Clifton Suspension Bridge, Bristol '

Organise Your Material

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Having collected the content of the site, the next step is organise the material into web pages. Then plan where any images (and multimedia if any) goes on each page.

Page Size

While you can have very large web pages, there are benefits in splitting a large amount of content into separate pages:
  • Pages are smaller and so quicker to load.
  • Pages are easier to read and usually more on a specific topic.
  • Search engines are believed to give more importance to material that is close to the top of the page.
  • Humans give more importance to material at the top of the page. Worse if the information they are seeking is off screen, some will leave having only scanned the visible area of your page.

Follow the natural breaks in your content, pages don't have to be the same size.

This site for example is an eight step guide and it has nine pages. One for each step and a introductory (or home) page.

Images on the Page

Red Deer in Ashton Court, Bristol. A simple way to combine text with images, is to simply let the image 'float' to the left or right of a block of text that it relates to. The red deer photo 'floats' to the right of this text.

A 'floating' photo like the red deer photo on this page is simple to use and position relative to your text.

Keep this simple floating style in mind for any images you want on the page and suggest the style to whoever writes the page. It is particularly suitable for small to medium sized photos on a page.

Use the Home Page

A home page is often the main entry point to your site. On a small site, it's a very useful page to put general information on.

While there is no fixed format for a home page consider any or all of the following uses:-

  • Explain the scope of the site.
  • Details of the author(s).
  • A map or directions to find you.
  • List recent news or information that has changed recently (or will be changing soon).
  • Be friendly with a welcome message - it doesn't hurt.
  • A list of e-mail and/or other contact details and so on.
The home page is a focus for the site, often when someone wants general information about the site they look at the home page. Helping the Search Engines find you.

Key Words or Natural Language

For many web sites the majority of first time visitors will find your site through a search engine, such as Google, Yahoo or Microsoft.

There are a lot of factors involved in how the search engines work but if your pages don't have the words that people are searching for, your pages will not appear on the search engines lists at all!

Key Words or Key Phrases are the words or phrases people use when searching the web. To 'hopefully' be near to the top of the search lists your page needs to use the natural language that people use when searching the web.

On a page you should aim to have your one (or possible two most important key words or key phrases, in both your page title, page heading and ideally several times in the main body (or content) of your page.

If you know any html (the main language of the web):

  • The title is between the <title> and </title> tags, and displays in the (usually) blue bar at the very top of the window.
  • The heading is between the <h1> and </h1> tags.
  • The title tag is usually considered to have the most significance.

Its worth looking again at your content and considering what key words people will be searching for. If you don't have a sprinkling of them consider making changes to add them.

Be Specific

Search engines recommend natural writing but be specific. If you write a page about 'diabetic neuropathy', mention it in the small print too.

Don't go overboard:

That is by 'stuffing' the page with key words either, your readers and the search engines won't like it!

This is one of the advantages in splitting your material into separate pages as each page can be targeted at a different set of key words. If you keep to a specific topic on a page that should occur naturally. For more on search engines see the getting noticed page.

Keyword Tools

Some tools that offer help in selecting key words are: -
  1. Google Adwords: Keywords Tool

    Gives alternatives and shows relative comparisons between the set of key words. It also show the number of searches and the competition for those key words.

  2. Google: Trends.

    No numbers shown, but shows a comparison of up to 5 search terms. The example shown uses only two, showing which search is most popular in the UK. As well as the two cities shown. You can use multiple words or a phrase in quotes too, each search term is split by a comma. This is either world wide or by a single country.

Local Information

If the information on your site is only relevant to a specific local area. Make sure that the town, district or some local reference that people search for, is one of your key words or phrases on at least one of your pages.

Include it or those key words on one of your pages, remember include those words in both the heading and in the content too. This information could be on the home page or on a special 'contact us/where are we' page.

This is very much a growing area after all a podiatrist in Glasgow will be of little use to some one wanting foot care in Bristol.

Google Maps, gives an easy to use option to link to a map by Post Code.

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