web design tips

Some important tips to keep in mind when designing a site for yourself or for your customers.

Let me start with the tips provided by BizLand’s director of Web and UI.

1.  Plan your site.

2.  Understand your audience.

3.  Allow for easy navigation.

4.  Choose a color scheme.

5.  Use high quality photos.

6.  Test your site, and test again.

I agree with those tips completely.

I would like to add, though, the importance of (using or building your own) social bookmarking site(s).  While doing a research on the same I found the following article on Search Engine Journal.  Here is an excerpt from the article:

The positive effects of social bookmarking for publishers of news sites, blogs and other web sites is outstanding. Social bookmarking can introduce the sites that you own or you like to others with relevant tastes, can drive traffic to your site, and valuable back links.

Some social bookmark sites like Propeller.com pass on link juice, while some use the NoFollow attribute. But do not let the use of NoFollow fool you, the search engines are looking beyond the incoming links from social bookmarking sites to gauge their value to their search indexes. The external metadata compiled via user generated descriptions, tags, titles and categorization is incredibly valued by the search engines, as in the same philosophy as anchored backlinks, descriptive content about a web site defined by the users of that site who are not associated with the marketing or coding of that site, can be extremely powerful in gauging the importance and relevance of the content and tags which are used on that site.

Bookmarks show how a site is perceived, and when these sites allow voting, they also show the engines or whatever classification system which monitors voting, how people feel about the quality of the site. Furthermore, social bookmarking can introduce a site to the search engines, as in some cases, people may find and bookmark a site or a site’s internal pages before a search engine can find those pages via another form of inbound link.

Monitoring social bookmarking services like Del.icio.us, StumbleUpon and Ma.gnolia can help search engines in multiple ways by:

  • Indexing Sites Faster : Humans bookmark sites launched by their friends or colleagues before a search engine bot can find them.
  • Deeper Indexing : Many pages bookmarked are deep into sites and sometimes not as easily linked to by others, found via bad or nonexistent site navigation or linked to from external pages.
  • Measuring Quality : Essentially if more users bookmark a page, the more quality and relevance that site has. A site with multiple bookmarks across multiple bookmarking services by multiple users is much more of an authority than a site with only several bookmarks by the same user.
  • External Meta Data : Users who bookmark sites tag them with keywords and descriptions which add an honest and unbiased definition which is created by the public and not the owner of the site.
  • Co Citation : Social bookmarking sites tend to categorize sites and pages based upon the tags used by humans to describe the site; therefore search algortihms can classify these sites with their peers.
  • Number of Votes : Similar to the number of bookmarks, the more votes a page receives on Digg or Reddit, the more useful that information usually is. If the same page receives multiple votes across multiple social news voting sites, the higher quality the site.
  • Categorization : Like Co Citation, categorization can help define the subject of a site, therefore better helping the engine address searcher intent.

To help share the wealth of social bookmarking, I’ve put together a list of 125 social bookmarking sites, some of which are very popular and others which are newer or somewhat unheard of. But besides targeting the major social bookmarking and tagging sites which are listed above, you will find some diamonds in the rough which are niche oriented or treated well by Google and other search engines. I’ve found that one such surprise is Searchles which is regarded as an authority by multiple search engines and bookmarks within Searchles sometimes show up quite high in some branded organic results.

Here is the link to the full article cited above:

Search Engine Journal