What Makes Your Website Search Engine Friendly?
In the previous posts, I have already discussed about the must know reasons why every start-up needs to have a website now, and even gave away some helpful tips on what effective website design principles to include in your web design trends to drive more traffic in 2015.
However, this time, I have decided to take some time and energy to write an article that explains to readers the reasons why web designers and developers need to know SEO.
Why does your website design need to be search engine friendly?
That is because, a website once put up, has an important role to play. It needs to be easily accessible to the target audience when they look up from the search engine platform. In other words, a website design needs to be SEO optimized so that it can become friendly to both the search engines and the humans.
Learning how to build or modify a web page to make it search engine friendly is a necessary guide for anyone involved in a website construction, be it programming or designing. That is why, allow me to get down to the basic technical aspects to understand why your web design needs to be SEO friendly. It is often preferable for a website owner to have some knowledge about his/her own site. This can help him/her understand better the next time he/she sits down to discuss about a project with a web design and development company.
#1 – Why Your Content Should Be Indexable?
Indexable content placed in HTML text format, allows better search engine listing. That is because, contents having flash files, images or anything that has no text, are left devalued or ignored by the search engine bots. Placing your words and phrases in HTML text format ensures that the search engine crawlers too can view the content just like the viewers.
Some of the more advanced visual display styles and formatting that you can try out are –
- Add crawlable and navigation links in the search boxes
- Include Alt text for your images to provide a description to the search engines regarding the visual content
- Add texts to the pages where you have Java or Flash plug-ins
- You can supplement your audio or video content with texts that the search engines can index
How do the search engines view your web page? – Well you can find this out by using tools like Google Cache, which will show you how your web pages are visible to the search engine bots.
#2 – Why Keyword Optimization Is Important?
That’s because this is the fundamental step to every search process. A user can make use of a keyword to retrieve information and you have to make sure that the content on your web page has been optimized with the right search word. When the search engine bots crawl the contents of a web page, they track down the pages based on the indexed keywords. This helps them store millions of small databases, all centered around a particular key phrase or term. The search engines can extract the information within seconds using the keyword.
Keywords dominate the manner in which humans and the search engines communicate. But you need to make sure how you are placing them; for the order of the words, punctuation, spelling and capitalization are things that help the engine bots measure the manner in which keywords are used on a web page. This helps them to determine the relevance of a document to a search query. Therefore, it is important that you use the keywords in the text, title and the meta data of a web page. I do not need to specifically mention this, for you I take it that my readers know by now that bad keyword usage leads to more harm than help, with your search engine ranking.
Some of the best ways that you can optimize your keywords on-page are –
- Keep your keyword phrase near the beginning of your title tag
- Include variations of the targeted word in your body content.
- Add once at least to the alt attribute in your image, for that can bring in traffic to your page via image and web search.
- Add the keyword at least once in the URL.
- Add to the meta description tag (this is used as a text snippet by the search engines to help readers find out what each result on the SERP talks about)
With all these said, you should not however use keywords in the link anchor text that point towards other website pages. This is called Keyword Cannibalization.
#3 – Why Your Website Needs An External CSS Stylesheet?
A CSS Stylesheet helps to format a web design to give a website its standardized appearance. There are some web designers who practise the use of internal CSS for convenience. However, using the internal CSS stylesheet is of no use, for an external stylesheet makes HTML coding become concise.
#4 – Why Be Mindful About Web Elements Like Title Tags?
Title tags provide a concise way to describe a page content and hence is important to both the search engines and the users. Therefore, you need to make sure that your title tags are well optimized for the sake of usability and search engine friendliness.
The general length of a title tag for most search engines and social media sites is around 65 – 75 characters. However, if you have multiple number of keywords to use, then it is advisable to increase the title tag length.
Place the important keywords in the front part of your title tag, because the closer they are to the start, the better the chances of website ranking. In addition to this, it also becomes easily identifiable by people on the search engine results page.
Including brand name in the beginning of your title tag, on the home page heightens brand awareness. This in turn makes your website more familiar with the browsers, thus additionally increasing the number of click through rates.
SEO friendly web design is more about user experience than just strategic keyword usage and optimization. The title tag is the first element on a website to enhance user interaction with the particular brand. Hence, your title tag should be able to convey a positive impression to the target audience.
#5 – Why URL Construction Should Follow Strict Guidelines?
The URLs appear in many important locations like in the address bar of a web browser or on the search engines. They are of great importance when seen from the search perspective and hence, a poorly designed URL framework can often lead to negative user experience.
Some of the best ways for optimizing a URL construction –
- Transform your dynamic URLs into static that are easily readable and are not made complicated with overly used numbers, symbols and parameters. This is because even a single dynamic URL could lower a website’s overall indexing and ranking.
- There are web applications that do not interpret separators such as plus signs, underscores, spaces accurately. Therefore using characters like hyphen in the URL to separate words will give it a fresh good factor.
- Make sure your URL is as simple as possible so that it could be easily memorized by a user. Therefore, minimize the length and the trailing slashes so that they are fully visible when placed in text messages, emails, blog posts and even when they appear on the search engines.
Web design is about striking the right balance between a fancy design and SEO. A website does not make successful conversions unless you can optimize it to make it search engine friendly. It turns effective only when you combine the joint elements of design, content and programming to communicate with people who use the search engines daily. If your web design optimization needs are far more critical than this, you can consult a reputed web design and development company for further assistance.