What does it mean to have a “search engine friendly website design?”
If you have yet to answer this question, there is a good chance that your site's web design may be holding you back from ranking high in the search engines.
In today’s day and age, most people are aware that high quality content combined with a natural link profile is extremely important. However, many overlook the importance of search engine friendly web design. Why don’t more people talk about text formatting, the use of Flash, image selection, navigation, URL structure and other related details?
Access to your Content
It is one thing to add content to a webpage. It is another thing entirely to do so in a way that allows for easy access by the search engines. Design factors that can affect this include but are not limited to:
- Site navigation
- Internal linking
- URL structure
- Information architecture
Don’t continue to add content to a website that is not search engine friendly. Instead, fix the design first and move forward from there.
How is your Content Organized?
Even if you put a lot of time into creating a search engine friendly URL structure, it does not mean that your content is easily accessible. Known as “information architecture,” this plays a critical role in search engine visibility and rankings.
Three components to consider include:
- How your content is linked together (internal link structure)
- The way your content is placed into categories
- The overall organization and grouping of the content
Text vs. Images
There is no denying the fact that you need plenty of high quality, unique content for your website to reach the top of the search engines. This is in combination with other elements, such as the design and architecture (see the sections above).
During the design and content creation stages, it is important to focus on the use of images. If used appropriately, this can do wonders for the design and visual appearance of your site as well your search engine rankings. Here are a few tips:
- Images help “sell” the content, so choose these carefully
- Use your target keyword in the file name
- Use descriptive alt text
- Use images that match the content
From a “strictly” design standpoint, you don’t want to go overboard with images. There is a fine line between not enough images and too many.
Important note: just as you don’t want to stuff your content with keywords, the same holds true with your images. Over optimization is a big no-no.
There is nothing wrong with wanting a good looking website that holds the attention of your reader. That being said, this is all for nothing if the design is not search engine friendly.
Did you know we’re recognized as a top Search Engine Optimization Company (SEO) on Design Rush? If you have questions about how to make your website more search engine friendly contact us today for a free consultation.