Websites are created so that relevant people can know about your business, get in touch with your business. A good website is one that is friendly to search engines and allows customer ease of accessing information they are seeking.
However, as web designers, we often tend to become so obsessed with the aesthetics that we forget to ensure the basic need of making our design search engine friendly, which in today’s competitive scenario is more important than the creative aspect of a website.
Here I have enlisted a few search engine optimization (SEO) tips that smart website designers should follow.
#Avoid using flash and other elements which are not search engine friendly
Flash is generally deployed to evoke user interest, but as it fails to get enough search engine attention, it destroys more value than it actually creates. This is because most search engines are text based and are able to index sites based on HTML content, but even Google does not completely index flash-based sites. Besides, as a flash-based website has just one URL (home page URL), the chances are that the site would be noticed less as compared to other websites with multiple pages having different URLs.
If using flash in unavoidable in a custom web design, then make sure that you have all the contents displayed in flash packaged separately as text in another template.
#Use of ALT Attribute
It is not possible for search engines to interpret images and if you want to ensure that search engines are able to read the message you want to communicate through the image, do not miss to fill the ALT attribute with keywords that gives a proper description of the image.
#Responsive Web Designs
There is a growing proportion of web traffic that uses smartphone and hence creating a website that is suitable to smartphone users is now a crucial part of website designing. Online customers use a variety of devices (tablets, iPads, iPhone, mobile, desktop, laptop) to access internet and it is important that as website designers we ensure that our website is easily accessible and viewable on all of these devices. If the website fails to show up properly on a tablet or a mobile phone display, the company not only lose brand value, but also potential revenues.
If you use a responsive web design, the website would automatically scale up or scale down to fit these different display sizes. In the absence of a responsive web design, a web designer would need to maintain separate websites for different mobile device types. This might also require different URLs, thus affecting the SEO impact.
With a responsive web design, you have the ease of using just one URL for all pages on the website, which makes it simpler for your users to share, interact with, and link to your content. Besides, it is also easier for Google to index your pages. The use of single URL also eliminates the need for redirection for a device-optimized view. Also with no need for redirection, the page loading time is also reduced, thus improving the user experience and ease of access.
#Avoid Using Frames
Frames make your website load slower and hence it is advisable to avoid these wherever you can. When you use them, do remember to give them an appropriate title.
#Pay attention to the Navigation Structure
Navigation menus are designed to help users move across the pages on the website with utmost ease. A well-designed navigation structure would enhance a user experience and hence he is likely to stay on your website much longer, thus reducing bounce rate and helping your SEO rankings. Deploying proper CSS navigation can be a great SEO tool for web designers. It enables search engines to not only read the text, but also the hyperlinks embedded in the writing, allowing a better visibility for you website.
#Do not forget to add Social Media capabilities
Any website today appears incomplete without social media capabilities. The power of a Facebook or Twitter button on your website to multiply your online visibility is immense and hence they ought to be included. They may also help you get a good number of quality backlinks to your site.
So, are you a SEO Noob or Expert?
Well, you may be great at designing websites, but do you understand the impact of your work on SEO? Do you use the above and other tricks to boost the SEO rankings of the website you are designing? Please share your ideas, insights and experiences in the comments section!