did I know or never could imagine, the robots I would work with are web robots. Web crawlers, web robots, or spiders today are used by many companies to collect, catalog, index, and return information about your website. Search engines (like Google, Yahoo etc.) are the most well known users of spiders and they will visit a well established site several times a day to check for updates and index your pages.
Once you understand the basics about how these data collection companies find and explore your website, you can optimize your pages for the best SEO or search engine optimization results. Basically, these spiders grab information like page titles, page content and meta tags which are included in the search engine’s index or database.
To optimize your website, create a HTML-based site that your human users will want to view and is SEO friendly with quality word content for the robots to search, examine and index. Spiders still look or search mostly for content and words to add to their databases, and rank your site.
Leave the Flash stuff for the movie websites where it is expected and appreciated. Very heavy Flash or totally image based websites are virtually worthless in the sense of optimization. Plus, consumers are browsing the web with mobile phones over wireless connections and become easily frustrated with slow loading, flash websites.
Think about how you find information on the internet while you create and critique the copy on your own site. Incorporate those words in your content, but don’t create text just for the sake of search engine optimization that your human reader won’t understand. You must find just the right balance that will attract the search engine spiders AND create loyal customers who will visit you often.
Continue to work on your web content modifying and adjusting pages over time. Check your web analytic report weekly to make sure people are responding well to your site. Adjust your content and layout accordingly, which can help boost your conversion rates over time. Pardon the pun, but you know Robot would say, “Affirmative!”
Next week we will discuss links, which point to your website, and how they are one of the most powerful ways of climbing Search Engine result pages!