Mistakes made in building a Web Presence

1) Key Component  

A "pretty" home page with a clear objective. 

That is  oversimplifying things, but an attractive main page will compel visitors to investigate further. How many times have you clicked away from someone's home page before it even finished loading? Yeah, that's what I thought. Make your home page into a page that YOU would be 
impressed by. You do this with a professional logo, a crisp, fresh look and simple navigation links. 

Also, be sure your main page contains a clear objective and an invitation to investigate the information you have presented in your site. 

When someone comes to your site is it obvious what information it contains?  After all, they probably came looking for information. I have visited many sites that look great, but fail at this key component. If I find myself trying to guess what is in the site, it's usually too late, I'm gone. A home page should clearly define why it is there and invite visitors in for more. 

2) A large, slow loading home page. 

A Breeder with a home page on  the net asked me to why their page wasn't successful.  I visited the site and it was beautiful. Probably the best owner built site  I'd seen in a year. So why was it a dud?... 

It took 3 full minutes to load! Very few people will wait that long. Net analysists agree that after the first 20 seconds you loose 10% of your audience and a additional 10% every 10 seconds.  A good site loads fast for ALL surfers. If it loads in under 20 seconds on a 28.8 modem, you're fine. If not, cut down the graphics and try again! Another consideration is the search engine spiders will time out on your page and not index it, so you will never get listed in the search engines. 

A slow loading home page can also be a result of a page that contains too much information. Visitors should not have to scroll down endlessly to view your home page. If your page contains too much information, simply break the information up into several pages. 
Part of this is to have ALL your images optimized, if you are doing this yourself, this means buying the programs to get the job done. THEN learning how to use the programs correctly.  But you can improve load rate by scanning in images at the lowest PSI that you can get a clear image. 
3) Failing to promote! 

This one is a classic. Far too many Breeding farm owners pop a site up on the web and cross their fingers. In order to grow traffic, you need to promote it. How?... 

Well if you have an advertising budget, spend money. This is the easiest way to promote a farms site. Buy banner ads on busy horse oriented sites,  sponsor email publications and re-order every avenue that is effective. 

If you do not have much of an advertising budget, fear not. You can generate traffic without much expenditure. One  methods is article submissions, for it gains you and your farm recognition and will often provide a link to your site. 

4) No use or misuse of MetaTags 
Search engines utilize indexing software agents often called robots or 
spiders. These agents are programmed to constantly "crawl" the Web in 
search of new or updated pages. They will essentially go from URL to 
URL until they have visited every Web site on the Internet. 

When visiting a Web site, an agent will record the full text of every 
page (home and sub-pages) within the site. It will then continue on to 
visit all external links. Following these external links is how search 
engines are able to find your site regardless of whether or not you 
register your URL with them. Submitting your URL, however, does speed 
up the process. It notifies an agent to visit and index your site instead of 
waiting for it to eventually locate you through one of your external 

Robots will then revisit your site periodically to refresh the recorded information. The revisiting of links is the reason why some search engines don't require you to inform them of dead links. Eventually, their robot would try unsuccessfully to update the information on a dead link and realize it no longer exists. 

Finally, an easy way to tell whether a Web index is a search engine as 
opposed to another type of directory is by the information it requires 
when adding your URL. A true search engine will only need the Web 
address.  The indexing agent takes care of the rest. 

Each search engine looks at different elements of your page, therefore 
I highly recommend implementing as many of these Tips as possible. 

A. Use keywords in the <TITLE> of your document making it as 
descriptive as possible. When visiting your site, an agent will go first to the <TITLE> tag. For clarification purposes, the <TITLE> tag is what a browser will display in its title bar and is not simply the first line of HTML that shows up on your page. (Although your first words of introductory text  should be descriptive as well). Search engines will display the text 
located between the <TITLE> tags when your web page is listed in a 
search. By making your <TITLE> descriptive, you'll be better off than 
those who only have keywords within the text of their page. It will also be helpful when people bookmark your web site. If a more descriptive name appears in a person's hotlist, it will be easier to find your site at a later date. 

For example, instead of using <TITLE> Horse Farm </TITLE> as the title of your page, <TITLE> Horse Farm. BREED OF HORSE Breeder   </TITLE>  would be much more descriptive. It would also place greater emphasis or relevancy on " BREED OF HORSE " when calculating keywords. 

B. Descriptive Page Text.  Search engines assign greater relevancy to 
text located at the top of a page than to text located in the middle 
or at the bottom of the page. The search engines assume that web page 
authors  will present their most important information first. If your page has 
a main graphic at the top, you should place some descriptive text 
either underneath or beside the image. The search engines will index 
this text and assign it a high level of relevancy. 

C. Use <META> tags which allow you to provide even more detail about 
your Web pages and thereby gain greater control over how your pages 
are indexed. Not all search engines make use of <META> tags, but 
adding these tags to your pages will make them more accessible to the 
search engines that do. <META> tag codes are inserted within the 
<HEAD>--- --- <HEAD> tag. 

To get your site listed in the first ten pages of a search engine for a query is considered top placement. To do this takes resubmitting the site properly and STILL will take 3 to 6 months! You have to change the coding in your html to "coach" the spiders to list your page with the emphasis on the words you wish to be found under. AND if you resubmit without proper changes you can often be considered as "spamming" by the search engines and they will drop your site from their index! 

To get correct and desirable search engine results takes time, patience and ingenuity. For those who don't have the time or inclination, Fairwind WebPages does coding for search engines at a reasonable fee, with upload to over 900 search engines and link pages. 

BUT even with proper coding and upload the results will take about 3 
to 6 months! Heck most of the search engines don't even "get to" you 
page till 2 to 6 weeks after registering with them! 

Also load rate plays a factor in the search engines reading your pages. Your page should load in 25 seconds or less in a 56K modem to keep the search engine spiders from just "timing out" and skipping to the next site! 

Most of the time in a 56K modem the front page of the Gaited Horses Site page will load in 19 seconds, I am still working on it as I am NOT happy with it YET! 

Optimizing for load rate without compromising page quality takes time 
and some programs for image reduction. 

Just remember, if your going to do it yourself, WORK and REWORK your pages HTML until it is optimized for search engine indexing BEFORE submitting. If you keep resubmitting a poorly designed page,, YOU have 
a REAL chance of being DROPPED from the listings all together! 
After all you didn't do all that hard work to GET an internet page up, to have it unable to be found? 

Did you? 

Table of Contents
Key Component 
Main Objective
Load Rate
Too Much Info
Optomize Images
Failing to promote!
Descriptive Page Text. 
Search Engines