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

Google has decided to penalize the sites that take long time to load on commonly used browsers. Such sites are degraded in page rankings of SERPs. This shows the importance of page loading time in SEO. There are several ways to reduce this loading time. Removing unused codes from CSS files or compressing CSS, reducing use of JavaScript and optimizing images used on the site. When your design is based on website templates make sure that you can customize these areas to achieve desired result for SEO.

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.

Using sitemaps

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.

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The above post is written by Guest Authors on Orphicpixel. The Guest Author information is available in the post itself. If you wish to write for us. Send your guest post at contact@orphicpixel.com

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  • Rob

    I was under the impression that a lot of social networking sites use a robots.txt NOFOLLOW on links that are placed by users. If so then surely it eliminates their SEO usefulness?

  • Lex Koff

    Here’s a tool from google to check your page load score http://code.google.com/speed/page-speed/

    • Mr.Anderson

      thanks you, i will use it test speed my site 🙂

    • Does these all speed test tools works differently?
      My site always shows different time with different too.

    • massa muscular

      puxa, eu conhecia várias ferramentas do google, mas é totalmente inédita para mim! obrigado por compartilhar essa informação, eu tava precisando muito de uma coisa dessas!

  • Very intersting post. thank you very much for the info. Very enriching site.
    Thank you, Tomer

  • SEO Extra

    I find that too many people only begin focusing on SEO after a website has been built and in some occasions this can be too late. These are some real solid points that I wish more web design companies would take on board.
    Too many customers are given really poor quality sites when it comes to the optimisation.

  • ForFree

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  • Good tips. I installed W3 Total Cache plugin to help with load time. It needs a lot of configuring to get the best from it.

    Sandy

  • Daily Pay Jobs

    When you say use the keywords in the main part of the site does that include links to inner pages in the sidebar? This is how the navigation works on my site and I am trying to clean it up. You are certainly right about knowing the keywords you will be using BEFORE starting to create and build. Thanks for the tips and hope to hear about the one question. Leve me a comment if you wish.

  • Elvis Shrestha

    Nice blog, and this post is really helpful and informative, keep up with your good work, i will visit other posts later.. 🙂

  • steve@ Landscaping Fort Lauderdale

    Great Post! very nice tips… sitemap is a big one!

  • Here’s a good article on SEO, specifically for iweb, but good for SEO in general: http://iwebtips.webs.com/seoforiweb.htm

  • SEO friendly navigation 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.

  • David @ Buy Books

    Facebook fan pages do indeed provide a good source of backlinks as does Google+ pages. I recently did an experiment to compare my Facebook fan page with my Google+ page (both contain the same information and links to my website). I observed that my Facebook fan page appears higher than my Google+ page in Google search results.

  • David

    Regarding “reducing page load time”, what would be considered excessive load time that would cause Google to penalize my site?

  • Take inventory of your web marketing goals and use the tools that are most appropriate to achieve the results you’re looking for.

  • blogi@blogitemplate

    I had problems with long load times of web pages. sometimes that makes the loading time is a social network widget or button, so should I continue to use the widget or button, and ignores the load time? or should I remove it to increase the speed of page loading time?

    • David

      That is a good question as I have been thinking along the same lines. I have the Facebook social plugin on my site and it does add value (e.g. another way for people to find my site content) so I’ve decided to leave it in despite the extra loading time that it incurs. I did remove my Google Custom Search capability for “the entire web” and now I only use the custom search engine for “search this site” which is of great benefit for my visitors.

  • Groupon Clone

    Great post. I really think more people need to pay attention to the page load times of their website. This is critical and is a much bigger factor than just last year. It’s a shame to spend all that time link building only to give up position to a site that has less quality link but has better on site SEO and a killer load time. Don’t learn the hard way!

  • boiçucanga pousada

    nice share, great tricks, thankyou!!!
    best regards,
    boiçucanga pousada

  • Hey thanks you for this comprehensive article. I worked a lot on improving my site load time recently, not only to improve SEO but simply to improve user experience. With the help of your tips my site is going well. I am really happy with the improvements. Thank for sharing.

