Game Development Reference
Make your site useful
You can spend a large amount of time trying to get good search engine rankings and lots of
visitors. However, when visitors arrive at the site they may still find a poorly designed, badly
written website with content that bears no relevance to either the keywords or the title tag.
Success is not about how many page views you get but about how many sales you get, and
it is amazing how many people miss this simple concept. Making your pages 'people-friendly'
is as important as making them search engine-friendly. It is much easier to triple your sales
effectiveness and conversions to your site than to double your traffic.
Use keyphrases, not keywords
It is difficult if not impossible to get high rankings based on keywords. Instead, you need to
consider using keyphrases. The way to do this is ask yourself what users trying to find the site
would type in when searching. Make a list of these phrases, and test them out on the search
engines. See if you can find your type or product or services. Think about variations on the
keyphrases and write them down. Two great resources for finding out which keyphrases are the
most effective are the Overture.com Search Suggestions Page, and WordTracker. On Overture's
search suggestion page, type in a very general keyphrase (like 'New Media') and it will tell you
all of the more specific keyphrases that relate to that keyphrase, and how many hits they get.
This is a great way of finding out what your keyphrases actually are.
The art of the <TITLE> tag
So many websites have titles that are good for people but abysmal for the search engines. This
is a big mistake. A title like 'Alex Michael - Animating in Flash 8' is a disaster! The golden
rule is that the most important keyphrases should be in the <TITLE> tag. So what you do is
look at your keyphrases, make a list of all the important words, and create a title tag that uses
the top one or two. Also, keep in mind that browsers only display the first few words of a title
tag (whatever fits into the title bar of the window). So while the first sentence of your title tag
should be 'human readable', the rest can be just a list of keyphrases.
There is some debate as to whether a very long title tag is a good thing or a bad thing when it
comes to search engines. Some people are concerned that a very long title tag might result in the
search engines deciding the page is a 'spam page'. Our advice is to keep the title between 15 and
20 words. However, you might want to try longer title tags on some of your pages, just to see
what happens! So Alex Michael might have a title that looks like this:
<TITLE> Alex Michael - Animating in Flash 8, Storyboarding,
The reason for this is that the three most important places to have keyphrases and phrases are in
your title tag, your META tags, and your first paragraph. You want them to all contain the same
important words, as this increases your keyphrase density and improves your rankings.