Web design podcast episode 4

On this weeks boagworld.com I am without Marcus due to various technical problems with Skype. However, we hope to have Marcus back with us next week so he can continue to show his ignorance then.
Our main subject for this week is “how to improve your search engine rankings”.


To download the latest podcast click here.

Below is a brief outline of the things covered in this week’s podcast as well as links to some of the articles mentioned:

Search engine optimisation

Here are my pearls of wisdom ;)

Part of a bigger strategy

Remember your search engine optimisation work should just be a small part of a bigger marketing strategy. Search engine placement is not good enough by itself.

Search engines are not all that!

Search engines have their place but they also have their drawbacks:

  • Delays in seeing results
  • An unpredictable outcome
  • Need for constant attention
  • A passive approach to marketing

Learn more about the problems with search engines.

Consider quick fixes

Because search engines take time to index new sites, consider using pay-per-click advertising until you gain the positioning you want from the main listings.

Visit Google Adwords site

Stay focused

Make sure you have a clear focus for your website. Ensure your links, content and navigation are built around that focus and that you do not deviate from it. A lack of focus will dilute your ranking on your chosen keywords.

Use web standards!

For fear of going on about web standards, make sure the code you use is semantic. Your HTML should describe what content elements are, in order to tell the search engines what is important and what is not. For example how does a search engine know what a title is unless you give it a heading tag?

Learn more about web standards.

Don’t make the search engines work

Although search engines can index PDF files and flash sites they cannot do it as well as they can index HTML. Therefore avoid using these plug-ins wherever possible in order to improve your ranking.

Link popularity

Encouraging others to link to your site is key to a successful SEO campaign. However, focus on the quality of links not the quantity. Ensure people that link to you are relevant to your subject matter and have a good page ranking.

Learn more about link popularity


Dreamweaver 8 is out!

I have just finished downloading the new Dreamweaver 8 upgrade but haven’t had time to review it yet.

View Dreamweaver’s new features here.

Firefox 1.5 is now in Beta

Firefox have released 1.5 in Beta. I hope that this will go some way to continuing its battle against IE especially how IE 7 is in Beta. Personally, I still prefer Firefox because it has some excellent web design tools as well as the Web Developers Extension.

More move to web standards

More and more big name sites are adopting web standards. This week the GAP and Slashdot jump on the bandwagon.

Google ranking factor checklist updated

The site which lists the alleged factors that effect your sites ranking on Google have been updated to include the latest changes made.

View Google Ranking Factors site


Because of this weeks theme, I review SEO Elite, an excellent tool for improving your site engine positioning.

Learn more about SEO Elite.

  • http://www.google.com Tyler

    Great episode!

  • http://www.hiphopreaction.com Jamie

    It’s great to see more and more sites making the transition from html tables to css tableless.
    Anyway great episode again. SEO not really on my highest priority list right now, but it was nice to hear an in depth discussion on the subject.

  • Ed

    Another good episode.
    Gap might be going web standards, but it does not validate yet: http://validator.w3.org/check?uri=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.gap.com%2Fbrowse%2Fhome.do

  • http://www.boagworld.com Paul Boag

    Yes but lets not criticism them for that. At least they are heading in the right direction. They are still a hell of a lot more progressive than most of their counter parts.

  • ed

    anther site that seems to be trying to be web standards ready: http://www.spinnakertower.co.uk/home.htm

  • http://www.boagworld.com Paul Boag

    So they are Ed. Not managing it very well though. They still use some table for layout and most of their CSS is inline which kind of undermines the idea of seperating design from content.

  • Jeffrey

    How is the Gap a good example of web standards? When I go to their site using my mac they tell me I can’t view their page unless I have Netscape or Mozilla… I thought web standards was to make things more universally standard, accessible and usable. Does that mean excluding Safari users?

  • http://www.boagworld.com Paul Boag

    I didnt know that GAP didnt work on Safari. That is a bit disturbing. However, it is still encouraging to see a large coperation moving in the right direction. They might not have got it perfect but its a definite improvement.

  • http://twitter.com/SantoDomingoVIP SantoDomingoVIP

    It’s great to see more and more sites making the transition from html tables to css tableless.


  • http://www.santodomingovip.com/ Ultimas Noticias

    It’s great to see more and more sites making the transition from html tables to css tableless.