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TOP 12 WEBSITE DESIGN GUIDELINES FOR SEO

Want to become an expert on how to use SEO when designing your website? Or, do you need the help of an expert to do it for you?

If you need help developing or optimizing your website, contact Tried and True Digital Marketing to get your website set up for success! And read on to discover the top 12 guidelines for SEO-friendly website design.

1. MAKE SURE YOUR SITE NAVIGATION IS SEARCH ENGINE FRIENDLY

Using Flash for navigation on your website can be bad news if you aren’t aware of how to make Flash objects accessible and web-crawler-friendly. Search engines have a really tough time crawling a website that uses Flash. CSS and unobtrusive JavaScript can provide almost any of the fancy effects you are looking for without sacrificing your search engine rankings.

2. PLACE SCRIPTS OUTSIDE OF THE HTML DOCUMENT

When you are coding your website, make sure you externalize JavaScript and CSS. Search engines view a website through what’s contained in the HTML document. JavaScript and CSS, if not externalized, can add several additional lines of code in your HTML documents that, in most cases, will be ahead of the actual content and might make crawling them slower. Search engines like to get to the content of a website as quickly as possible.

3. USE CONTENT THAT SEARCH ENGINE SPIDERS CAN READ

Content is the life force of a website, and it is what the search engines feed on. When designing a website, makes sure you take into account good structure for content (headings, paragraphs, and links). Sites with very little content tend to struggle in the search results and, in most cases, this can be avoided if there is proper planning in the design stages.

4. DESIGN YOUR URLS FOR SEARCH FRIENDLINESS

Search friendly URLs are not URLs that are hard to crawl, such as query strings. The best URLs contain keywords that help describe the content of the page. For example, think about the following URLs for an HVAC website:

hvacompany.com/services/repairs/

hvacompany.com/services/residential-repairs/

hvacompany.com/services/commercial-repairs/

5. BLOCK PAGES YOU DON’T WANT SEARCH ENGINES INDEX

There could be pages on your site that you don’t want search engines to index. These pages could be pages that add no value to your content, such as server-side scripts. These web pages could even be pages you are using to test your designs as you are building the new website. Don’t expose these web pages to web robots. You could run into duplicate content issues with search engines as well as dilute your real content’s density, and these things could have a negative effect on your website’s search positions.

6. DON’T NEGLECT IMAGE ALT ATTRIBUTES

Make sure that all of your image alt attributes are descriptive. Search engines will read alt attributes and may take them into consideration when determining the relevancy of the page to the keywords a searcher queries.

7. UPDATE PAGES WITH FRESH CONTENT

If your website has a blog, you may want to consider making room for some excerpts of the latest posts to be placed on all of your web pages. Search engines love to see content of web pages changing from time to time as it indicates that the site is still alive and well. With changing content, comes greater crawling frequency by search engines as well.

8. USE UNIQUE META DATA

Page titles and descriptions should all be different. Many times, web designers will create a template for a website and forget to change out the meta data, and what ends up happening is that several pages will use the original placeholder information. Every page should have its own set of meta data; it is just one of the things that helps search engines get a better grasp of how the structure of the website is constructed.

9. USE HEADING TAGS PROPERLY

Make good use of heading tags in your web page content; they provide search engines with information on the structure of the HTML document, and they often place higher value on these tags relative to other text on the web page.

10. INCREASE INTERNAL LINKING ON YOUR WEBSITE

Internal linking can boost the rankings of your website when used correctly. It helps Google understand your content better and also sets an informational hierarchy for your website. Websites with information are consistently correlated with each other. It is very helpful for people and search engine bots when relevant information leads them to further information on the subject.

11. MAKE YOUR WEBSITE MOBILE-FRIENDLY

Whenever a query is entered in the search bar, Google will rank websites based on several different factors, but mobile-friendliness is be one of the primary factors. Thus, Google requires webmasters and businesses to create a mobile friendly website.

12. IMPROVE YOUR PAGE SPEED

Nobody has the patience to tolerate a loading website nowadays. With so many options available at our fingertips, people swiftly switch from one site to another to look for the desired products or services. Thus, you’ll lose the potential rankings and leads if your site’s speed is low.

So, are you ready to tackle your website design? If not, get in touch with our team at Tried and True Digital Marketing for expert advice!