Simple errors causing major web headaches
Sometimes I am asked by people "What's the matter with my site, why does no one visit it?"
Usually there is a fault in the web design, or its a 3rd level domain, that no one can find.
Recently I have been working with a Language School website helping them to get better known on the internet. This site was getting a few people, but according to their statistics it was mostly through word of mouth, or other links on the internet. There were no hits from search engines after 2 years on the internet. What was wrong?
The answer as immediately obvious.
This site is a great example of a website with one serious flaw that killed it.
Problem 1 The Flash graphic
Their main page comprised of a great big flash animation. Sure it looked good but all the links were tied up in it, there was no way for the search engine to proceed to their site past it. It was a giant locked door.
So I killed that page and took their main English introduction page converting it into a new index page.
Problem 2 No search engine friendly text
The second problem with the site was that their headings and key phrases were in graphics. There were no heading tags for the search engines to index. Search engines rate heading tags highly, it is important to have them on your page.
You can see on this page that the title is all graphic (with ugly fonts at that).
I deleted the graphic and using Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) created a new title and sub title containing H1 and H2 tags.
Notice that I changed their tiny useless graphics to big faded ones that could be seen behind the text. Their placement is all using CSS as well, in the top, middle, and bottom, of the page. A simple way to add graphics that can download in their own time and not affect the rest of the page.
Under that I also created links to each of the pages in other languages with CSS.
Problem 3 Images not showing
Another problem was that some graphics on other pages were not showing. The reason was a simple case of "case sensitivity". As the site had been made on a Windows platform, the folder and file names are not case sensitive. If you had a folder called "IMAGES" or "images" it made no difference.
However when you upload to a unix server it is case sensitive. The pictures you saw when making the site wouldn't show because of the different cases in the name of the images folder.
Search Engine optimization is not hard to do. With a little education anyone can improve their site and have a profitable and busy website.Now in only 2 of Google’s updates it has gone from nothing to number 1 for the terms required.
I inserted it as a graphic, as I don't know how long this surprising situation will continue. After all it’s all downhill from here.