Kiosk Guides for Learning

If you're holding out for universal popularity, I'm afraid you will be in this cabin for a very long time.
J. K. Rowling, 1965 -
English author
Harry Potter and the
Goblet of Fire

Study skills series

Making your website popular

Search engine optimization (SEO)

Position & optimize your web site traffic
with search engines & directories

Website development

Identify your audience
Is your audience
local? regional? national? international? professional? content driven?

Keep perspective on developing your website:
you are not competing with Microsoft, the United Nations, or the Library of Congress

Review your content
What in your content is valuable to your audience?


  • create intuitive and obvious navigation; enable multiple topical "entry points"
  • clearly present current content
  • published research and items of interest
  • establish credibility with the credentials of authors and list awards
  • include a few items of personal interest (humanize)
  • delete gimmicks or gratuitous technology or distracting graphics that have no purpose to that of the website
  • facilitate contacts and feedback:
    make it simple!

Structure your content
for convenient and intuitive navigation and access

Your audience should easily find what they are looking for
A web site of links has little value compared to search engines and directories

Positioning your web site for search engines, directories, and portals
Do not promote a site that is not well-developed
First (bad) impressions will affect later positioning.

Content development:

  • Competitive landscape:
    Compare your site to similar sites;
    Determine critical keywords/search terms
  • Prioritize keyword density
    Constructively and proactively use keywords in your home page content;
    make sure it reflects the content

Metatags are located in the HTML source code of a web page that detail administrative information about a web site/page. Some information is also scanned by portals, directories, and search engines and listed in the web site's description,
such as < title > and < description >

  • Title metatag
    Displayed in the top line of a browser, and often duplicated in listings of search engines, etc.
  • Description metatag:
    Employs keywords well-reflective of content; duplicated in Alta Vista's listings of your site
    Should be consistent for all submissions: directories, search engines, portals
    Should be descriptive, not hyped: The Open Directory Project (ODP) rejects sites with promotional descriptions.
  • Keyword metatag:
    Generally obsolete but still necessary:
    Google does not index the metatag for "keywords"
  • Add metadata to images
    with the < alt > tag and include/reinforce keywords 
  • For an excellent illustration of the central role the ODP plays
    go to Bruce Clay, Inc. "Search Engine Relationship Chart"

Search engines:

  • Google
    Spiders/crawls the Web and ODP for web sites (submitting a site not necessary)
    Increases the rank of your website by the number and quality (keywords!) of links to it

Promoting your site

  • Is the Web site incorporated consistently into all marketing plans?
    Is the URL/address prominent in all print and media publications?
  • Are there professional e-newsletters, listservs, blogs, etc. where the site can be promoted or referenced?
  • Do professional organizations list member Web sites?
  • Are you a part of any Webrings?
    (An Internet site that links web sites that have the same theme)
  • Do you encourage your staff, supporters and enthusiasts to refer to the site in publications, speeches, etc.?
  • Do you monitor traffic on the site, especially its most popular pages for opportune developments?
  • Have you reviewed all search engines, portals, directories for positioning?
  • Do you submit your site for awards?
    and post the kudos?
  • Do you exchange links with appropriate entities?
  • Are there associated resources where you can promote your Website: an electronic newsletter, users group, events alert, blog, etc.

See also: