Tips For Designing an SEO Friendly Website
Search engine optimization (SEO) has emerged as a valuable online marketing tool for different businesses. It primarily aims to secure high page rank of a website in the SERPs (search engine result pages) of major search engines. The website may be created from scratch or with the help of web templates but it must comply with standards required for SEO. Designing a SEO friendly site is based on some fundamental aspects. Here are some tips that may help you in crafting a SEO friendly site.
Identify the keywords
Before you start designing a page you should have a clear idea about the objectives of the site. Draw a plan about the target traffic and decide about the focus area. You may target clients at local, national, international or at all of these levels. With this profile of target client in mind and designing wireframe or web templates in place you can start planning about the content. Based on your decision, policy and target group you can research for appropriate keyword and keyphrases. These keywords and keyphrases drive the target users to your site via SERPs.
SEO friendly navigation
While designing navigational system for the site makes sure that search engines can read and follow it. Navigational system of the site and internal linking structure are crucial elements of on-page SEO. Try using text based buttons and links for improving accessibility. If you are planning to design a site with web templates then make sure that the selected template conforms to your requirement.
Avoiding Flash in navigational system is a safe option. Google and other search engines are unable to read text on images. This affects the page ranking of a site. Flash is not supported by popular mobile devices like iPhones and BlackBerry. With more and more people accessing web through mobiles, this may be a serious concern. Using CSS and jQuery may be considered viable alternatives to Flash. However, CSS should be optimized for reducing the load time. While selecting or short-listing web templates keep in mind that use of Flash should be minimum or nil.
Labelling the links clearly is critical for navigational systems. If a link says “view details” then it should take the visitor to details page. Labelling the internal links help search engines to crawl and index them.
Reducing page load time
Positioning of keywords
SEO is all about telling the search engines about your site. This is mainly done by using content with relevant keywords and keyphrases. It is crucial to get these keywords and keyphrases in right places. Title tags, Meta description, H1 H2 H3 tags, slogans and navigational areas are some critical points. It is desirable to have your keyword in the URL. Try using Alt text for images and title attributes on links. Keywords should be placed in the main copy of the site along with internal links and footer. While using web templates for designing your page make sure that you have all these options available.
Use social networks
Social networks have emerged as vital contributing factor of SEO. With millions of users accessing them round the clock throughout the world these networks offer immense potential for improving ranking. Companies, celebrities, and organizations are successfully using Facebook Fan Page for getting noticed. Unlike the Profile page of Facebook that are locked by password and can’t be crawled by search engines, Fan Pages can be crawled and indexed.
Adding Twitter feed with relevant keywords helps in speeding up cache rate of Google. If you are using social networks for promotion then make it get noticed through buttons and icons on the site. There are several web templates that come pre-loaded with such icons.
Whether you are designing a site from the scratch or from web templates make sure that you have got a sitemap. Sitemaps tell the search engines about the position of relevant content within the site and how it is linked. Search bots can scan deep into your site through the sitemap. It is desirable to have different types of sitemaps like XML, URL list, HTML and RSS Feed. Include links to all 4 sitemaps on every page of the website (usually in the footer) to help search bots to dig deep in your site.
Optimizing search engines is a continuous process. You should set goals and evaluate your ranking and take steps for improving. Using web templates that are designed according to SEO specifications may simplify the process. Using keywords, sitemaps and improving site navigation are traditional SEO elements. Adding social networks and increasing page loading time are some latest developments.
The above article has been written by RP, who is associated with many online blogs and sites as their freelance writer. She is currently involved with various number of projects based on template and web designing including a project of Template Kingdom.