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How To Design A Search Engine Friendly Website

February 15th, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments

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 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 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!

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

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

  1. Brian D
    February 15th, 2013 at 06:17 | #1

    How to tell if website is search engine friendly?
    I am thinking about starting a web business, and I have spoken to a few designers and coders. How would you know if someone has a site that is search engine friendly. I am taking bids on a site desogn that is sort of a copy of features of another site. I spoke to one of the designers and he told me he looked at the other designers site and said that his site was search engine friendly, that he had a url friendly. and the others wasnt.Keep in mind these are both demo sites. What did he mean about that.?

  2. Angie
    February 15th, 2013 at 11:19 | #2

    Search Engine Friendly means those sites where the keywords have been defined properly. A seo friendly site have well defined meta tags, site map and robot.txt. while site maps aren’t always feasible..
    a search engine friendly url cud be a short easy to remember url.. some people like to use keywords for it.. while others don’t. It is hard to determine a site’s friendliness by the design. but i’d say the ones that use too many graphics and animation are not liked by SEs. The sites that are frequently updated with relevant content and good site structure always does well in SERPs. read some blogs on articles about what SEO is really about.. jsut the basic knowledge then you can determine all about it. but even if ur site is already designed .. it is still not late to optimize it.
    References :

  3. bilbo4fun
    February 15th, 2013 at 11:21 | #3

    To me the most important thing is content. The content has to match the keywords you are trying to target. There is also meta tags for description and keywords which is something you don’t see unless you view the source. Go to http://www,greatbuys.net for more info.
    The site is free.
    Hope it helps,
    References :

  4. vicseo
    February 15th, 2013 at 11:23 | #4

    The most effective way to advertise on the Internet is
    to first set up a website and publish its domain name
    on major search directories such as Google.com,
    Yahoo.com [at http://www.google.com/addurl/?…… and
    MSN.com since 85% of Internet shoppers rely on these
    search directories to provide them with goods and
    services. In a sense, these search directories are a
    very large Internet Yellow Pages.

    Nevertheless, should your website or opening webpage
    fail to contain "generic" keywords, then anyone using
    such "generic" queries will not be able to discover
    your website. Your domain name [URL] of your website,
    in a sense, will be invisible, undiscoverable.

    You may want to consider some simple algorithms which,
    when observed and committed in designing of a website
    with placement of various critical metatags that can
    surely achieve a high search engine presence and
    increase Internet traffic to your website. These
    metatag strategies work well with published webpages
    at Google and Yahoo.

    Design: Should you create an extensive Flash-based
    website, make sure to fill-in the property entries
    such as the Title, Description and Keywords. Failing
    to do so, leaves no hard HTML or ALT resource that can
    be readily indexed by search robots. Also consider the
    Internet audience and their incoming setup. For
    example, if they are on analog/dialup, Flash webpages
    take too long to load up and therefore analog users
    will likely lose interest and discontinue entering the
    Flash site. On the other hand, anyone on hi-speed DSL
    lines, will welcome Flash pages which load quickly. So
    before designing a pure Flash websitge, ask the simple
    question, "Who’s my end user – is he on dialup or
    DSL?" And if you had to choose between these two users
    for maximum marketability, then select analog users
    since 80% of most resident users are still analog
    Internet subscribers and pure HTML designed webpages
    is best for them.

    A non-Flash-based website which relies on hard text,
    is far easier to be indexed by search robots. Limit
    the use of stylized text saved as .gifs since as a
    graphic, they are not indexable by search robots.

    Avoid use of frames since any number of search robots
    are unable to properly classify textual material.

    Placement of Metatags:

    A ranking or search order does take place with Google
    and Yahoo and it begins with the "Title" metag which
    should consist of no more than 65 characters separated
    by commas. The "Title" should describe in generic
    terms, the goods and services, followed by a location
    from which the resource is located, i.e., city, state.
    The placement of a domain name which is not generic
    within the "Title" is not appropriate, unless your
    domain name is a major recognizable brand name.

    The second metatag is the "Description" which is
    usually 25-30 words to form a complete sentence which
    best describes one’s goods and services.

    And the very last category – "Keywords" are also
    somewhat limited to 15-16 words which can be plural
    and compound in nature. Again, avoid multiple entries
    which could be mistaken as "spamdexed entries" which
    is defined as the loading, and submission of
    repetitive words into a particular metatag category.
    "Spamdexing" when discovered on a webpage and reported
    to Google’s spamreport.com can result in the
    elimination of your website from their search
    References :
    Webmaster article from google.com.

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