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Optimizing your website means reducing its size and complexity in order to maximize its performance. It can involve search engine optimization, advertising optimization, and copy writing optimization as part of your overall site design or redesign process.

Optimization is at the very heart of good design. It is not something that is tacked on at the end of the process. Rather, it is built into the design so that every design element contributes to the optimal success or purpose of the site.

It begins with the structural and navigational elements, what is called site or information architecture. The way that your site is organized and presented is critical. Poor organization and/or inadequate navigation produces lost customers, clients, sales and success. Your site should be interesting, easy to understand and easy to find what your visitors are looking for.

Current Design Standards

Error free code that conforms to current design standards provides consistency and reduces frustration, both of which are essential in giving your visitors comfort and satisfaction. Frustrate them, and they will leave.

In addition, your site's search engine ranking will improve with current design standards. Conversely, the search engines will rank a page lower for design and coding errors. Beyond that there are two things you can do to improve your search engine rankings — use meta tags correctly and Internet advertising.

Meta Tags

Meta tags are used behind the scenes on the Internet for a variety of purposes, and no site should be without them. Do them right and your search engine ranking will increase. Do them poorly and it will decrease. Two of the more important meta tags are the description tag and the keywords tag.

The description tag provides a short (10-25 words) description of the page. Each page should have a unique description. The description tag usually appears in a search engine when people are looking for something. It should accurately describe the page so that those looking for what you offer can find it.

The use of keywords has changed radically over the past few years because too many webmasters were packing their pages with keywords in order to increase their page ranking. Reversing previous practice, the search engines now punish pages that pack too many or unrelated keywords into this tag in order to discourage keywork packing. The purpose of keywords is NOT to provide pages with high ranking, but to help people find relevant pages. They key to keyword usage is relevancy. It is much better to have one or two keywords per page, and to use them well. Use them in the text, in the alt, title and description tags. Each key word should be found 3-8 times on the page.


Graphics are both essential and problematic to good design. Too many graphics or graphics (photos) that are too large will significantly slow down the load time of the page. If your page doesn't load in less than eight seconds, statistics show that people will get frustrated and click somewhere else. That's eight seconds on their computer, not yours — and their Internet connection, not yours. The page should load in less than eight seconds on an older computer with a dialup (56kb) modem.

The size of most graphics can be reduced for Internet use without the loss of quality because computer screens can only use 72 dpi (dots per inch), unlike common printers that use 300-1200 dpi.

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