That being said, there's a way to build it that's very friendly to your fans, visitors and search engines, but unfortunately not everyone chooses that route. So if you're about to build your own site or if you have one already, take a look at the following practices that are guaranteed to turn off your visitors. You know what they are yourself because you probably see them on other sites every day, but that doesn't mean you should emulate a bad practice.
Not only do many of the following aggravate people, but they're death to search engines. If you want fans to find you, make sure these are avoided.
1) Pull-down boxes for navigation. Designers love them, visitors hate them, search engines can't read them. Stay away.
2) Flash animation. Looks cool, but sometimes people just want some info and not cartoons. Search engines can't read any of the info in a Flash movie so they're a waste of time and money.
3) All graphics and little text. Search engines love text. Visitors love text. Pictures are nice, but use them in moderation.
4) A "splash" page. A splash page is an opening page with a movie or flash animation and no information. The whole "Enter Here" thing is so Web 1.0. There's no info for a search engine to grab and your visitors hate them. Avoid at all costs.
5) Frames. Again, so Web 1.0. Sites with frames went out a long time ago. Get with the times and dump these babies.
6) Pop-ups. It doesn't matter where they come from or if they're selling something or not, everyone hates them.
7) Dead links. This is just poor website design. It happens to everyone at some point, but remember that both search engines and visitors hate them.
Tomorrow we'll look at poor site practices 8 through 15, focusing more on search engine optimization.
Check out my Big Picture blog for discussion on common music, engineering and production tips and tricks.