  • Navin kunwar

    Designing the theme is the first part of success, where we have to concentrate more on seo then look.

  • webdesigner

    Interesting and useful post, I really like the concept. Today it has very important to design a website in a manner which is user as well as search engine friendly else the site will end up without being know to users. Less use of flash can decrease the load time of website.

  • Vineet Saxena

    Page load time does matter a lot in the SEO. A slow loading page can result in increased bounce rate, low traffic and hence missed profits.

  • thanks you for this comprehensive article……………………

  • Great post. really helpful and informative, Thanks for sharing, But there are so many things to take care of to optimize pages.

  • Sanjeev Rana

    Great post. I really think more people need to pay attention to the page load times of their website. This is critical and is a much bigger factor than just last year.I worked a lot on improving my site load time recently, not only to improve SEO but simply to improve user experience. With the help of your tips my site is going well.

  • Aaron

    Its quite important in present time to build a SEO friendly website as it helps in gaining ranks on Google pages and getting visitors to the site. Thus providing information about how to make SEO friendly sites is quite helpful to many site builders to drive targeted traffic towards their sites.

  • UGC NET COACHING

    nice one post. Informative article.

  • Jovie Onyema

    in my opinion social networks dont really boost your search engine visibility that much. or what do you think? am i missing something here?

  • Betty Rhodes

    I have always been thinking why other sites take longer to load than others. I believe that on a customer’s part that is quite a turn off. And that’s quite informational that you have stated some reasons why this happen.

    Social networking really have a purpose here. In my experience, this has increased traffic in my site.

  • Baker Bagels

    I always try to make an effort to improve the SEO of my pages, and I follow all your advice, but reducing the page loading time is still as issue to me because it looks all very tecnical, nothing that a wordpress plugin can do for you with 2 clicks, thanks

  • Google have definitely changed their algorithm a lot in recent years so I think people have to adapt with it.

    When it comes to designing a website now, I strongly believe that to help increase rankings, webmasters have to think about the end user. This means adding more content, reducing load times (as you said) and making it seem natural and generally helpful.

  • TomW

    Nice post. I usually see these topics coved in a number of posts, but you have pulled them together nicely.

    It is a shame though that Google is now drastically hitting people for over use of keywords. I think this will affect alot of people. Purely because people who have previously stuffed posts, will now have to go back through and clean them up. Tha could take some time.

  • Martha Jones, ATT Uverse coupon =

    I think it comes down to the old saying “content is king”. Every page or post of your site should have engaging and attention grabbing content. Content that will be re-tweeted, liked and talked about. This will create links naturally and automatically.

  • Thanks for the tips and thanks to Lex for the Google speed test tool.

  • venkat

    It s very important to getting Rank in the Search Engines.

    in Designing very meta tages very important Role .

    SEO makes improves Website Performace

  • It is so important to begin the SEO process during the web design phase. By doing so, you can begin your SEO much quicker than if you were to design a site and then implement these tools. In addition, having a site that is helpful to visitors, that conveys the idea clearly, is easy to navigate, and has quality content will help your SEO efforts tenfold. It can help a tremendous amount to work with a company that specializes in both web design and SEO, or to work closely with two parties in order to have both of these important elements in sync.

  • best backup system

    Your outlay on the subject is essentially correct although there is a lot of detail that could be filled in especially with regard to Google now moving its algorithm further and further in the direction of favoring naturally created quality-content sites. However, I would make the one comment that if someone is using the WordPress format as their web site then the WordPress SEO plug-in from Yoast is extremely helpful. I am sure there are others that are good but in my own limited experience I tried All in One SEO pack first and was more contented after switching to Yoast.

  • Internet fpt

    Thanks for sharing.. Mr FPT@ fptonline24h

  • Tusshar Rajput

    What a great resource you have provided here. I just started using this idea recently and have seen some success as far as traffic. Thanks….

  • shoaib

    this is so cute post. i like that post