While generic web design is important, the real winners in the race to grab user attention are those sites that incorporate SEO-based web design. To be clear, we’re not just talking about sites that do both independently, with an SEO strategy on the one hand, and a design strategy on the other. Instead, we’re interested in the ways that websites can combine the two: delivering a quality experience while at the same time doing all of the essential SEO stuff in the background.
Create Search-Friendly Navigation
Website crawlers from major search engines use your sites navigation system to rank pages and make your content discoverable to users. The problem, however, is that many people are still using Flash, something that crawlers are really bad at using.
The trick here is not to modify Flash but to abandon it altogether and use CSS instead. The great thing about CSS is that it provides all the fancy visual effects that you want, without compromising your SEO performance. Crawlers seem just to get it.
Follow W3C Standards for SEO-Based Web Design
Any web design company worth its salt knows the benefits of following W3C standards. Clean website code that’s also well-formed helps search engines when indexing sites. It also suggests to the search engine that the site is well-constructed and useful to end users. People aren’t going to arrive at the site and immediately run into a bunch of bugs which detracts from their overall experience.
Don’t Dilute Your Headlines
The competition to rank high on Google is becoming increasingly intense. Pages that don’t have a specific focus risk getting buried under the mountain of websites out there offering more specific content to users.
The current recommendation is to keep your H1 tags to a minimum – usually just one per page. You want to tell search engines that you’ve optimized your content for a specific topic and you’re not all over the place when it comes to relevancy.
Update Your Pages With New Content
Updating a product page that hasn’t changed for six months might seem like a waste of time. But making even small changes can have a profound effect on SEO. Google and other search engines love it when sites change their pages slightly because it indicates that they are still active and, possibly, more up to date. People are far more likely to read content that is dated for the present year than they are for content published two or more years ago, even though the actual substance is basically identical.
Block Pages You Don’t Want Indexing
Usually, you want to index all the pages on your site. But sometimes there are pages that you’d prefer to remain hidden. These could include pages that you are using to test your web design or that you’re building a new website that isn’t ready to go live just yet.
For SEO-Based Web Design Make URLs Search Friendly
Title tags do a lot to tell search engines about page relevancy. But URLs can help too. Don’t use some obscure code to label page: instead, focus on using relevant keywords that both users and Google’s robots understand.