Design vs. SEO: Can My Site Look Good And Rank Well? - ...
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However, as you have no store front, if the online community can't find you, you're business will fail. So I'd have a very optimized home page with some discussion of the quality of your product, the history of your company, etc. This is also great sales copy. Ad a few special catalog pieces with descriptions below some smartly placed gifs, jpegs and readable type graphics built out of CSS and you've got a cool to look at, content rich, well optimized layout.
I'd make the link to your catalog very obvious and prominent. Note the catalog is not the homepage. I'd also include subsequent well written, in depth pages about the history of some specific pieces. Load them with targeted keywords and a few images. Again, make your catalog link very prominent. In doing so you're creating relevant content for search engines AND providing additional pages that can rank.
The catalog can be database driven, simple and changeable, and you have the foundation to build your search rank.
Planning Your Site
If your designer is not a search engine optimizer, hire one to work with your designer from the initial development stage of your site. If you would like a visible presence that is not dependent on traditional marketing efforts to get your name around, then you will have to optimize.
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