Setting up a website for SEO - Search Engine Optimisation, Google Analytics
Designing a WebSite
It's christmas December 2007, and after 5 days of holiday I'm starting to get itchy fingers. Need to code something.
My girlfreinds been struggling with a puzzle (a griddler or nonogram) in the newspaper for a few days, and last night the newspaper was
thrown accross the room in frustration, so I thought hey, I should write some code to solve that. Out comes Visual Studio
, rapid application development is brought into action, and hey presto we have a reasonable puzzle solver, which
completes my girlfriends puzzle,
brings peace to the household and some nights sleep for me. - restless sleep, because the puzzle solver isn't
100% perfect, but it's ok for now.
I am thinking I should make this puzzle solver available on the web, so that other people can make use of it.
I'll need to set up a website, so I buy a domain name griddler.co.uk - it's fairly cheap.
January 1st 2008
I upload the griddler solver.
show it to a few friends. Normally the first question is - "what is a griddler?", so
I write another page describing the puzzle format and how to complete them.
The second question normally is "can you show me
some example puzzles", so I set about writing another program to create nonogram puzzles.
High Quality Content
January 5th 2008
I now have a passable nonogram generator. It takes a black and white bitmap, shrinks it to a suitable
size like 25x30 pixels, and then tries to create the nonogram. It works particularly well on things like
an image from a wingdings or webdings font. I upload some of these free nonograms
to the website.
January 7th 2008
I've been reading countless blogs and websites about Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) - the world seems obessesed with it.
I'll try to bear these in mind while developing the site. The main pointers seem to be
- Rich content
- Well formed meta tags for Keywords and Description
- Use alt text for image descriptions
- Page titles should be descriptive but not too long
- Anchor tags need descriptive link text
- Make the site easy to navigate
- Add a sitemap file to the website root to enable search engine spiders to index pages
- Add a robots.txt file to the website root if there are pages you don't want to be indexed
- Forge links and relationships with other respected websites of similar genres
- Don't have multiple copies of pages or multiple copies of the same site at different urls
- Don't buy links to your site, or exchange links with un-reputable websites
January 8th 2008
If i'm providing free samples on the site, and their is also a nonogram solver on the site, then I may as well
harvest any puzzle definitions (and solutions) that people try to solve. So I set up some harvesting
and we'll see how much it gets used. Hopefully the site will eventually become self-propogating.
I'm not sure where I would stand with copyright... if I harvest and redisplay a puzzle which was originally
in some book or newspaper, so I keep a track of any solved puzzles, and we can remove them if requested.
January 11th 2008
I think this site could be useful, so I've taken a look at Amazon Associates program and Google Adsense. I'm
thinking that over the course of 2 years maybe they will help cover the cost of the web-hosting and domain registration.
Both affiliate programs look quite useful although Google Adsense give no indication of what
referal rates you may get paid - and as a member you are prevented from disclosing this after sign-up, so no one
seems to disclose it on-line. The Amazon programme will pay approx 5% on any items ordered within 1 day
after a direct click-through from your web-site. So I decide to spread my bets and register for both.
(The Amazon Associates one takes a long while to get set up - it takes 1 month or so for the Amazon team to review your website.)
January 12th 2008
I'm going to need some way of tracking visitors and site usage, so I sign up for Google Analytics.
The site seems pretty much ready to go-live, (although no clearance from Amazon or Adsense yet)
but it seems like a good time to submit the site to Google search.
Janurary 15th 2008
The site gets it's first referals from google search - 5 today!
I'm surprised how quickly Google indexes and crawls the site.
January 25th 2008
The free nonogram samples page is hit more frequently than the nonogram solver. Maybe I should have more free puzzles?
So i write a sudoku generator and add a daily free sudoku puzzle.
I start to wonder if my initial choice of domain name was just too restrictive. In future I should choose a broader
more generic category for a domain name...
I also add the site to a few other directories - Yahoo search, Yahoo directory, Windows live search
and the dmoz directory - (it seems that the google directory is based on the dmoz directory).
January 29th 2008
Several search engine optimisation website suggest that good-quality links back to your site are one way
to improve your search enginge rankings. So I ask a number of high profile puzzle sites if they
would like to link exchange, and also speak to some sites who list 'free stuff'. I have some
moderate success with this, including www.free-stuff.me.uk