To Design A Search Engine Friendly Website
How To Design A Search Engine Friendly Website
There are many websites that fail to target their required traffic,
even if they’ve had some search engine optimisation work done.
One of the main causes for this is simply because the website isn’t
search engine friendly.
This is a basic essential that needs to be incorporated into the
design of all websites at the outset – think of it as the
foundation to establishing your search engine optimisation strategy.
This article aims to highlight the areas a web designer should think
about and incorporate into their design for search engine effectiveness:
1.Search Engine Friendly Pages
It is important that when you design your website you not only bear
in mind what your website requirements are, but also what the requirements
are for search engines. Best way to approach this is to remember
that search engines don’t really care about how nice or complicated
is. Instead search engines look at the code behind your page. Therefore
if you want to impress a search engine, then your code needs to
be nice and easy to read. Now from this I don’t mean adding
‘comment’ tags and breaking the lines of code up with
spaces, but to ensure that the elements the search engine is interested
in, i.e. Title tag, Description tag, Keyword tag (these days only
some search engines really use the keyword tag), Alt tag, are readable
near the beginning of the code. Search Engines don’t like
areas that can help you page’s ranking. Therefore careful
planning and positioning of your page elements is required.
·If you’re using table for laying out your page then
make them simple and not too complex.
·Avoid using frames.
·Think twice on how to use graphics – make them relevant
to your content and use the Alt tag for all images.
·Position the main content of the page before the images,
or at least with the images nested between the text.
Having good keywords is one of the most important areas to consider
when designing a website/webpage.
One of the best tools for this is Wordtracker (www.wordtracker.com),
which allows you to identify good competitive keywords for your
In general the range of keywords associated to your pages can be
very extensive therefore for good concentration and prominence of
keywords it is advisable to carefully select the top 10-15 keywords.
You can always export the results to Excel and try out other competitive
keywords if the ones you selected initially do not produce any noticeable
TOP TIP: Wordtracker offer a one day subscription to their service
from which you can squeeze nearly 2 ½ days worth of use!
Here’s how – Sign-up for the service on the evening
of Day 1 (the service will be available almost immediately so you
can start searching for your competitive keywords straight away).
You will also be able to use the service for the whole of Day 2
and strangely for the whole of Day 3! Enough time to get some good
keywords for a lot of pages!
Many search engines look at the main body of the page and identify
keywords and phrases that are used within the text.
Use competitive keywords relevant to the purpose of the page within
the main body of the page.
Always try and ensure that the keywords are prominent within the
text body, i.e. they appear near the beginning of the page, they
are defined using the ‘heading’ tag, they are typefaced
in bold, or they are used as hyperlinks.
This is arguably one of the most important areas of a page and needs
special attention to ensure that a good title is selected.
Similar to many other areas of designing a search engine friendly
page, the Page Title should also have a good keyword which describes
the page content.
To keep within the limits of many search engines the number of words
for the Title shouldn’t exceed nine.
Another important area to work on for good ranking is the Page Description.
This is the text found under the META Description tag and is displayed
to users in the search results. Again, it is a good idea to pay
attention to the use of good keywords when writing the description,
which should be short (not more than 20-25 words) and sells your
page before the user has even opened it!
We’ve covered the use of graphics briefly above, emphasising
the importance of using an Alt tag containing the relevant keyword(s).
Although the use of images can be nice and very appealing to a website,
it is also important to bear in mind that they shouldn’t overpower
the textual content of your page. As a general rule of thumb it
is best to stick to a 70/30 ratio (70 text/30 images).
A Site Map is a fantastic way for search engines to find all your
juicy pages on your website. There are many free Site Map tools
available on the web that’ll create your site map instantly.
Navigation links to other pages on your website should be nice and
easy. There are some engines which find it difficult to navigate
through to the other pages on your website if the nav bar is too
complicated, e.g. complicated pop-ups, use of flash, etc. Therefore
if your site does have complicated navigation then it’s always
a good idea to implement simple text based hyperlinks to your common
pages at the bottom of every page on your website.
Following the basic suggestions above will help lay the foundation
to apply further good search engine optimisation advice which will
make the difference in your overall search engine ranking.
This finer area of SEO is beyond the realm of this document and
will require further investment based on individual needs.
About the Author
Internet Marketing Manager
for Ambleton Computing.
Experts in all areas of Internet Marketing, inc. SEO and Web Design.