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 maximum 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 your graphics or flash movies are, or how snazzy your javascript 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 wadding through lines and lines of javascript to get to the core areas that can help you page's ranking. Therefore careful planning and positioning of your page elements is required.

TIPS:
- If you're using table for laying out your page then make them simple and not too complex.
- Avoid using frames.
- If you need javascripts for navigation purposes, then use smaller scripts to call up the bulk of the javascript from a different file.
- 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.

2. Keywords

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 pages.

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 benefits.

TOP TIP:
Wordtracker offer a one day subscription to their service from which you can squeeze nearly 2 ? 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!

3. Content

Many search engines look at the main body of the page and identify keywords and phrases that are used within the text.

TIP:
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.

4. Page Title

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.

5. Page Description

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!

6. Graphics

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).

7. Site Map

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.

8. Navigation Links

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.

Arif Hanid
Internet Marketing Manager for Ambleton Computing.
Professionals in bespoke Internet Developement and Marketing.

[email protected]
www.ambleton.co.uk

In The News:

This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news

Forbes

SEO: Is It Really Dead?
Forbes
The goal in business is to make money. Right? We all know it, but how can we achieve it in today's increasingly competitive online world – and how is digital marketing impacting profit potential? Digital marketing, long hailed as the cure-all for ...

and more »

Search Engine Land

The 40-point SEO checklist for startups
Search Engine Land
Whether you are in the process of taking your startup site public or honing your on-site search engine optimization (SEO) post-launch, it's important to have a process in place to make sure you aren't missing anything. To that end, we've collected 40 ...


Forbes

The 8 Things Most People Get Wrong About SEO
Forbes
I've been working in the search engine optimization (SEO) space for years, yet I'm still pleasantly surprised to learn new things about the industry. I'll discover a new update, or witness a trick used by one of my colleagues, and rush to the drawing ...

and more »

The Weekly Measure: SEO Questions, Email Mantras & We Won a Ton of Awards!
Vertical Measures (blog)
Each week, Vertical Measures presents the Weekly Measure, a collection of the week's latest updates in the content marketing, paid search, social media, search engine optimization and link building fields. Also provided is a handy schedule of internet ...


Search Engine Journal

Google Exploit: Canonical Negative SEO
Search Engine Journal
A new negative SEO attack method has been discovered. What makes this exploit especially bad is that it is virtually impossible to detect the attacker. There is no way to recover if the attacking website is unknown. So far, Google is remaining silent ...


Search Engine Land

SearchCap: Google new video ad format, SEO checklists & more
Search Engine Land
A new video ad format brings video to mobile devices, in locations where no YouTube videos currently exist. The 40-point SEO checklist for startups. Apr 18, 2018 by Pratik Dholakiya. Startups can't afford to miss a SEO trick when it comes to launching ...


Forbes

How To Tell If Your SEO Campaign Is Working
Forbes
Deciding your main goals. What are your main goals for this campaign? The general approach is to seek ambiguous improvement, ranking higher and getting more traffic. But is that what you're really after? Are you in SEO just to see a monetary return, or ...
5 Reasons to Consider Keeping SEO In-HouseChief Marketer

all 3 news articles »

Forbes

Should You Fire Your SEO Agency? 11 Important Signs
Forbes
Thousands of business owners every year decide to enlist the help of external SEO agencies, which offer specialized expertise and, in many cases, lower overall costs. But like any business partnership or any hire, this relationship may not turn out to ...


Search Engine People (blog)

5 SEO Strategies Start-Ups Must Get Right
Search Engine People (blog)
Getting noticed, and ensuring your business is the one that comes up on a prospective customer's web search is crucial, and that's why adopting the right SEO strategy is core to long term success. The trouble is that many entrepreneurs are simply too ...
Misconceptions about Search Engine Optimization (SEO), what you need to knowCommunities Digital News

all 4 news articles »

Search Engine Journal

'(Not Provided)': SEO 5 Years Later
Search Engine Journal
SEO is always getting more challenging. Machine learning and RankBrain are among the biggest challenges. However, one of the biggest frustrations is the lack of keyword-level data from Google. Today, we work with less data than ever from Google, which ...
How To Win at Google: A Crash Course on SEOe27
8 SEO Tools You Need to Crush It in 2018Business 2 Community
The latest mobile-first indexing updates that call for a change in your 2018 SEO gameNewswire (blog)

all 14 news articles »
Google News

SEO: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

I seem to have created quite a stir, on a... Read More

Monitor and Increase Your Search Engine Visibility with the DIY SEO Tools

In this three part article, you'll find many tools that... Read More

Press Releases Can Increase Search Engine Positioning

When you write a press release, what is your ultimate... Read More

Playing in Googlebots Sandbox with Slurp, Teoma, & MSNbot - Spiders Display Differing Personalities

There has been endless webmaster speculation and worry about the... Read More

London Bombings and Number Patterns

Firstly, let me say that I am sure all our... Read More

The Real Search Engine Optimization Guide

Nowadays, there is so much talk about SEO (search engine... Read More

Click Click Boom: a Linking Strategy that will Blow Away Your Competition

Web marketers, do you hear what I hear?"Click-click BOOM"That's the... Read More

SEO -- Tips to Optimize Your Webpage to Compete for a High Ranking

Search engine optimization (SEO) is very important to websites. If... Read More

Wordtracker Wisdom: Common Keyword Questions and Answers

One of my favorite subjects to teach on at our... Read More

Search Engine Wars - Quality Searches Vs Quantity!

It is no secret that Google and Yahoo are on... Read More

How to Get Listed in Yahoo Within 48 Hours, Without Paying $299

First of all you need to get a blog. If... Read More

What All Top Google Websites Have in Common

While it is okay to admire and envy all those... Read More

Make Quality Content Your #1 Priority

It is by now a proven fact that content is... Read More

Search Engine Optimisation: The Soon to be Impossible Dream!

There are today search engine and internet marketing services, in... Read More

Search Engine Optimisation - Getting Targeted Traffic

Getting SEO right is an art and it's based on... Read More

Twelve Steps to Higher Search Engine Placement

Recent studies suggest that more than 80% of new visitors... Read More

Why Search Engine Optimization is Not Enough

OK. So you've created a nice website with lots of... Read More

How to Pick an SEO Firm

If you're looking for an SEO firm, we recommend that... Read More

Search Engines Are Going to Love You for This

What's the most potent free traffic source on the web?***... Read More

Why You Need a SEO Maintenance Plan

A search engine optimization maintenance service plan will ensure that... Read More

Reality Check: A Straightforward Guide to Keywords and Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Web site owners need to have realistic expectations when it... Read More

All You Need to Know About Your Website Traffic is Contained in 5 Key Stats

You built that content rich web page optimized for your... Read More

Tools of the Trade, the SEO Must Have Utilities

Search Engine traffic accounts for nearly 80% of the Internet... Read More

How To Write Effective And Unique Articles That Are Optimized for the Search Engines

It is a well known fact that writing, distributing and... Read More

Optimizing For Visitors Not Search Engines

Most people feel that optimizing is to target the search... Read More