What Consists of an SEO Friendly Web Design?
When you optimize a web design you are optimizing for the search engines, but you are also creating a web environment that meets the needs of your visitors.
Pleasing Your Visitors
There is a basic list you need to implement in your web design:
- Easy Navigation – do not make navigating your site difficult at all. Some people do not know how to look, they do not want to look hard and some of your visitors will have physical and/or mental disabilities. For example, if your users have to see a particular color to find the navigation you could be eliminating any color blind visitors to your site. Make the navigation simple and make sure any visitor can use it without problems.
- Scannable Content – this means creating headlines that people can scan to see if your page has the information they are looking for. People always scan, so create headlines that describe the paragraphs. This way you allow readers to quickly find what they are looking for and once they start reading you have an opportunity to sell your products or services. Additionally, you should use keywords/keyword phrases in your headlines for optimization. Headlines are a crucial part of any web site.
- Content With No Spelling or Grammatical Errors – This may seem like a no-brainer, but there are so many business web sites with errors that make them appear less professional and trustworthy.
- Understandable & Informative Content – no one is an expert in everything. You may think that everyone knows the proper way to plant a palm tree, but in reality the majority of people coming to a site selling palm trees would have no clue where to start. You have to write content that is easy to read and in a non-condescending way explain everything point by point. If someone is an expert in your field they will skim past the things they already know, but someone that is looking for the services you provide is seeking to understand the process and gain confidence that you know what you are doing.
- Be Congruent – you want your pages to be similar in design/organization. If every page is different the visitor may get tired of looking or get confused and leave.
- It Should Load Fast – no one likes to wait for a page to load. We have all been to sites that take a long time to load and what do we do? Say, â€œforget itâ€ and back out. Pictures can really mess up your loading time. Use a program like Photoshop and try to shrink the size of the picture, but try to maintain the quality of the picture.
- Follow W3C Suggestions For Accessibility – W3C.org has some testing recommendations all webmasters should follow to ensure your visitors have complete access to all areas of you site.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
There are some very important things SEO does for a web site and without them a site will not do well. An SEO Friendly Web Design will:
- Make the site easy to find on the search engines
- Adhere to Googleâ€™s Webmaster Guidelines
- Appear in the SERPs for relevant keywords and keyword phrases
- Include the right amount of optimized content, as well as optimized headlines and meta tags
- Have clean code for the search engines
- Be crawlable- search engine spiders and bots should be able to smoothly move through all of the pages on your web site
- Avoid content in frames
- Be W3C compliant
- Use anchor text effectively
- Interlink relevant pages throughout the site
- Have a sitemap with text links to every page
An SEO friendly website design should please all web site visitors; this means those that have complete knowledge about the subject of your site and those that know nothing about the subject. It should also meet guidelines set by the search engines and be properly designed for search engine spiders/bots. Most importantly, your web site should be easy to read and navigate