Our friends over at Tampa SEO, a search engine optimization firm, wrote this article on how to keep SEO in mind when building your website.
Best Web Design Elements for SEO
When creating a website you want it to be both appealing for the visitors as well as the search engines. Although you may not be embarking on an immediate search engine optimization (SEO) campaign as soon as your website launches, you’ll still want a website that has been developed with a proper SEO foundation so that in the event you decide to move forward with Internet marketing, you’ll be assured that your website has been responsibly designed and ready to attract the right visitors. Below are some of the best web design elements for SEO:
If you are going to do one thing right make sure your title tags adhere to SEO principles. Title tags should be no longer than 70 characters and should contain the relevant keywords within them. Place the important keywords first but also consider the impact it will have on readers.
Web designers should avoid flash where possible as this type of content is invisible to search engines. If you want to get indexed flash will not help your cause. Even though the search engines say they are slowly learning how to index flash, your best bet is to only use it if you absolutely have to.
Create Great Content
When creating content for your website make sure to cater it to both the audience and the search engines. This means it has to be compelling enough to make your desired audience stay on your site but also makes clear to the search engines what your pages are about. You can do this by focusing pages on one keyword or keyword phrase. Repeat this phrase within the content and its variations so that the search engines learn that you are referencing a specific topic. Use these keywords in the title tag, meta description, H1, H2, and H3 tags as well as the alt tags for any pictures. Avoid keyword stuffing!
When you are placing internal links within your website you are telling the search engines what your pages are all about. This also holds true for sites that are linking to you or sites that you are linking to. Use keywords to get the best SEO benefit instead of links like “click here” or “learn more.” All you are doing by having vague links is telling the search engines that your page is about “click here.”
Your footer will play an important part in the design of your website as it helps give users a solid location for additional navigation. For SEO purposes the footer should always include the name, address, phone number and contact information for the website as this will appear on every page. The search engines will be indexing this information and it will help your local search efforts.